Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Walk on Memory Farm

You've heard of 'memory lane', well I was on my 'memory farm' today and I got to take my children to experience a place from my youth. My girls aren't yet old enough to appreciate the magic of the place they visited today, but I do. I remember all the details of that small little farm and most of it was the same after 20 years. Even the smell of the person's home was the same and it was so comforting to me I just kept breathing it in and remembering.
To share a bit of the experience, imagine driving up a little back road and turning off onto a hidden side road back into a neighborhood that can barely be seen for all the grassy fields and trees. You drive to the end of a small street and to your right is a half  circle drive with wildflower gardens nearly hiding the front of the house. As you climb out of the car, you are surrounded by flowers and shrubs and behind the garden nearest the house you can see parts of the cluttered front porch. As you go toward the porch, there is a bubbling little pond to your right with bright orange gold fish surfacing and lily pads spotting the dark water. Poking out from under and around every corner are clay animal figures and sculptures.
A chicken sculpture.
She sculpts little whimsical animals and castles and people out of clay and fires and glazes them herself when she visits her parents in Arkansas, and over the year her collection of clay critters has grown considerably. It was so fun to see them all again!
So now you are on the big covered porch where old wicker furniture sits and more clay animals and you are hidden behind the green screen of the garden plants. In the house are new hardwood floors to replace the carpet I remember, but it matches the rest of the rustic homey feel, and the fireplace in the living room is decorated in an eclectic country theme. Lots of stained wood furniture, and comfy well worn couches and chairs and rugs, lots of rugs, most of them handmade.
The back windows look out over the back garden and down into the donkey and sheep pasture and that is where most of my memories begin. In that pasture I rode my first donkey bare back, had my first rotten egg fight, and my first rotten tomato fight. To the left of the pasture is where I butchered my first chicken and helped collect eggs in the hen house. In the very back of the property is where a small lake is hidden where me and the woman's boys use to swim and farther is a creek where we use to build small dams out of rocks and sticks. But back to the house.
Around the back of the hen house use to be the pigeons and rabbits, but now the only rabbits that remain are a couple of holland rabbits that continue to copulate like....well rabbits. Their offspring have then been released and live in the surrounding wood line. They appear on sunny days out in the pasture munching grass and are mostly wild now. They are the cutest little brown and white rabbits I've ever seen and are probably continuing to multiply with the locals.
Today when we arrived, the male rabbit who was responsible for all the wild babies running around had recently been thrown out of his abode with his 'wife' so she could have a break from having babies. He was not very happy and was waiting by the door to her pen. He would only hop away from his station if you tried to touch him. We passed him on our way to the hen house to see the new baby chicks. The main hen house is too rough so the babies and their mother were in the greenhouse. Wow, baby chicks are cute. Just a day old, they were fluffy fun.
Kinsey was even brave enough to hold one, but I had to catch them because the mother was a good mother and kept hiding them under her wings and body. I had to reach up under her butt and grab a squirming little ball of fluff. It was good to realize I still got some mad chicken handling skills even after all these years.
Momma chicken hiding her chicks under herself. Such a good momma.

Kinsey with her chick.
Then we went to the pigeon pen and saw their new babies. I gotta say, baby pigeons, called squabs, are about the ugliest baby creature you've ever seen. Kinsey wouldn't pet one of these probably because it was so ugly and not very fuzzy.
Then we went to gaze in the back pond as I reminisced about the time me and the woman's oldest son  helped her by cleaning out the back pond. We spent a whole day digging and chopping out water lilies that had overgrown the whole surface of the water. In the end we were barely able to lug the bulk of wet roots out and by then we were covered in mud and pond muck (which is something like silty fish poop and smells like poop). It was fun though and we caught lots of the goldfish in the mean time and lots of frogs too.
Ahhhhh, sweet memories.
The back garden pond.

Before we left I looked out her kitchen window too, where she has an extensive bird feeder station. I remember loving to watch all the beautiful birds who would come to eat in her yard. Today was much the same, with quite an array of different birds feeding and waiting in the trees for their turn at the feeders. Next I used her 'sheep' bathroom which had even more sheep figurines and stuff animals than I remembered. The whole thing is nothing but a bunch of sheep memorabilia, sheep pez dispensers, sheep Christmas ornaments, you name it, if it has a sheep on it, it will probably find its way to that bathroom. It was fun while I washed my hands to pick out the items I remember from my youth.
Then it was time to go, but I think I shall try to go again while I am in town. There was something so incredibly satisfying about finding a place I had loved so dearly as a child so much the same as I remembered it. Even the small additions didn't seem out of place. Her gardens had grown and changed, but the flower cutting garden was in the same place, the veggie garden was the same, the pasture area had grown and there was a horse where there had never been one, but it was so much the same. I could have cried, but I don't know why except that that house is the closest thing to what I've always wanted in a house. The house itself is spacious, the yard is part barn yard, part veggie garden, part pasture and part flower garden. She's had so many dogs over the years that the deer no longer bother with her beds, and the results are beautiful.
It was certainly a very special day. I think I shall visit next when it is sunny and not raining. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

abbie said...

It sounds like you are having a wonderful visit back home! What a beautiful place :) Happy for you!