Daffodils seem to burst out of nowhere. I love them. (Notice how different these two types are.) I go looking for them every spring – watching for them in flowerbeds and through the countryside, even where no house stands.
The first story I wrote for publication was about finding daffodils around and old root cellar on a piece of land where a log house once stood. There were so many of the flowers on long hollow stems. I picked too many. I couldn’t carry them all and dropped a few on my way back to the car. The flowers were like a gift from some distant pioneer woman. I felt kinship to her as a mother and housewife.
The abandoned home site was like a mystery – a secret from the past.
Later, I learned the real story of the place and I met that woman’s grandson, her great grandson, and her great -great granddaughter. Really!
I learned some amazing facts about the homestead. I learned about the log house which once sat on the spot had been built from logs from the banks of the Deep Fork River. Each log was dragged to the site by slow and powerful oxen. It took two years to get enough wood to finish the house.
The family of nine, who had come by wagon from Haskell County, lived in and around the wagon for that long time. They endured some miserable weather while they built a chicken coop and shed and planted crops. Later, the patriarch of the family invested in the building of a schoolhouse for the community. The Evening Star School was born in 1913.
In 1930, when a larger school building was built of brick, the old schoolhouse was sold and moved by a team of mules to the land I now live on. (Really again!) Another small house and a porch and second story were added. So, here I am living in the Evening Star School and it is a school again for my children. I love the stories of real pioneers and at last I am a part of one.
We hosted a pioneer camp here one fall for the homeschooled children. We cooked our pioneer meals outside on the fire, washed on a washboard, dyed cloth, ground corn, and made cornhusk dolls.We used an old metal shed we found on the back of the acreage as a “one room schoolhouse,” where students figured and practiced spelling on slates. When we told the story of the house to the students, one little boy was thrilled. “Awesome, Mrs. Hollis,” he piped up, “Your house is history!”
Keep your eyes open for daffodils and you’ll find spring and maybe a story too!