Mixsonian Morrs and Barbara Larry

Rosalie Sells the Farm

Grandma Mixson’s old house had stood empty since Grandma had married Mr. Yawn two years before. Dad would occasionally go out and mow the yard, sometimes taking me with him. We would take 441, going out across Paynes Prairie, though Micanopy, past Betty and Billy’s house and then down the road to the Grandma’s house.  On the way Dad might tell me something about places as we passed them, but more often not, driving in silence which I didn’t mind as I enjoyed looking out the window at the countryside.  As we pulled up to the front gate and I would get out, unchain and open the gate, Dad would drive though and park the car.  After getting out of the car, I followed Dad up the front steps of the house, though the screen porch to the front door which he would unlock with a key on his keychain. Entering the house, I found it had a slight musty smell in part to the smoke from long burnt fires in the fireplace but now tainted with a bit of mold from the house being closed up.  The sunlight had a yellowish tint as it shown through the windows long overdue for washing, something Grandma would have done regularly.  Upon entering the house, Dad would look around, glancing in each room, sometimes pausing with a glaze in his eyes as he spotted something or another, reminding him perhaps his father, or him and his brothers in their childhood days warming themselves in front of the now cold fireplace. We proceed through into the kitchen and out the back door onto the back porch with Dad checking that nothing had been disturbed before going across the backyard, though the barnyard gate to the barn where the mower was stored.

Dad would check the mower, filling it with gas if needed, then proceed to mow the yard.  Dad started by first mowing around the edges of the Grandma’s once beautiful flower beds now filled with weeds, then in a pattern across the yard, sometimes going in a back and forth pattern, other times spiraling inwards.  After doing a few passes Dad then would turn the mower over to me and I would finish it off while he would sit on the front porch steps or tend to something or another in the house or barn.  Dad loved the old place and the memories of growing up there, memories he passed on to me. After finishing the yard, we would close up the house, return the mower to the barn with me closing the gate behind the car as we left to return home. Each time we returned the grass was taller and harder to cut with the house looking a bit more run down than the last time we were there.

Grandma one day told Dad that her and Mr. Yawn had decided to sell both their farms and build a new modern house.  They had found a lot right off highway 441 just past the town of McIntosh by Orange Lake.  Knowing how much he loved the old place, Grandma ask if Dad wanted to buy the farm. She said she had talked to Adrian and Arnold, dad’s brothers, and neither of them wanted it.  Dad paused, not answering right way.  Grandma went on to explain that if Dad didn’t want to buy it, that her and Mr. Yawn would sell it and give Dad and his brothers part of the money from the sale.   Dad did not know how much the farm was worth, but he knew there was no way he could afford to buy it even if he could get a loan.  Dad then asked the inevitable question, “How much would we get.”  Grandma replying that her and Mr. Yawn thought that  $4,500 was fair.  Well, that picked Dad up some, that was a lot of money, $18,000 in today’s dollars.  Mom was sitting there listening the whole time, she knew how much Dad loved the farm but was more practical, she leaned in closer to Dad and said, “Honey, imagine what we could do with the money, we could build that addition we been wanting.”  Dad looked at her, seeing how happy she seemed then turned back to his mother and said okay that would fine. 

Family at Mr. Yawn's farmSeated, Me front, then L to R
Betty, Janice Brenda, Karen, David with arm raised, Grandma Mixson, Mr. Yawn, Beth on ground

We had one last gathering at Mr. Yawn’s farm before he sold it.   Billy, being Mr. Yawn’s son, was there with Betty and their kids and we had a nice noon dinner then we played a game of football in the yard.  Corky showed up in his gold mustang and was quarterback of one team with me, David and Timmy against Dad and the girls, Brenda, Janice and Karen on the other team.

Family footbal game

The farms were sold, Dad and his brothers got their $4,500, far less than what the farm was sold for, but they were happy.  In the fine print of the agreement that was signed the brothers, irrevocably waived, surrendered, and relinquished any and all claims they have now or may in the future to share in any part of the estate of Grandma or Mr. Yawn.  In addition to the brothers giving up any further inheritance, the agreement also stated that Grandma gave up any claim to Mr. Yawn’s estate, even though she was his wife.   To his credit, Mr. Yawn did have a provision in his will that Grandma could live in their new house until she died or decided to leave the house, at which time the house would go to Mr. Yawn’s children.  In addition, there was a provision for a sum money to be placed in a trust fund to pay Grandma $200 a month until her death.  Dad didn’t give much thought about these provisions at the time.

Updated: 09-28-2022

House Addition