There was a time while living in Chicago when our family might have moved to Boston, Massachusetts. I have no idea whether it was a job transfer or a new opportunity. The subject was broached when all of us were together. Our parents discussed this for some time as a possible venture. Eventually a decision apparently made not to leave Chicago. How different all our lives would have been had we made another choice and moved northeast once again.
After this very important decision was made another seed of an idea seem planted within our family. My father took extremely good care of the 2 flat we lived in as renters. The next door neighbors, the Hickeys, Especially the senior Hickeys were encouraging my parents to get a place of their own. Daddy's job seemed secure. Economy was picking up. England and Germany were at war. Terrible things were happening over there. Some families had sons in military service. We would know this for a star was exhibited in front windows of these homes. I remember listening to the news on the radio in our living room the day Germany moved into Poland. This news was so frightening.
There were popular books being marketed. One my parents read was Five Acres and Independence A Practical Guide to the Selection and Management of a Small Farm, which would give support for daddy to ‘give such a venture a try’. Even some films were produced which probably encouraged daddy in his pursuits. He was bit with that bug. We have a paperback copy of 5 Acres on a shelf. Apparently Gran read it, also. [Beth Fellows Stewart, that is]
Eventually he would take short drives out west of Chicago into the farmland. Perhaps weekly, he’d take turns with one of us children as companions, a date with daddy, looking for a small piece of farm land. We loved our date with dad and exploring some exciting prospects.
|Big White Letters Sunnybrook Farm|
I recall on one excursion I accompanied him when he was seriously considering a particular farm. As I awaited in the car I read the words Sunnybrook Farm painted in large white letters on the front of a big red barn which seemed so romantic to me.
I had read the storybook, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin. This, however, was not the one we chose.