Outside of a small farming community in central Illinois spreads a quilt of corn, beans, prairie, and gravel roads interconnecting farms and families. The seeds of Walnut Grove gave rise here shortly after the turn of the twentieth century. Early settlers built the farmhouse in this quilt of promise connecting to Walnut Grove Road.
At that time the sixteen-acre Walnut Grove began its roots just south of the farmhouse. Accompanying the farmland the settlers planted walnut trees along the property line married to the road stretching more than half a mile.
In the 1950s the south end of Walnut Grove road was closed, creating what we refer to as a local attraction. You see, during the cold war, the Airmen of the local Air Force Base were often caught by our Grandfather “parking” with their gals… which lead to towing the airmen’s vehicles out of the mud with the tractor. Nowadays you might catch us giggling when we hear those popular country songs about getting mud on your tires.
Amid the walnut trees and encounters at the end of the road; Walnut Grove was a place of raising cattle, harvesting corn and beans, drying your laundry outdoors, bailing and hauling hay, making jams and jellies from the fruit trees, and canning the garden’s yield.
While much time was spent doing chores we always made time for fun. We enjoyed building hay forts in the barn, fishing in the pond, dipping into Mom’s cookie dough, jumping in piles of straw from the hayloft, horseback riding in the snow, and just being kids.
It was also the place of many beginnings and hard truths. Walnut Grove is where we took our first steps and spoke our first words. Barefoot in the garden, we learned the reward of the fruits of labor with the tastes of the seasons.
Out in the fields, we learned to steer Dad’s pickup truck, while he dropped bales of hay for the cattle. And across the pastures, we learned to ride and hang on tight with our beloved Appaloosa, Ginger Boy. During winter on the frozen pond, we learned to ice skate and appreciate a warm cup of Mom’s hot cocoa.
No matter the adventure, chore, or life lesson; we were always together. Walnut Grove is where we learned the meaning of family.
It is with our cherished Walnut Grove I bring Farmhouse Chic Living to you. So, kick-off your shoes and settle in for a slice of farmhouse living – barefoot and beautiful.