How we were lead to our farm by a time-capsule, a story and a dream: Part 1

Part 1 of 3

It was the summer of 1979...

"Someday, they're gonna tear down this house and build streets and a city through here," my twin sister Jill said, drawing a line through the air where she envisioned a road cutting through the orchard and right smack through our house. I could smell pie cherries from where we stood at the edge of our orchard. I didn't believe her. 

"We're too far out in the country for the city to ever make it out here." I glanced over my shoulder at our rustic Laura-Ingalls-style house. There was our little arch-top window way up in the peak of the gable where Daddy had built us an attic room, like Laura and Mary Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie. We climbed a ladder to our room and everything. No way would our house ever get torn down!

But Jill insisted, so one smoldering day we created a time capsule. Two twelve-year-old farmgirls with braces and freckles, we were certain our time capsule would impact the future in some fantastically important way. Little did I know it would be my own future the contents of that box would touch just thirty-four years later. 

We selected artifacts to go into a metal lunchbox. (Jill recalls a picture of Disney's "Rescuers" on the box, those mice from the Rescue Aid Society--I say the box was covered with Shaun Cassidy's dreamy face). The items we put into the box were the kind only pre-teen girls in the 1970s might think important (those future city folks would be so impressed!):
  • 1 Barbie ball gown
  • 1 painted pet rock
  • 1 sea shell
  • 1 snail shell
  • 1 Shrinky-Dink that I'd colored and baked in the oven
  • 1 green bucket of Slime (something from the toy store that looked and felt like snot)
  • 1 quarter (I'd changed my mind about the silver dollar)
  • 1 shimmery purple halter top (the one I wore the day Danny first held my hand)
  • and a note (who can remember what the note said)
We patted the dirt over where we buried the time capsule and life whizzed by. Then, when I was sixteen, my family lost the farm and we moved to the city (saddest day ever)... 
Thirty-four years later...

Today, the new Riverbend Medical Center in Springfield, Oregon owns what used to be our farm. At the back of the hospital, runs a little road called Baldy View Lane. This was the boundary of our property. Our land went from Baldy View Lane down to the McKenzie River.
Not long ago, guess what...Yep, we were told they were going to tear down the house our Daddy built.

"See. I told you the city was coming," Jill said, when we heard the news.
Our Laura-Ingalls-style house. Jill's and my 
room was way up there in the attic (boy, was
playing with our fire-escape ladder fun!)
This picture was taken right before they
tore the house down.

The kind folks at Riverbend explained how they'd wanted to move our house like they'd done a couple others in the area, but ours was too tall -- what with our third story room and all -- it wouldn't fit under bridges. They said we could take whatever mementos we wanted from the house. So, one drippy Saturday in March, Jill and I, and another sister, along with our husbands and kids, went out to the old homestead.
We dug up the time capsule... 

Amazingly, Jill still remembered where we'd put it! When we finally got it open, everything was still pretty much intact, though dirty and corroded. The plastic stuff held up the best, like the Shrinky-Dink and the tub for the Slime (though the Slime was history). The cloth things were somewhat disintegrated. 
Our kids were so excited! For years, they'd heard about the time capsule. Now they were tickled to finally unearth the thing.

Who could have known the house my Daddy built would get torn down in my own lifetime?

And who could have known it would me and my family digging up the time capsule in the future?

But opening that rusted little lunch box was like letting a genie out of a bottle. I'll tell you about it in my next post...
See the white handle of the lunch box?

The box was rusted shut
(poor Shaun Cassidy's face!). 
My nieces were dying to see what
 was inside.

I have too many memories of waiting for my little

sister to cross below, then "Bombs away!" I'd drop
my load of dirty laundry on her -- poor girl. I think
she's finally forgiven me!

Momentos: Jill and her husband 
took the ladder that led to our attic
room--she'll hang quilts on it in their
new house. I kept our old over-sized
mail box, which I will install at the 
lake house soon. My sweet niece
took a shingle from the wall and
painted a picture on it as a gift,
which she gave me as a surprise.
It hangs on the wall in our lake house now.
Joy -- Fearless Farm Girl,


  1. Wow! SUch a cool story. I love that all the kids were excited as well. I am all about making memories and you did that and then some.

  2. What an awesome story!!! Thank you for sharing that!! I just absolutely adored it!!

    1. Thank you Connie :-)

      I'm glad you liked this story. Hopefully you were able to read all three parts. Here's links to part 2 and 3, just in case (you can copy and paste these into your browser :-)

      Part 2:

      Part 3:

      Thanks again for taking the time to read this and leave a comment.

      Melody Joy, Farmgirl Sister #5290