Friday, June 29, 2012

Back to the Farm

Mom and Dad moved off the Homestead right before Halloween last fall.  I'd been back a few times to help move things to their new house, and then when we gathered on the morning of Dad's funeral.  But Sunday was the first time when I truly went back to the farm, to the place where I grew up and we lived as a family for what seemed like forever.

This picture reminds me of when my sisters and I were little, only the kitties were PUPPIES!

Christopher and his cousin from his mom's side are anxious to show off the little furballs!
We were on the farm for Annamae's first birthday, but look who was born just that morning?
Tim and Maryellen set up some really fun games.  The water balloon toss was especially welcome on a hot day!  (As you can tell, their garden is growing really well....hopefully we'll get some rain to keep it that way!)
I partnered up with Mark so he could throw me a balloon right in the sun.  I managed to catch it, but the next time around I wasn't so lucky!  I think I took this picture after we were out of the competition.
The Birthday Girl with her cake.  Nothing like babies and cake ... and lots of frosting!!
Present time....
...and I hope that Mae fits into this patriotic tutu for a little least until the 4th of July?  It was my first attempt at those cute things.  Happy Birthday, Sweetie!!
Tim had some "wet diapers" which you had to try to throw into the bucket. (They were watered down, not "real" wet diapers!) Check out the bucket lid ;)
Somehow a water fight broke out.  Wynne got a retaliatory bucket from her daddy...

....but it felt pretty good!!

Paul said "Forget the water guns...
I'm gonna throw my kid right into the wading pool!"  Poor Payton.
It was a fun diversion from an emotional afternoon for me.  I don't know how my Mom and sisters felt, but it was bittersweet being back on the farm.  Every corner of that place has a memory of childhood and young adulthood.  Do you see that maple in the foreground?  There used to be a much larger one in its place...only 17 short years ago.  I say "short" because the time went by so quickly.  Paul & Marla and Mark & I had our wedding receptions on the farm, and we can remember that big oak tree being part of the backdrop for a lot of pictures. 
Go back a little further and it was the home to a raccoon.  Tim's dog Robbie climbed a ladder to look down into the hole of that tree and sniff out that coon.
Go back a little further and it provided much-needed shade for many days of play in the front yard.
See that fence for the pasture?  I remember when Mom had the Fink boys eating dinner at our table with us, during the installation of that fence.  Before that fence was another one that stood between the potato patch and the driveway.
Walk along the long gravel driveway to go down and get the mail...or walk down that driveway when you were on a pity pot and pretended to "run away".
Ride along that driveway with Mom and go just a short ways up the hill to get Dad for dinner.  Sometimes take lunch right out to him, working in the fields.  
Look down from the fields, over the pasture, and back to the farm.  See the sheds, the corn cribs that Dad built, the cows walking their trails down to the gate to get ready for another milking.  Swissy leading the way with her big, beautiful brown eyes and thick, tan neck.  Sbaahhhhhhhhhhhhhs.  

Dierks Bentley sings "Every Mile a Memory".  

How about
"Every INCH a Memory"?

I'm so thankful that my brother and his wife can live on the Homestead and raise their family there, to keep old memories alive and to build new ones of their own.

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.--Luke 2:19


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