• Cara Van Leuven

Rainy History

Friday, Saturday and Sunday were supposed to signal the entry back into the Fall/Winter show season with Penny. I was ready -- and really looking forward to seeing my comrades and some friendly competition. However, the rain came. And it was relentless for hours upon hours. It stood and stared and mimicked my idea of riding and jumping a horse. The show was canceled.

And so I headed to the library. The quietest room I found was the Genealogy Room. It was lined with thick and tired books. Some were only held together by cheap binding. Others looked older than I -- that's a real antique. And so began the study of the farmhouse.

After hours piling over heavy books, home-grown and hand-written journals we found the man behind the farmhouse. His name was Jones Tontz, a progressive farmer who politically served this country. My heart ached for those ancient photos of the old brick countryside home, but I came up empty. Not entirely much was discovered about Jones. We know he had three wives, was considered a successful farmer and had a brother who put Saline (now Grantfork) on the map with the endless acres and the businesses he owned. Jones was also a Republican while his neighbor, who also politically served, was a devoted Democrat.

It's been a fun history lesson, and I hope Jones' wives didn't suffer, but were, er, not murdered at his hands. My friends have dark ideas.

It should be mentioned that before heading to the Highland library, I stopped in Marine that also has a library. A tiny, but albeit, library nonetheless. They were showcasing a book sale and I spooked at the idea that maybe it would be too busy to get some work done. When I walked in I was greeted by several cotton-headed women and the overwhelming scent of moth balls.

I asked about a quiet space to work and the possibility of using their wifi since ours at the house had ceased due to the rain and lightening storm. I was informed there were no tables since it was only one room and they've never had internet.

And that is why my heart beats for the countryside. I love the rich history. The simplicity. The fact a mouse ran across our family room and a bird flew in through an open door after that. It's a lot of life and death out here, but it breaths. And it's a breath that is as sweet and musty and as lovable as that of a horse. It's home.

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