It seems as though I have many places that I consider to be “Home”.
But none will ever compare to this place.
My real Home.
The only one I’ve known since my first days on this planet.
Winters at Grandma and Grandad’s pond. Ice skating. Sledding.
Catching orange salamanders.
Playing in the crick. Flat rocks. Small waterfalls. Building dams.
Ringing bells echoing through the woods “Tanya! Kasey! DINNER!!!”*DING!* DING!* DING!*
Accidentally staying out past dark. Running home because there could be “things” in the woods.
The smell of fresh cut hay. Open fields and woods to explore and get lost in.
Surprise kittens in the barn!
Fireflies at night.
“Don’t fall through the floor in [barn] Number 2!”
Fresh Pulla (Finnish coffee bread) at Great Grandma’s. Thanksgiving dinners at Grandma and Grandad’s.
Camping at Anni and Eric’s. Running inside from camping at Anni and Eric’s because there was a “thing” in the woods.
Driving the tractor. Riding on the tractor. Riding on the hay wagon. Learning to drive a car at the barns. Laps with the car in Great Grandma’s yard. Then laps with the car around “the block” (a 3 mile loop).
“Mindy” the German Shepherd. Mindy coming through the field to visit us.
“Lady” the Doberman. My Great Grandmothe’s best friend and protector.
Fresh peas from the garden. Strawberry picking on the hill. Cherry picking on the hill. Apple picking on the hill. Summer evening rides in the truck bed in the fields on the hill … then to get ice cream … freezing but still riding in the truck bed.
Walking across the field (above) to Grandma and Grandad’s.
Burying pet rabbits.
Wishing for unicorns. Stars. So many stars.
Short lived horse riding lessons. Naming our cows after ‘General Hospital’ soap opera characters. And then one named Mary.
Getting shocked by electric fences. Getting good at limbo from being shocked by electric fences.
Helping move cows from pasture to pasture. “Get sticks! It will make you look bigger! And yell if they come at you!”
Finding more surprise kittens in the barn. That NEVER got old.
Catching fireflies while Mom and Dad sat on the porch and listened to the “oldies” station.
Wrecking old scooters in the yard.
Sledding down the plowed driveway “luge” … … … an unnamed sister flying over the barrier of plowed snow, down into the gully.
Each time I go back I reminded of these memories, and more that pop up as I spend more time. The memories that we keep making and that are still yet to be made.
We lost the 93 year old Patriarch of our family – Grandad – in April. We gained a new addition, my brand new niece in April. A first time Aunt and Uncle, we are! My parents are first time Grandparents. My cousin has two beautiful kiddos, and they once again live on this land – just yards away from where we would camp and get scared by the “thing” in the woods. They run their Maple Syrup business here. Small voices can be heard playing outside through the woods to the right, and soon to the left (once the baby is old enough to giggle and yell). Once upon a time my Dad and his sisters were the babies here. And a great time ago, my Grandad was a child here. My parents got married in Grandad’s yard here. My sister and her husband will have their wedding celebration in Great Grandma’s yard here. This land has seen the birth and growth of our family, and it’s also gone through many re-births itself. Always farmland, but with different purposes. Always teaching us lessons. Always helping us grow. It’s in that process now. It forever will be.
I’ve moved away. I’ve lived in the city and in the suburbs. I wanted to be near people, places and things. I’ve wanted to explore the who, what and why in the where. But I always come back. Whoever I am, wherever I am, wherever I go. This is the place for comfort. For reliving childhood. For walks through the field or exploring the woods. For simplicity. For remembering who I am when it seems that the world constantly and consistently tries to force on you who you should be.
Over the summer, after Grandad had passed, Josh and I went for a walk down to his house. We poked around a bit, Josh ate an apple from the crab apple tree, we stood and looked at the house for a few minutes. I tried to visualize our family of the past there during summer get-togethers, hanging out. I was young, and the memories are foggy, but they are there. He hugged me and then we found ourselves at the edge of the field seperating the houses. We picked wildflowers. It was a Dog Days of Summer morning and I don’t know how it began, but we picked for atleast 45 minutes. We found lots of fun flowers. Buttercups, Black Eyed Susans, Queen Anne’s Lace, Daisy’s and items that added “interest” to our creations. Sticks. Blooming Bird-Ox. (It’s really pretty when it’s not matted into cat or dog hair). We got 2 old “vases” from the summer room (An outdoor once screened in pavilion with a sauna attached), water from the pond (I almost fell in) and brought the bouquets home to be judged by the family. (I won.) If it weren’t for the heat and starving bellies (We hadn’t eaten breakfast yet), I could have stayed there hours longer. The feeling of peace, happiness and being 100% in the moment with my husband and that land will stay with me for a very long time.
I can be anybody I want to be and it lets me.
It’s open space.
It doesn’t judge.
It knows my life.
It’s seen me fall.
It’s seen me thrive.
It’s helped me cry.
It’s helped me laugh.
It’s celebrated with me.
It’s grieved with me.
It’s watched me go.
It’s welcomed me back.
It’s my inspiration.
It’s “My Home”.