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Award! & FST: The Farm

August 12, 2012

Baby feeding Scout on the farm

I was nominated for another award – The Very Inspired Blogger Award! By the awesome Kristy at Bliss at Home. I just nominated 15 blog and I don’t think I could do another 15. Instead I’ll tell you that Kristy is one of the most prolific DIY bloggers I read and everything is her own stuff. I get really tired of these blogs that are little more than Pinterest-lite. Bliss is anything but that, so when I say that I feel honored she’s noticed a blogger who is lucky to get off a post a week, know that I truly mean it. She nominated a lot of other great blogs too, so please check those out.  I really like the WordPress community and how positive everyone always is. It makes blogging so much fun. Perfect strangers say the nicest things about you and that always feels great.

Instead of telling you 7 things about me you may or may not know I’ll share a little bit about the place I grew up. It’s a more thoughtful Family Story Time post than my usual, comic stuff, but I’ve been in a pondering mood so here goes:

The farm I grew up on was roughly 60 acres of woods with about 15 acres of cleared land. Most of the cleared land was on top of a hill. The Hill, as we called it, is one of the highest points in the area with a near 360 degree view of the surrounding area. My father boasted that it was the prime spot in East Texas. It’s a great spot for watching shooting stars and for viewing the Milky Way on clear nights.  The cows liked to graze on the Hill, being one of the only cleared parts of the farm with abundant wild grass. We’d go up there to chase the cows or hop around hay bales. When I was a teenager, the younger kids would go up there to play with Gault, our pure white Brahmin. Gault was quite a character and he deserves his own post.

We had two ponds. One was rain fed and built in my childhood. But the other was a spring fed pond that was there when we moved in. Because it was born from an underwater spring, it never dried up and the excess water in rainy times would bleed off into the creek that ran through our property.  It was a lovely creek – probably the only part of the farm that I could never loathe as a teenager. Parts of it were magical to my fertile imagination. Parts of it were also riddled with hidden water moccasins – real or imagined. (Water moccasins, also called cottonmouths, are fat, short ugly water snakes with a temper as mean as their bite is deadly.)  But on the whole, I loved that creek. It was also spring fed, and so would be cool often even in the hottest parts of the summer. If we found a section with particularly clear water and enough depth to at least sit in, we’d spend a week or two making enough ruckus to keep the water moccasins away for the foreseeable future and then finally work up the courage to get in and splash around.

If I was bored in the house, I’d just go running around the farm all by myself, although usually there was a sibling or two who would join. When you’ve got five, one of them is usually game for an adventure. Every once in a while we’d find a particularly magical spot, a spot with beautiful green grass growing and no trees. I called them glens – like in fairy tales. Meadow is probably a more accurate term, but that word didn’t possess the mystery and enchantment of the word “glen”. These glens were usually near the creek, as well, which only added to the charm. I have no idea how the grass got there, and I particularly don’t understand how the bahia-grass didn’t over-take it, but when I’d find one it was like finding a hidden treasure that was mine and mine alone. We’d set up camp there for weeks after finding one and make up all kinds of stories, playing all day until our mom’s ear-splitting whistle told us it was dinner time. Mostly about being runaway orphans, I suppose. (We were very into the Boxcar Children series for a while.)

Sometimes I miss that farm so much. But that farm – that place and time – is gone. When I was a child I knew every pathway, every bend in the creek, exactly which path was the fastest to the Hill from where I was. I had favorite trees, favorite glens, and favorite parts of the creek.  I knew which parts the cows favored, which parts the horses favored, and which parts the water moccasins favored, as well. When I go back, one of the things that strikes me is the unfamiliarity of the place. It feels very wild to me now. Untamed, unknown, and undone. My favorite pathways have been lost through years of disuse and even familiar trees are gone or grown so much that I no longer recognize them. The water has found new paths through the forest, so the creek bends and turns differently. The magic no longer jumps out at me. Maybe it’s hidden there – waiting for me to earn it again.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jeni Johnson permalink
    August 13, 2012 7:12 am

    Congratulations! 🙂

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