My husband is of course driving the truck. I rarely drive anymore, in part because we have one vehicle he takes to work during the week and also because I still crawl in the back as needed to take care of the kids. My brother is stuck between the carseats this time and it’s rather like a mini break for me! Except for the fact that my husband is driving, of course. As we took an exit in the middle of nowhere (my grandpa lives in the middle of no where) my brother made fun of me for pointing out the car coming to our right. Which he later (5 minutes later) recanted as my husband careened around a tight curve with the trailer on back exclaiming, ‘Oh! A curve!’ Yes, honey, a curve. What a surprise you couldn‘t see a mile away.
But being mom I am adept at tuning extras out and finding immediate peace around me. Especially in the country, the drive is beautiful now that we are off the interstate. I’m so thankful to live in an area that’s green. Even this time of year, as the autumn brown begins to compete with the green, its so alive. The fields are ready for harvest, the combines are out going down the endless rows of corn and beans. The trees are beginning to turn gold, red and orange. The air has an unmistakable chill to it that necessitates jeans and a warm sweater. Add a cup of hot chocolate, bowl of soup and fresh bread and you have the recipe for my favorite time of year.
The trip north this time is for my grandpa’s belated 80th birthday. He has been saying he is 80 for the past few years but this year, he truly is. Grandpa will tell you he’s an ‘ornery old cuss’ but I can count on one hand the times in my life I’ve heard him raise his voice. Last time we were up at the farm I brought a list of questions to ask him and that was really fun. This trip though was all about cleaning the house to make it presentable for the party. He tries to keep it up, but it’s a big house and he accumulates a lot of stuff quickly. Change is difficult, too. My grandma passed a couple years ago after 55 years of marriage and it is hard for him. As we clean and fix the house , I imagine he feels like there is less of grandma left. He did well with this attempt, surprisingly. There is even talk of new couches to replace the ones probably 30 years old; we rearranged and de-cobwebbed, painted, scrubbed, etc. I couldn’t get him to buy into my ceiling fan idea, but my guess is he will warm to it eventually. My task is to get matching frames for his pictures and put them on the wall(by Christmas). We have a large family, so there will be a lot of pictures!
I’m thankful my daughter gets to experience some of the farm I knew. She’s had fun running around, getting dirty in the barns and picking cockleburs out of her hair. The only animals left are chickens and a dog. Some of the buildings, like the corn crib and farrowing house, are now gone or dilapidated. There are no more soft kittens in the haymow, in fact it isn’t safe to climb in anymore. And oh! The countless hours we spent up there coaxing mama cat and babies out as kids! But it’s still the farm to me. There are so many wonderful memories, bugs and smelly pigs included. I feel really blessed to have learned how to work hard and play hard here. The farm is my heritage, and I’m proud of it.
|Mommy(me), TBM and OLL on the farm.|
|OLL pretending to climb up to the haymow like mommy did as a girl!|
|Daddy, TBM and OLL peering into the hen house.|
|The biggest rooster! He hid during last fall's culling.|