While visiting my home state, town, and home place last week, I captured a few images that represent the life I used to live and the place I once ran free.
Growing up a country girl, I had the advantage of exploring the hills and woods that our eighty-acre farm provided.The pastures and woods became my playground and fantasy world. It was a place for me to escape when I was sad or, when I wanted to get out of doing the dishes.
Sometimes, I would fantasize about tying a knapsack to a stick and running away to the far end of the farm. “They’d be sorry!” But I always found my way to the house and back porch– my melancholy gone… my stomach ready for a snack.
I would pretend that my cats were wild tigers, only I could tame. Our cows were buffalo, the pigs, hippos. I followed the creek bed, jumping from on large stone to the next, my bare feet slipping into the cold stream. There were so many interesting finds along the way. Occassionaly, I’d come upon a fox den, dug into the creek bank.
When autumn turned the hard maples a bright red and orange, they became my shelter. Looking up through the tree branches, I was filled with awe–the colors so intense they took my breath.
The old country church across the road was a favorite place to explore. The door was always open. Creaking and groaning as I’d cautiously push it aside. There, before me stood what was once a fine sanctuary, its pews and podium still standing as if waiting for it’s parishioners to file in. The smells of old wood and dust filled my nose with imagination and a few sneezes. It was also fun to wander through the tombstones–many dating pre-Civil War. Babies and young children among those buried there.
One of my sister and brother-in-law’s cows gave birth while I was there. The protective mother wasn’t too keen on my taking her picture, and tuned her backside to me.
The corn stalks stood tall, quaking and rattling in the hot breeze, giving up their summer green for autumn gold.
When I was a child we’d hide in the corn before it reached its full height. Getting lost in a corn field, however, was no laughing matter. When I was in high school, I joined the detasseling crews– a good way to earn summer funds. In fact, that’s how I paid for my wedding dress.
The grain bin still stands near the barn. It’s fan waiting for the falls harvest.
There was fencing being done. My brother-in-law was in the middle of replacing an old fence south of our pond. I’d never seen red barbs before.
Many icons on the farm have come and gone, but this old gas lamp has stood in the front yard for over forty years. It was there when my brother left for Vietnam. It’s been there for family gatherings ever since. I hope it stands for many more.
The wire gate that used to open to the barn lot, now provides a nice backdrop for summer flowers. When dad wasn’t watching, I’d cling to the top and swing on it.
I’m so blessed to have this place to return to. It gives peace, inspiration, and gratefulness that I had this place to learn and grow.