Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Farm

 After Jack and I were married,  his family moved out of town to the country.  They had a 120 acre piece of farmland that was the prettiest landscape in this area.  I have never found any place that equals it.  It lives in wonderful memory for our family.  When Jack's parents passed away, Mom in 2000 and Dad in 2001, the land was sold.  But our good times we had can never be taken away or forgotten.  The real name of their place was "Valley Brook Farm", but everyone just called it "The Farm".   It's where our Christmases, Easters, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and family gatherings were held.  They redid the old farm house...gutted it and made it their own.
The red house stood up on the hill and overlooked the valley that had a spring fed pond.  There was also a spring fed pond right next to the house.  When my kiddos were little it made me a bit nervous until they could swim!  The water in the house was spring good!  The pond near the house had a little waterfall that came from the hill behind and down toward the lane.  Sleeping in the bedroom upstairs with the window open and the sound of the water and frogs could rock you to sleep better than a  lullaby!
This is one of my favorite pictures of Jack's folks. (Jack & Nelda)  They always had a fact they usually had a couple of them running around the place. This collie was named Rocky.  I could list a ton of other names through the years...McDuff, Max, Sarg, Queenie, Calvin, Hobbs, Ladd...and a few more I can't remember!  Cats also had free reign between the barn and the house.  Never saw a mouse around there!
This is Driana with one of their's either Calvin or his brother Hobbs.  They were sweeties!  Driana just turned 19 so you can tell these pics are old!
 I hear people complain about their "In-Laws".  I was lucky.  Mine were the best.  I learned so much from Jack's Mom.  She taught me about canning and gardening and cooking. We had fun picking berries all over the farm or at other places in the back hills. We got caught in all kinds of crazy weather! We'd hop in her Volkswagen bus and putter out the lane for some adventures!  Jack's Dad would always say that we were suckers for anything that was cute or smelled good!  Dad was always there to lend a hand when it came to fixing something or helping anyplace around our house.  He and Jack were in practice together and often times he'd stop by after work, throw on overalls over his shirt and tie and get to work with Jack on projects we had going.  They were the "executive" plumbers, carpenters, car repair, or whatever!
This was their fireplace in the livingroom.  They put every stone in place themselves.  This pic makes me smile because it's one of the few times there was actually a fire going! The farm had natural gas wells so they paid nothing for their heat.  Consequently, the place was always really warm in the Winter and a fire would really make it uncomfortable.  But it was pretty to look at and Mom enjoyed decorating it for Christmas!
This is the pond down by the lane.  Fishing and swimming or just sitting on the dock was a great way to spend time.
My kids spent many Summer days here! When they were real little they often swam in the buff...the first time they went to a public pool I had to remind them that it wasn't the farm..suits were required!
The hills up the back lane were a fun hike.  I usually headed up there after Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners and other times with Mom to pick berries.
This view was toward the orchard.  The new owners have put up a huge out building in that spot.  To each his own I guess!
Winter brought many outdoor activities as well.  Sledding down the many hills or ice skating on the pond.  Much more sledding happened than ice skating!
Christmas was a favorite holiday for Mom and Dad. They decorated to the hilt and their tree was always ginormous! The ceiling in the livingroom was atleast 15-20 feet high...maybe more....and the tree took up half the room! Always fun to see the kids reaction when we walked in and saw it each year.
The Church used the farm too.  Dad was generous in letting the scouts use the spot near the orchard for camping.  The farm had once been a camp ground and it even had 2 outhouses. (I helped clean them more than a few times!)  The scouts had use of the pond and plenty of places to hike.  Occasionally they would camp way up in the back of the farm where they could hike in with their gear.
Good place to learn how to split wood!
I could go on and on about the family gatherings...weddings that were held here, graduation parties, cookouts, and sleeping on the screened in porch.  I know the owners now have redone it to suit them and are enjoying it.  But somehow I hope that the sounds of laughter, the smell of a campfire, or the splash of a dive off the dock can still be heard.
This is the look that I will always associate with "The Farm"....A happy smile and a wave that says, "come on in...the water's fine!" 


selvageedge said...

What a lovely trip down memory lane. What brought this to mind today?

betty said...

Totally enjoyed reading this; in your words not only did you describe the Farm, but you described the love of your family, of your in laws, of their love of the Farm and their family, and the wonderfully good times spent there!I loved all the pictures, but the picture of the tree, that was impressive!!

I would think after their passing and the sell of it, it would be hard to go by and look at it and see the changes, remembering how it was back then and the great times spent there!


gin said...

Wonderful memories for you. I love stories like these.

Julia said...

What a nice trip down Memory Lane. Can you imaging if all kids had such experiences now a day. So many don't even know their roots let alone who their father or relative are.

It kind of reminded me of my happy childhood.
Thanks for sharing these priceless memories.

PoetessWug said...

Isn't it a good thing that rebuilding cannot replace 'already built' memories?! :-)

rosaria williams said...

Ah, what a neat place to gather! My husband's family place in Montana seemed to have the same attractions and features, enough to still remain part of his dream for what a "real" place should be.

Kay G. said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! What wonderful memories for you and for your kids! And what a gorgeous spot it truly was!
Truly a wonderful post, I loved it!

Munir said...

That pond looks beautiful and so does that walk all around it. Thanks for sharing the pictures and the memories.


Thanks for this lovely post and for the photos that took me back to "the farm."
R's family had such a place as well. A farm house and a hundred +acres. Now the house has been redone and looks like something out of Better Homes and Gardens. I'm told the inside is beautiful. I have memories of the old house the way it looked way back when. Mom in her rocking chair rocking one of our babies, Dad outside saddling the pony for one of our girls to ride. Oh if only we could go back one more time. Instead I need to pull out my photos and go down memory lane again. Hugs, Barb

Vicki Boster said...

Oh Kay-- this is such a beautiful story. How blessed you are to have had such a special place to raise your children and make so many wonderful memories. I love all of these photos-- his parents were a lovely couple--

It's sad when we lose a place that was for so long a piece of our life. I'd pay any price to sit at my parents dining room table again :(


Christina said...

Geez Kathy! Another teary eyed reading. I loved it. I love family memories. I hope I'm building some good ones for my kiddos like you have for yours.

Susan Anderson said...

It must have been so hard to let go of this beautiful place. But you're right; the memories are yours to keep. And I'm glad you shared them!


Stacy Crawford said...

That farm was built by Kylie's family the helberts. So crazy how small this world is.

Shady Del Knight said...

I'm back from my three week break, dear YaYa, and I decided to drop in and catch up with you. I hope you see this comment.

Jack's parents' farm was a beautiful place. It reminds me of the farm in Pennsylvania owned by my aunt and uncle. Their house was similar size and the land behind it sloped in that same manner down to a cow pasture and orchard surrounded by woods. I enjoyed seeing pictures of Jack and Nelda, their dogs and various kiddos enjoying themselves on the property. Farms are such fun places to visit and they spawn many great family memories. It was also nice to see another picture of you, Kath. I insist that you looked like Liz Taylor or one of those striking European brunette movie stars of the 50s and 60s.

I will be playing show and tell on my blog the next three Sundays in a row beginning tomorrow. I hope you'll come by and see the pictures we took on our four state tour of the desert southwest and California.

I hope you, Jack, your mother, Eddy and all the rest of your gang are well and happy, dear friend. I'll talk to you soon!

gin said...

another cutie in your header picture.