Homegrown in the Heartland
Spring has come a little late this year, but things are finally starting to look a little greener. Here in Missouri spring means it might be a nice warm 75 degrees on Monday, and then on Tuesday it is cloudy, windy, and a chilly 45. You never know what you’re going to get. It keeps us on our toes.
The nice warm sunny days we have had recently have definitely put a little bounce in everyone’s step and have made us all ready for a new season to finally come around. Some things I am looking forward to with warmer weather are…
Seeing pretty things like this growing along the roadside…
Taking the canoe out late in the day on calm clear water…
Getting my hands dirty in the garden, and picking those first spears of asparagus…
And later, when the weather gets a little too hot to stand, fishing for trout in an ice-cold spring-fed southern Missouri river.
Isn’t it great that we have seasons? I’m always thankful for the changes. I don’t know if I could live somewhere where it seems like summer all year long. I guess I just like a little variety. What are your favorite things about the changing season? What are you looking forward to this spring?
:: Carrie ::
It’s a wintery wonderland in our part of the world! We’ve been hit with a couple of snowstorms, back to back, in the course of the last week. Winter, you have finally arrived!
I’m a firm believer in making the most of what each season has to offer.
It’s been a while since we have seen any big snows, and I’ll just speak for myself, but I’m glad to see it. Yes, it can make for some treacherous conditions, and yes, it might be inconvenient, but come on, it’s beautiful!
I’m wondering what is going on inside the beehive right now. Hope they’re keeping warm in there!
I’ve been very thankful these past few days for a warm and cozy house, friendly neighbors with snow-blowers, and a set of wheels with four-wheel drive.
Enjoy winter while you can, because spring is right around the corner!
:: Carrie ::
I don’t know how much you know about your family history, but the more I learn the more interested I become in knowing about my ancestors – where they came from, how they lived, and what their lives were like. I think one of the best things about being a part of an agricultural based family is that we are literally tied to the land, which has been passed down from generation to generation. It also means that I have a lot of family members from older generations that still live in the area – and they have lots of stories to tell. I love talking to my grandma about her growing up years, and thinking about how much our world has changed during her life time. She rode a horse to school as a kid and later had a job as a teacher in a one room schoolhouse. Now, at age 91, she sends me e-mails and keeps up with all of us on Facebook. Isn’t that crazy?
Last week I visited a big old house that is home to a whole lot of family history on my mom’s side of the family. My great great great grandpa was a steamboat captain. Captain Joseph Kinney. He ran a fleet of steamboats up and down the Missouri River, transporting goods, and was pretty good at it. In the 1860s, he and his wife, my great great great grandma Matilda, built a house on the north bank of the Missouri, just across the river from Boonville, and named it Rivercene.
It’s pretty grand. They held nothing back. The house is three stories, and a basement, and comes in at 12,000 square feet. It has 52 big walnut doors, most of which are ten feet tall, and eleven fireplaces. A few of the fireplaces have marble mantles, and there’s a big brick one in the kitchen. It makes me want to live in a house some day with a fireplace in the kitchen – it’s so cozy. The staircases are the best part, in my opinion. Three different sets of stairs – one big grand staircase in the entryway, a smaller one that zig-zags up the entire three stories to the attic rooms, and another spiral shaped one. Rivercene was passed down through the family for several generations, and up until the early 1990s was owned by my great aunt. She eventually sold it, but I remember going there as a little kid and feeling dwarfed by the size of the house. Lots of rooms and lots of staircases makes for lots of fun when you’re a kid. It’s a hide and seek player’s dream.
The current owners of the house have opened it to the public as a bed and breakfast, and over the Christmas holiday they invited those of us in the family to come spend some time there. They have been working on restoring it back to the way it was originally built – or as close as they can get. It’s still a work in progress, but the best part is that they have also been doing tons and tons of research on the house, and on Captain Kinney and his family, and learning as much as they can about stories and events that happened there.
I’ve always known Rivercene as a part of the family history, but never knew many details. Here are some interesting things we found out…* Captain Kinney gave Matilda a budget of $50,000 to build the house. The actual construction cost a little over $24,000, and the rest was spent on furnishing and decorating it. * Everyone in Booneville called Rivercene “Kinney’s Folly” because he built right on the bank in the river bottom, which was likely to flood. The house never flooded – not until the big flood in 1993 – 130 years later. * One of my ancestors, Matilda’s uncle, signed the Declaration of Independence. This kind of blew my mind. His name is Abra Clark. Check the document…he’s there. * George Caleb Bingham painted portraits of the Kinneys. There are a couple of small reproductions at Rivercene, but the originals are hanging in a bank somewhere in Kansas City. I might have to go see those sometime.
My Grandpa always said “you don’t want to dig too deep into the family tree, you never know what you might find.” I guess maybe he knew something that we don’t know about! I’m not sure, but it’s a lot of fun to have a place like this to visit.
If you’re in the Boonville area (about 20 minutes west of Columbia, MO) and want to spend a night or two at Rivercene, it is located just across the Missouri River bridge on the north side of the river between Boonville and New Franklin, Missouri.
:: Carrie ::
We sure do have a lot to be thankful for! We are blessed. So, so blessed. I know sometimes it is easy to get all wrapped up in a busy schedule, or focus too much on that one thing that isn’t going right, that it’s easy to take for granted all of those things in life that we are lucky to have. Those things that we probably don’t deserve, but through God’s grace we have been given. So let’s step back for a minute, take a look around, and be thankful!
We were talking about this here at the 1canoe2 HQ, and we can all agree that we are most thankful for our families and friends – the people we love. Beth says she is especially thankful for a “certain red-headed almost-2-year-old. Also La Croix sparkling water, my iPhone, and being able to live out my artistic and entrepreneurial dreams in a small town in the Midwest.” All great things to be thankful for, I absolutely agree!
Karen just returned from a few days with her family in Albuquerque, NM. She says, “I’m thankful for my brother’s recent wedding, a wonderful time to be together with my family and celebrate the addition of our newest family member, Aunt Peggy! Also, home, health and happiness!” And, I’m going to take this opportunity to let you know that Karen is coming right along with baby number three, due at the end of January! I, for one, can’t wait to meet this new little person.
The newest member of our crew, Zach, has certainly fallen right into line, and is quickly learning all of the ins and outs of what goes on around here. He’d like you to know that he is thankful for “family, friends, parks and rec(the show), apple slicers, HBO, and high tops.” Well said. And, we are thankful for Zach! He has picked up our slack and is helping this place start to run like a well oiled machine. He also keeps us laughing, for which we are thankful!
I am thankful for these guys, for the work that we get to do, and for the future that is ahead of us. Also, I’m thankful for a healthy body that can run, jump and play, and for cool, crisp, bright sunny days.
We are hoping that you are getting to spend the day with friends and family, and that you find your hearts full! (and your bellies too!)
:: Carrie ::
Here’s something I bet you didn’t know: I have 10,000 honeybees living in my backyard. They are pretty amazing.
I’ve wanted to have a hive for a couple of years, and this past spring I finally got it all set up. Now I have a whole colony of bees making honey as we speak. I’m definitely no expert on beekeeping, I’m really learning as I go, but bees are fascinating creatures! They’re hard workers, that’s for sure.
So, how do you acquire a colony of bees, you ask? Well, they come in a box, which looks like this…
And, then you dump all 10,000 of them into the hive, which looks like this…
That’s an exciting moment. 10,000 buzzing bees are kind of loud. But it all goes okay, and then you put the lid on, feed them some sugar water every now and then, and you open the hive and check every couple of weeks or so to make sure everyone is doing their job. Then, hopefully by then end of the summer you have lots of honey to harvest!
I guess it’s not that simple, there are a few other important things in there, but basically that’s what happens. My hive seems to be doing well, there’s definitely a lot of activity going on, and honey is being made. The other day I took off the lid to see what was happening inside and I found that the bees had built up some honeycomb on top of some of the frames, and there was a little pool of honey just sitting there. So I tasted it, of course. It was good. My bees know what they’re doing.
Did you know that all of the worker bees are female? The male bees have one job – to fertilize the eggs that the queen lays. The females are the ones who go out foraging for pollen and nectar and bring it back to the hive. They are the ones who build the honey comb, and keep the hive clean and guard the hive entrance from other insects and creatures who want to steal the honey. They do it all, and it’s kind of exhausting to think about.
It’s fun to watch the entrance of the hive and see all the bees coming and going. Do you want to see? I bet you do! Watch really close and you’ll see some of the bees that come into the hive are carrying pollen in little pouches on their sides – it’s bright yellow. See if you can spot it…
:: Carrie ::
Well, it feels like summer is officially here! I hope you have enjoyed your day off from work today, but more importantly I hope you’ve at least spent a little bit of time thinking of those who have served in our military, and the sacrifices they’ve made for our country, and for us!
Here in Columbia we honor past and present military service men and women all weekend long – complete with an air show and a parade right through downtown. It’s great to see all the flags flying around town and I love hearing the low rumble of those old war planes flying overhead.
I’ll speak for myself when I say I always think of my two grandpas on this day. They both served during WWII, one as a merchant marine, and the other as part of a B-17 bomber crew. The sacrifices that they made, and the stories that I hear of that time in our history is awe inspiring.
Go thank a veteran!
I’ve been driving past this house for a while. I don’t know about you, but I’m always seeing something while I’m driving, but I’m too lazy/in a rush/don’t have my camera to pull the car over. Today, I pulled it over, jumped over a frozen ditch, picked my way over a huge dirt pile, and took some very quick shots in the razor sharp prairie wind. My prevailing thought was “poor shoe choice”. Ballet flats from work aren’t exactly great for 20 degree mudpie hopping.
The farmer who owns the land has been razing all the trees, which is so sad. This house is so similar to the house I grew up in. It’s sort of haunting to me that it’s falling in so terribly.
Wow. 2011 has been so good to us.
Thanks to all of you who read our blog and have supported and encouraged us along the way. Our hope is that YOUR next year is filled with joy and happiness and peace and blessings! We mean it, really, from the bottom of our hearts!
So many wonderful things happened this year! Here are just some of the highlights…
What a year! It makes me tired just to think of all that has happened. Here’s to even bigger adventures in 2012!