Old Homestead Quotes

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Miles away, down through an opening in the hills, he could catch glimpses of a road where motor-cars sometimes passed, and yet here, so removed from the arteries of the latest civilization, was a bat-haunted old homestead, where something unmistakably like witchcraft seemed to hold a very practical sway.
Saki (The Chronicles of Clovis)
The fact that we heated most of the old farmhouse with nothing but a woodstove was a source of great pride for my father and endless inspiration for witticisms like, “Chop your own wood it’ll warm you twice!
Mike Rowe (The Way I Heard It)
I looked round the place. The moment of parting had come. I felt sad. The whole thing reminded me of one of those melodramas where they drive chappies out of the old homestead into the snow. 'Good-bye, Jeeves,' I said. 'Good-bye, sir.' And I staggered out.
P.G. Wodehouse
A human life, I think, should be well rooted in some spot of a native land, where it may get the love of tender kinship for the face of the earth, for the labours men go forth to, for the sounds and accents that haunt it, for whatever will give that early home a familiar unmistakable difference amidst the future widening of knowledge: a spot where the definiteness of early memories may be inwrought with affection, and kindly acquaintance with all neighbours, even to the dogs and donkeys, may spread not by sentimental effort and reflection, but as a sweet habit of the blood. At five years old, mortals are not prepared to be citizens of the world, to be stimulated by abstract nouns, to soar above preference into impartiality; and that prejudice in favour of milk with which we blindly begin, is a type of the way body and soul must get nourished at least for a time. The best introduction to astronomy is to think of the nightly heavens as a little lot of stars belonging to one's own homestead.
George Eliot
Ingenious philosophers tell you, perhaps, that the great work of the steam-engine is to create leisure for mankind. Do not believe them: it only creates a vacuum for eager thought to rush in. Even idleness is eager now—eager for amusement; prone to excursion-trains, art museums, periodical literature, and exciting novels; prone even to scientific theorizing and cursory peeps through microscopes. Old Leisure was quite a different personage. He only read one newspaper, innocent of leaders, and was free from that periodicity of sensations which we call post-time. He was a contemplative, rather stout gentleman, of excellent digestion; of quiet perceptions, undiseased by hypothesis; happy in his inability to know the causes of things, preferring the things themselves. He lived chiefly in the country, among pleasant seats and homesteads, and was fond of sauntering by the fruit-tree wall and scenting the apricots when they were warmed by the morning sunshine, or of sheltering himself under the orchard boughs at noon, when the summer pears were falling. He knew nothing of weekday services, and thought none the worse of the Sunday sermon if it allowed him to sleep from the text to the blessing; liking the afternoon service best, because the prayers were the shortest, and not ashamed to say so; for he had an easy, jolly conscience, broad-backed like himself, and able to carry a great deal of beer or port-wine, not being made squeamish by doubts and qualms and lofty aspirations.
George Eliot (Adam Bede)
If one has been absent for decades from a place that one once held dear, the wise would generally counsel that one should never return there again. History abounds with sobering examples: After decades of wandering the seas and overcoming all manner of deadly hazards, Odysseus finally returned to Ithaca, only to leave it again a few years later. Robinson Crusoe, having made it back to England after years of isolation, shortly thereafter set sail for that very same island from which he had so fervently prayed for deliverance. Why after so many years of longing for home did these sojourners abandon it so shortly upon their return? It is hard to say. But perhaps for those returning after a long absence, the combination of heartfelt sentiments and the ruthless influence of time can only spawn disappointments. The landscape is not as beautiful as one remembered it. The local cider is not as sweet. Quaint buildings have been restored beyond recognition, while fine old traditions have lapsed to make way for mystifying new entertainments. And having imagined at one time that one resided at the very center of this little universe, one is barely recognized, if recognized at all. Thus do the wise counsel that one should steer far and wide of the old homestead. But no counsel, however well grounded in history, is suitable for all. Like bottles of wine, two men will differ radically from each other for being born a year apart or on neighboring hills. By way of example, as this traveler stood before the ruins of his old home, he was not overcome by shock, indignation, or despair. Rather, he exhibited the same smile, at once wistful and serene, that he had exhibited upon seeing the overgrown road. For as it turns out, one can revisit the past quite pleasantly, as long as one does so expecting nearly every aspect of it to have changed.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
I pretended to be a Cheyenne guide. I pretended to be a prairie woman. I pretended Henry was my old-timey husband taking me to our new homestead. I leaned down and patted Trouble’s neck. “Good boy,” I said. “Trusty steed.
Laura Anderson Kurk (Glass Girl (Glass Girl, #1))
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,    For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,     And the stock-horse snuffs the battle with delight.    There was Harrison, who made his pile when Pardon won the cup,     The old man with his
A.B. Paterson (The Man from Snowy River)
If you only knew how far short I fall of my own hopes you would know I could never boast. Why, it keeps me busy making over mistakes just like some one using old clothes. I get myself all ready to enjoy a success and find that I have to fit a failure. But one consolation is that I generally have plenty of material to cut generously, and many of my failures have proved to be real blessings.
Elinore Pruitt Stewart (Letters of a Woman Homesteader)
Daily homestead life is much more hard-core than cottagecore.
Jill Winger (Old-Fashioned on Purpose: Cultivating a Slower, More Joyful Life)
Everything she loved and cherished seemed to wither away. No matter how hard she fought, someone she loved always left, one way or another. Life remained still on the large grounds of the old family homestead. There was nothing but silence, followed by nights that brought the worst dreams with the oddest sense of foreboding knocking at her soul. Too many hours turned into days, all merging together, eating her alive from within.
Julieanne Lynch (Silently Still)
Even though the woman was not human—the land—or was less than human—a cow—farming had the symbolic overtones of old-fashioned agrarian romance: plowing the land was loving it, feeding the cow was tending it. In the farming model, the woman was owned privately; she was the homestead, not a public thoroughfare. One farmer worked her. The land was valued because it produced a valuable crop; and in keeping with the mystique of the model itself, sometimes the land was real pretty, special, richly endowed; a man could love it. The cow was valued because of what she produced: calves, milk; sometimes she took a prize. There was nothing actually idyllic in this. As many as one quarter of all acts of battery may be against pregnant women; and women die from pregnancy even without the intervention of a male fist. But farming implied a relationship of some substance between the farmer and what was his: and it is grander being the earth, being nature, even being a cow, than being a cunt with no redeeming mythology. Motherhood ensconced a woman in the continuing life of a man: how he used her was going to have consequences for him. Since she was his, her state of being reflected on him; and therefore he had a social and psychological stake in her welfare as well as an economic one. Because the man farmed the woman over a period of years, they developed a personal relationship, at least from her point of view: one limited by his notions of her sex and her kind; one strained because she could never rise to the human if it meant abandoning the female; but it was her best chance to be known, to be regarded with some tenderness or compassion meant for her, one particular woman.
Andrea Dworkin (Right-Wing Women)
How beautiful the old Glen was, in its August ripeness, with its chain of bowery old homesteads, tilled meadows and quiet gardens. The western sky was like a great golden pearl. Far down the harbour was frosted with a dawning moonlight. The air was full of exquisite sounds—sleepy robin whistles, wonderful, mournful, soft murmurs of wind in the twilit trees, rustle of aspen poplars talking in silvery whispers and shaking their dainty, heart-shaped leaves, lilting young laughter from the windows of rooms where the girls were making ready for the dance. The world was steeped in maddening loveliness of sound and colour. He would think only of these things and of the deep, subtle joy they gave him.
L.M. Montgomery (The Complete Anne of Green Gables Collection)
Why after so many years of longing for home did these sojourners abandon it so shortly upon their return? It is hard to say. But perhaps for those returning after a long absence, the combination of heartfelt sentiments and the ruthless influence of time can only spawn disappointments. The landscape is not as beautiful as one remembered it. The local cider is not as sweet. Quaint buildings have been restored beyond recognition, while fine old traditions have lapsed to make way for mystifying new entertainments. And having imagined at one time that one resided at the very center of this little universe, one is barely recognized, if recognized at all. Thus do the wise counsel that one should steer far and wide of the old homestead.
Amor Towles (A Gentleman in Moscow)
Old Time heaved a moldy sigh from tomb and arch and vault; and gloomy shadows began to deepen in corners; and damps began to rise from green patches of stone; and jewels, cast upon the pavement of the nave from stained glass by the declining sun, began to perish. Within the grill-gate of the chancel, up the steps surmounted loomingly by the fast darkening organ, white robes could be dimly seen, and one feeble voice, rising and falling in a cracked monotonous mutter, could at intervals be faintly heard. In the free outer air, the river, the green pastures, and the brown arable lands, the teeming hills and dales, were reddened by the sunset: while the distant little windows in windmills and farm homesteads, shone, patches of bright beaten gold. In the Cathedral, all became gee, murky, and sepulchral, and the cracked monotonous mutter went on like a dying voice, until the organ and the choir burst forth, and drowned it in a sea of music. Then, the sea fell, and the dying voice made another feeble effort, and then the sea rose high, and beat its life out, and lashed the roof, and surged among the arches, and pierced the heights of the great tower; and then the sea was dry, and all was still.
Charles Dickens (The Mystery of Edwin Drood)
I passed out cigars to the men, and we lit them with a twig caught alight in the fire and passed the bottle around. Charley was doing most of the talking, telling a hunting story from the days of elk and bison, neither of which anyone in attendance except Charley had ever seen. He made them epic animals in his story, inhabitants of an old and better world not to come around again. He then told of his lost farmstead at the old mound village of Cowee, before one of the many disastrous treaties had driven him and his family west to Nantayale. At Cowee, he has been noted for his success with apple trees, which over the years he had planted at spots where his outhouses had stood. Apples grew on his trees huge as dreams of apples. That Cowee house was old, from the time when they still buried dead loved ones in the dirt floor.
Charles Frazier (Thirteen Moons)
This place, our little cloud forest, even though we missed our papi, it was the most beautiful place you've ever seen. We didn't really know that then, because it was the only place we'd ever seen, except in picture in books and magazines, but now that's I've seen other place, I know. I know how beautiful it was. And we loved it anyway even before we knew. Because the trees had these enormous dark green leaves, as a big as a bed, and they would sway in the wind. And when it rain you could hear the big, fat raindrops splatting onto those giant leaves, and you could only see the sky in bright blue patches if you were walking a long way off to a friend's house or to church or something, when you passed through a clearing and all those leaves would back away and open up and the hot sunshine would beat down all yellow and gold and sticky. And there were waterfalls everywhere with big rock pools where you could take a bath and the water was always warm and it smelled like sunlight. And at night there was the sound of the tree frogs and the music of the rushing water from the falls and all the songs of the night birds, and Mami would make the most delicious chilate, and Abuela would sing to us in the old language, and Soledad and I would gather herbs and dry them and bundle them for Papi to sell in the market when he had a day off, and that's how we passed our days.' Luca can see it. He's there, far away in the misty cloud forest, in a hut with a packed dirt floor and a cool breeze, with Rebeca and Soledad and their mami and abuela, and he can even see their father, far away down the mountain and through the streets of that clogged, enormous city, wearing a long apron and a chef's hat, and his pockets full of dried herbs. Luca can smell the wood of the fire, the cocoa and cinnamon of the chilate, and that's how he knows Rebeca is magical, because she can transport him a thousand miles away into her own mountain homestead just by the sound of her voice.
Jeanine Cummins (American Dirt)
TIMELINE OF LAURA INGALLS WILDER’S LIFE 1865-Laura’s sister Mary is born in Pepin, Wisconsin 1867-Laura Ingalls is born in Pepin, Wisconsin 1869-The Ingallses move to Indian Territory, Kansas 1870-Caroline Ingalls, “Carrie,” is born in Kansas 1871-The Ingallses return to the Big Woods of Wisconsin 1874-Lives in a dugout near Walnut Grove, Minnesota 1875-Charles Frederick Ingalls, “Freddy,” is born 1876-Laura’s brother, Freddy, dies at nine months old Laura moves with her family to Burr Oak, Iowa 1877-Grace Ingalls is born in Burr Oak 1879-Mary becomes blind after a fever 1880-The Ingallses begin homesteading in De Smet, Dakota Territory 1885-Almanzo Wilder and Laura Ingalls marry 1886-Rose Wilder born in De Smet 1894-The Wilders move to Mansfield, Missouri 1932-Little House in the Big Woods is published when Laura is sixty-five 1954-Laura awarded the first Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, for her eight-book Little House series 1957-Laura (age ninety) dies at her Rocky Ridge home in Mansfield
Patricia Brennan Demuth (Who Was Laura Ingalls Wilder? (Who Was?))
Algren’s book opens with one of the best historical descriptions of American white trash ever written.* He traces the Linkhorn ancestry back to the first wave of bonded servants to arrive on these shores. These were the dregs of society from all over the British Isles—misfits, criminals, debtors, social bankrupts of every type and description—all of them willing to sign oppressive work contracts with future employers in exchange for ocean passage to the New World. Once here, they endured a form of slavery for a year or two—during which they were fed and sheltered by the boss—and when their time of bondage ended, they were turned loose to make their own way. In theory and in the context of history the setup was mutually advantageous. Any man desperate enough to sell himself into bondage in the first place had pretty well shot his wad in the old country, so a chance for a foothold on a new continent was not to be taken lightly. After a period of hard labor and wretchedness he would then be free to seize whatever he might in a land of seemingly infinite natural wealth. Thousands of bonded servants came over, but by the time they earned their freedom the coastal strip was already settled. The unclaimed land was west, across the Alleghenies. So they drifted into the new states—Kentucky and Tennessee; their sons drifted on to Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Drifting became a habit; with dead roots in the Old World and none in the New, the Linkhorns were not of a mind to dig in and cultivate things. Bondage too became a habit, but it was only the temporary kind. They were not pioneers, but sleazy rearguard camp followers of the original westward movement. By the time the Linkhorns arrived anywhere the land was already taken—so they worked for a while and moved on. Their world was a violent, boozing limbo between the pits of despair and the Big Rock Candy Mountain. They kept drifting west, chasing jobs, rumors, homestead grabs or the luck of some front-running kin. They lived off the surface of the land, like army worms, stripping it of whatever they could before moving on. It was a day-to-day existence, and there was always more land to the west. Some stayed behind and their lineal descendants are still there—in the Carolinas, Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee. There were dropouts along the way: hillbillies, Okies, Arkies—they’re all the same people. Texas is a living monument to the breed. So is southern California. Algren called them “fierce craving boys” with “a feeling of having been cheated.” Freebooters, armed and drunk—a legion of gamblers, brawlers and whorehoppers. Blowing into town in a junk Model-A with bald tires, no muffler and one headlight … looking for quick work, with no questions asked and preferably no tax deductions. Just get the cash, fill up at a cut-rate gas station and hit the road, with a pint on the seat and Eddy Arnold on the radio moaning good back-country tunes about home sweet home, that Bluegrass sweetheart still waitin, and roses on Mama’s grave. Algren left the Linkhorns in Texas, but anyone who drives the Western highways knows they didn’t stay there either. They kept moving until one day in the late 1930s they stood on the spine of a scrub-oak California hill and looked down on the Pacific Ocean—the end of the road.
Hunter S. Thompson (The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time (The Gonzo Papers Series Book 1))
When she...walked down the long hill that sloped to the Lake of Shining Waters it was past sunset and all Avonlea lay before her in a dreamlike afterlight- 'a haunt of ancient peace'. There was a freshness in the air as of a wind that had blown over honeysweet fields of clover. Home lights twinkled out here and there among the homestead trees. Beyond lay the sea, misty and purple, with its haunting, unceasing murmur. The west was a glory of soft mingled hues, and the pond reflected them all in still softer shadings. The beauty of it all thrilled Anne's heart, and she gratefully opened the gates of her soul to it. 'Dear old world,' she murmured, 'you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.
L.M. Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1))
Reflective nostalgics miss the past and dream about the past. Some of them study the past and even mourn the past, especially their own personal past. But they do not really want the past back. Perhaps this is because, deep down, they know that the old homestead is in ruins, or because it has been gentrified beyond recognition--or because they quietly recognize that they wouldn't much like it now anyway. Once upon a time life might have been sweeter or simpler, but it was also more dangerous, or more boring, or perhaps more unjust. Radically different from the reflective nostalgics are what Boym calls the restorative nostalgics, not all of whom recognize themselves as nostalgics at all. Restorative nostalgics don't just look at old photographs and piece together family stories. They are mythmakers and architects, builders of monuments and founders of nationalist political projects. They do not merely want to contemplate or learn from the past. They want, as Boym puts it, to "rebuild the lost home and patch up the memory gaps." Many of them don't recognize their own fictions about the past for what they are: "They believe their project is about truth." They are not interested in a nuanced past, in a world in which great leaders were flawed men, in which famous military victories had lethal side effects. They don't acknowledge that the past might have had its drawbacks. They want the cartoon version of history, and more importantly, they want to live in it, right now. They don't want to act out roles from the past because it amuses them: they want to behave as think their ancestors did, without irony. It is not by accident that restorative nostalgia often goes hand in hand with conspiracy theories and the medium-sized lies. These needn't be as harsh or crazy as the Smolensk conspiracy theory or the Soros conspiracy theory; they can gently invoke scapegoats rather than a full-fledged alternative reality. At a minimum, they can offer an explanation: The nation is no longer great because someone has attacked us, undermined us, sapped our strength. Someone—the immigrants, the foreigners, the elites, or indeed the EU—has perverted the course of history and reduced the nation to a shadow of its former self. The essential identity that we once had has been taken away and replaced with something cheap and artificial. Eventually, those who seek power on the back of restorative nostalgia will begin to cultivate these conspiracy theories, or alternative histories, or alternative fibs, whether or not they have any basis in fact.
Anne Applebaum (Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism)
His home was a part of him, an externalized expression of his will, for upon his inherited Dutch Manor house he had superimposed the Gothic magnificence which he desired. He had been attracted by the formulations of Andrew Downing, the young landscape architect who lived on the river at Newburgh and whose directions for building "romantic and picturesque villas" were changing the countryside; but it was not in Nicholas to accept another's ideas, and when five years ago he had remodeled the old Van Ryn homestead, he had used Downing simply as a guide. To the original ten rooms he had added twenty more, the gables and turrets, and the one high tower. The result, though reminiscent of a German Schloss on the Rhine, crossed with Tudor English and interwoven with pure fantasy, was nevertheless Hudson River American and not unsuited to its setting. The Dragonwyck gardens were as much as an expression of Nicholas' personality as was the mansion, for here, he had subdued Nature to a stylized ornateness. Between the untouched grove of hemlocks to the south and the slope of a rocky hill half a mile to the north he had created along the river an artificial and exotic beauty. To Miranda it was overpowering, and she felt dazed as they mounted marble steps from the landing. She was but vaguely conscious of the rose gardens and their pervasive scent, of small Greek temples set beneath weeping willows, of rock pavilions, violet-bordered fountains, and waterfalls.
Anya Seton (Dragonwyck)
Ava sang to remind them of what was important – the things that mattered in their lives. She sang about the love of hearth and home; the fire at night in the fireplace; dinner warm on the table; a caring wife and hard-working husband who relied on each other for everything; of babies still in their cradles; toddlers climbing on knees wanting to be cuddled; of teenage boys and girls helping their parents run the homestead. She sang of warm summers and cozy winters with lots of heavy blankets; of harmony and love; well-being and gratitude for the harvest - for the bounty by which they all lived. She sang of the joy of a new life; the births of their children; the enduring love in the twilight of old age between a man and his wife - the years behind them like the building blocks of an enormous castle.
Mina Marial Nicoli (The Magic of Avalon Eyrelin (The Dreams and Worlds Series, #1))
The object of all who came to Oregon in early times was to avail themselves of the privilege of a donation claim, and my opinion to-day is that every man and woman fully earned and merited all they got, but we have a small class of very small people here now who have no good word for the old settler that so bravely met every danger and privation, and by hard toil acquired, and careful economy, saved the means to make them comfortable during the decline of life. These, however are degenerate scrubs, too cowardly to face the same dangers that our pioneer men and women did, and too lazy to perform an honest day’s work if it would procure them a homestead in paradise. They would want the day reduced to eight hours and board thrown in.
Arthur A. Denny (Pioneer Days on Puget Sound)
Skinwalkers were almost always male and wore the pelt of a sacred animal so that they could subvert that animal’s powers to kill people in the community. They could travel impossibly fast across the desert and their eyes glowed like coals and they could supposedly paralyze you with a single look. They were thought to attack remote homesteads at night and kill people and sometimes eat their bodies. People were still scared of skinwalkers when I lived on the Navajo Reservation in 1983, and frankly, by the time I left, I was too. Virtually every culture in the world has its version of the skinwalker myth. In Europe, for example, they are called werewolves (literally “man-wolf” in Old English). The myth addresses a fundamental fear in human society: that you can defend against external enemies but still remain vulnerable to one lone madman in your midst. Anglo-American culture doesn’t recognize the skinwalker threat but has its own version. Starting in the early 1980s, the frequency of rampage shootings in the United States began to rise more and more rapidly until it doubled around 2006.
Sebastian Junger (Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging)
Without fail, every Friday, he’d meet me at his old family homestead after hiking the eight miles to get the reading, drop off his loans, and tote his new ones back to the isolated families waiting.
Kim Michele Richardson (The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek)
Fifteen feet. The unspoken irrevocable distance like an old Western movie where the mountain man meets the braves in some meadow. Or the homesteader confronts the landgrabbing rancher and his hired guns, the horses always pulling up to stand in a nearly taut line as if at a precipice. Always that bit of mutually respected demilitarized zone across which words can be flung followed maybe by bullets and arrows and death. That’s what we called it, the DMZ. Awkward at first but not now. In this case we had decided without discussion or even any medical evidence that there was no way the sickness could infect from that far off. Probably not even from five feet, probably not even in a casual touch, but everybody, mostly me, felt better about this gap. If we needed to, we placed objects in the middle of it to be retrieved and that was okay
Peter Heller (The Dog Stars)
connection. In April 1855 my great-granduncle Alexander Carter Jr. and his younger brother, Thomas Marion Carter, left their home in Scioto County, Ohio, and headed west. Starting by steamboat, the two brothers floated down the Ohio River until it joined the Mississippi and then traveled upstream to St. Louis. In St. Louis they found little transportation west, so they walked, hitched rides, and rode horseback to reach St. Joseph, Missouri. There they caught a stagecoach to Council Bluffs, Iowa, riding on top of the stage, with seventeen men and women-a three-day ordeal. On May 14, nineteen days after leaving St. Louis, the brothers crossed the Missouri River and landed on the town site of Omaha, then a community of cotton tents and shanties, where lots were being offered to anyone willing to build on them. They refused this offer and pressed on to their final destination, DeSoto, Washington County, Nebraska Territory, where they found only one completed log house and another under construction. There they homesteaded the town of Blair, Nebraska. For three generations there were Carters in Nebraska, first in Blair and then in Omaha, where I was bom. As a native Nebraskan, I feel a particular affinity for William F. Cody, who lived most of his adult life in Nebraska. My father, George W. Carter, could have seen Buffalo Bill's Wild West when it came to Omaha in August 1908. I wish I had known the old scout personally; I am glad I have come to know him better while writing this book. It is also my fond hope that readers will feel as I do, that Buffalo Bill Cody is well worth knowing. Writing a biography of someone long dead is always a challenge. You must come to understand the person, the motivations, the key events that altered the course of history. And there are the records, the letters, the reminiscences of contemporaries. In Bill. Cody's case the documentation is plentiful but sometimes contradictory. Did Buffalo Bill kill Yellow Hand-the "first scalp for Custer"-for example? There are those who say he did and detractors who say he did not. Who are. we . to ' believe? For the most part, if I found two or three accounts that agreed with each other, particularly if there were official government .records supporting him, I felt sure I could give the credit to Cody.
Robert A. Carter (Buffalo Bill Cody: The Man Behind the Legend)
That same hypocrisy was evident in Johnson’s vision of landownership. While claiming that the government had never provided access to land for “hard toiling whites,” Johnson simply erased the nineteen years that he had worked for the passage of the Homestead Act to ensure that his constituency was given 160 acres wrested or browbeaten from Native Americans. Meanwhile, he cringed that the formerly enslaved would lease forty acres abandoned by those whom he had once called “traitors.” Perhaps this disparity in treatment reflected Johnson’s wish to reward those who embodied the “good old American work ethic.” The truth was much more complicated.
Carol Anderson (White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide)
More and more, I began helping around the homestead. I learned to operate my John Deere mower so I could keep the yard around our house--and our half-remodeled, boarded-up yellow brick house--neatly trimmed. Marlboro Man was working like a dog in the Oklahoma summer, and I wanted to make our homestead a haven for him. The heat was so stifling, though, all I could stand to wear was a loose-fitting maternity tank top and a pair of Marlboro Man’s white Jockey boxers, which I gracefully pulled down below my enormous belly. As I rode on the bouncy green mower in my heavily pregnant state, my mind couldn’t help but travel back to the long country drive I’d taken when I was engaged to Marlboro Man, when we’d stumbled upon the old homestead and found the half-naked woman mowing her yard. And here I was: I had become that woman. And it had happened in less than a year. I caught a glimpse of myself in the reflection of our bedroom window and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The Playtex bra was all I was missing.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
October 5th, 1884, and is over ninety ears of age. Until her memory failed her, a few years ago, she thought the country ruined beyond recovery when the Democratic party lost control in 1860. Her family, which was large, inherited her views, with the exception of one son who settled in Kentucky before the war. He was the only one of the children who entered the volunteer service to suppress the rebellion. Her brother, next of age and now past eighty-eight, is also still living in Clermont County, within a few miles of the old homestead, and is as active in mind as ever. He was a supporter of the Government during the war, and remains a firm believer, that national success by the Democratic party means irretrievable ruin.
Ulysses S. Grant (Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant: All Volumes)
If you only knew how far short I fall of my own hopes, you would know I could never boast. Why, it keeps me busy making over mistakes just like someone using old clothes. I get myself all ready to enjoy a success and find that I have to fit a failure. But one consolation is that I generally have plenty of material to cut generously, and many of my failures have proved to be real blessings.
Elinore Pruitt Stewart (Letters of a Woman Homesteader)
When I went up to the office where I was to file, the door was open and the most taciturn old man sat before a desk. I hesitated at the door, but he never let on. I coughed, yet no sign but a deeper scowl. I stepped in and modestly kicked over a chair. He whirled around like I had shot him. "Well?" he interrogated. I said, "I am powerful glad of it. I was afraid you were sick, you looked in such pain." He looked at me a minute, then grinned and said he thought I was a book-agent. Fancy me, a fat, comfortable widow, trying to sell books!
Elinore Pruitt Stewart (Letters Of A Woman Homesteader: By Elinore Pruitt : Illustrated)
But words can of course equally well carry a blessing with them. A good word at parting is a gift of strength to the traveller. When the king said “Good luck go with you, my friend,” the man set out carrying a piece of the king's power in him. “Luck on your way to your journey's end, and then I will take my luck again,” is a saying still current among the Danish peasantry. A good word given on coming to a new place meant a real addition to one's luck. When Olaf the Peacock moved into his new homestead, old Hoskuld, his father, stood outside uttering words of good luck; he bade Olaf welcome with luck, and added significantly: “This my mind tells me surely, that his name shall live long.” Orðheill, word-luck, is the Icelandic term for a wish thus charged with power, either for good or evil, according as the speaker put his goodwill into his words and made them a blessing, or inspired them with his hate, so that they acted as a curse. There was man's life in words, just as well as in plans, in counsel. Thoughts and words are simply detached portions of the human soul and thus in full earnest to be regarded as living things.
Vilhelm Grønbech (The Culture of the Teutons: Volumes 1 and 2)
His father had followed the old Santa Fe Trail in 1909, the year Congress tried to induce settlement in one of the final frontiers of the public domain—the arid, western half of the Great Plains—with a homestead act that doubled the amount of land a person could prove-up and own to 320 acres.
Timothy Egan (The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl)
We are homesteading a claim here in old No Man's Land... In spite of droughts and hot winds, blizzards, dirt storms, hail storms, grasshoppers, and in fact almost every form of discouragement, the fascination of being so near the beginning of things, of finding ourselves not quite mastered by various calamities, has held us. We have always felt that if we could hold out a few more years we should succeed; our homestead would really become a home.
Caroline Henderson (Letters from the Dust Bowl)