I’ve recently taken on a new job. My photography work had slowed and I began cruising Craigslist for any interesting postions that might be available. That’s when I saw the post that simply said, “War Eagle Mill.” I sent in my resume and within a couple of days was hired to work on the first floor.
War Eagle Mill has been a favorite destination of mine for a very long time. It was rebuilt in 1973, or started in that year, so it must have been sometime around then that the Mill became a destination for my family. The big red mill with its water wheel, the dam and the rapids below (that are excellent to float on inner tubes), and the wonderful smells and sounds of the interior, come together to make a great place to spend an afternoon. And now I spend almost 9 hours a day, four days a week, surrounded by these wonderful sensory enhancers.
People from all over the United States, and other countries as well, visit this mill. During the fall show it becomes a beehive of activity, filled with all the fun and excitement of an art and craft fair that has been going on since the 50’s. The employees of the mill begin gearing up for this show months ahead of time. Personally, the War Eagle Fall Fair has been a highlight for me that holds many memories of family outings and good times with friends. Vendors from all over, with all kinds of wares from artistic pieces to bubble makers, plan for months ahead to be there.
The other cool thing about working at War Eagle Mill is reconnecting with the area. In 1989, my then husband and I built a home about two miles from the mill and sold it in the early 90’s. It still stands proudly, looking much the same as when we left it. The folks in the area nicknamed it the pink elephant. Standing three stories, painted a proud pink, the house created a stir during the building of it and even now can be described as the three story pink house on the curve and folks know the house.
Building this house was an event in my life that represents so much to me, one being my first experience of building a house from the ground up. We lived in a campsite on the first floor due to being so far from town (and because of my lack of love for camping it was an elaborate site with all the luxuries that could be afforded with limited utilities). Until the 400′ deep well was dug and a primitive bathroom installed, we took baths in the river at the end of a long day. I was in the best shape and experienced some of my happiest times during the six months it took us to complete the project. We didn’t have a set of blue prints, but started on one floor and decided what to do on the next two as we went along. The third floor was a totally spontaneous decision, realizing that we needed another one to hold the master bedroom suite we wanted.
Life, it goes in circles, ever expanding, bringing in new experiences but never leaving the old ones behind. I look forward to this next phase of life in my old neighborhood. I am continually amazed at how nothing goes to waste in our life experiences; God really knows how to create a life story. So glad to have him as my Grand Author.