Whenever I have the pleasure of traveling the back roads of Indiana, I play a private little game of "I Spy." What I'm looking for are examples of one thing: old iron dinner bells posted atop posts in people's lawns. Usually the bells are near what I suspect to be the kitchen entrance, or are decked out within a piece of landscaping or flower bed.
The bells are reminiscent of a time when Grandma rang the bell to let Grandpa know dinner's on the table. Or, they rang it loud and fast to let the neighbors know something was on fire. Or, at least that is what I surmise.
You tend not to see such relics on lawns with ranch houses or other modern structures. These bells are generally part and parcel of older farmhouses.
There were two old iron bells on my family's property. One is hosted, I'm sure to this day, next to the kitchen porch. The other sat in a corner of the barn. When my folks' things were parceled out, I claimed the bell from the barn but then it sat in corner of two of our garages. It never made it to the front burner as far as the to-do list went.
Then a few years ago, before my season of cleaning out the attic, I decided it should leave or get an upgrade. We called our friend Monty, who makes jobs Brian and I don't know how to do look easy. He put up a post, then attached the bell.
I love it.
Last summer I adorned the space surrounding the pole with marigolds. I'll do the same come May. You can take the girl off the farm but you can't take the farm out of the girl.
What's in your attic? Yard? Barn? Basement or back of the closet? Probably more than you know.