Our part of St. Louis county was originally a combination of forest and fertile farmland. The explosion of suburbs that began in the 1950s has reached the northern county limits, with the rare exception of the remnants of a family farm here or there. The farmhouse pictured here still retains several outbuildings, but no other vestige of the constant activity that transpired for a lifetime or two. There are no furrowed fields or chickens scratching in the dirt. There is no flapping clothesline and the pump is rusted from disuse. But saddest of all, and more evident when the trees are bare, is the state of the poor house - it is slowly sinking in the center, and its appearance is almost cartoon-like. The graying clapboard siding, the screened porch, the window and the green door all remain intact, just slightly askew. I love this reminder of another life and time, but mourn its slow demise.