Green Acres is the place to be Dec. 1 and 2.
Richard and Alice Green will open their Venedy farmhouse and barn for the Country Christmas Stroll, a house tour sponsored by the Okawville Chamber of Commerce.
The 1923 country farmhouse, its windows and porch trimmed in red and green, is filled with treasures. You can't help but see something interesting, from vintage Santas to antique toys, from Coca-Cola memorabilia and old weather vanes to green Depression glass.
Thermometers cover a wall just inside the front door. "My husband collects thermometers," said Alice. "We have all sorts of stuff. My son says, 'When Mom throws something away, you know it's worn out. She doesn't throw nothing away.'"
Crocks, rolling pins, irons and an antique Home Comfort stove fill the dining room. A wooden Santa sled pulled by wooden roosters rests on an antique kraut cutter atop greenery.
"I like the old kitchen dining room the best," said Alice, 63, who owns Country & Lace Holiday Shop and Green's Decorating in Okawville. "It's got so much character with the old wainscoting. It's a typical old farmhouse kitchen. There's nothing fancy about it."
The Greens moved "across the field" into the farmhouse 17 or 18 years ago. It had belonged to Otto and Anna Brueggemann, Alice's cousins. Otto had died in 1986 and Anna was in a nursing home.
"Our son announced he wanted to get married," said Alice. "He was about 22. He said, 'Mom, you've always wanted to move over to the farm.'"
They painted, wallpapered and added a living room, sunroom/office and porch.
"A lot of antiques were here," said Alice.
She added to them. Now, the Greens are busy sorting and styling.
"I still have a lot of greenery to put around," said Alice.
"When your house is on a tour, you end up doing things you weren't going to do for five years," said Richard, a grain farmer, who enjoys talking about the house and its history.
He pointed out a collection of Otto's old license plates hanging in the sunroom.
"You can tell when we were in the war," he said, examining one from 1943. "They didn't want to use metal, so they used heavy cardboard. That was the war effort. They saved the metal for bullets and tanks."
An old bicycle is on the wall nearby.
"It's from 1917," said Richard. "We have old receipts of when everything was bought, and work that was done on that day."
Step-by-step records detail construction of the 1906 three-level barn built from family timber. It's also on the tour, along with tools and a 9-horsepower Fairbanks Morse engine that provided power to grind and transport grain to bins.
"There's a basement in the barn," he said. "They did all the brick work. It took about two years."
In the windowed farmhouse sunroom, Santa figures nestle among red plaid lunchboxes. Coca-Cola ornaments fill a little white Christmas tree.
"We have a little bit of everything out here," said Alice.
"The big debate is, I think it's my office," said Richard. "My wife thinks it's hers."
A bedroom doubles as toy room. A wardrobe brims with toys from four generations, including those from their three children and seven grandchildren. Tinker Toys, blocks, metal barns filled with rubber pigs and cows make children at heart smile.
Alice opened a small wooden box Otto crafted to hold dominoes and marbles. She showed a secret compartment, a child's dream.
Otto, born in 1903, was a skilled craftsman who even carved hearts in grain bins. He's the slight man in a hallway photo standing alongside firewood he stacked into a house shape.
The Greens named their place after the 1960s sitcom that starred Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor.
"When our son got old enough to farm with my husband, we had to think of name for the farm" said Alice.
That led to an annual "Green Acres" party that raises money for the Okawville museum. They and friends dress up as characters from the show, do skits and serve dinner.
"Green Acres" was added to the barn roof three summers ago.
"We were doing roof work on the barn. We had a high lift out there. When the carpenters would get done, we'd start using the lift. We painted the high points of the barn. We were watching a rerun of 'Green Acres' when it kind of clicked."
Alice did it herself.
"Those lifts have a nice, secure bucket."
For the house tour, the Greens will bring out farm equipment, small engines and old tools such as the twisted wrench fashioned by Otto.
Richard will load a Christmas tree on a vintage wooden wagon stored in the 1800s barn.
"It will probably be a cedar tree from out in the pasture," said Richard. "I have a couple small ones I have eyed up."
If you go
What: Country Christmas Stroll
Sponsor: Okawville Chamber of Commerce
What it includes: Tour of four homes, a church and a barn; a craft fair, flea market, festival of trees at the Community Club and more
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2
Cost: $10 or $5 for ages 6 to 12
Pick up tour tickets: Community Club Building, 511 S. Hanover St., Okawville