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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas at Our Family Farm

~It's kind of exciting not knowing what's coming next.~

I know this is totally late, but the following text is what I wrote for the January Horsefly (one of the reasons I didn't do much posting after Christmas)...and wanted to share it with you. I'm adding a lot more photos than were printed in the usual (you know me!).

The View From My Saddle
You know, I’ve heard that it’s not a good idea to go back to a place you sold; it’s usually worse for wear and always a disappointment. In this instance, we didn’t sell our family farm, but when my father and uncle retired, they divided the farm which was located south of Hillsboro ,and my uncle sold his half a few years later.

After the new owners took over, they tore down the old two-story farm house I lived in for years as a child and replaced it with a manufactured home. That was hard to take. But the worst was yet to come. I remember the day I drove up the driveway for a visit and the old barn was gone. I was angry. I was hurt. A part of my life was gone…forever.

That old barn was the nucleus of my childhood. From hay forts and the smell of burnin’ calf hair on branding day to little girls spending a night in the barn for a sleep-over and getting my horse ready for 4-H fair; that old barn was my life.

Time has healed the wounds. I enjoy just remembering the way it was. My younger brother now owns the farm and has done wonderful improvements to not only the house that my mom and dad built, but has also built a cabin down at the irrigation pond.

The Irrigation Pond
My dad built this irrigation pond way back when.
It's fed by a stream. The deepest part is probably 13-15 feet or so.

The Cabin
The Cabin.
It comes with a pot bellied stove, running water, and electricity powered by a generator.
There's a half loft above with a bed. Totally cozy!!!

Hey~Move Over Bella Jo!
We spent Christmas Eve afternoon at the cabin playing
 the card game "Euchre" and eating popcorn.
Cindy Sue was trying to get a corner of the dog bed,
but Bella Jo was being a bed hog!

Every Cabin Needs an Outhouse!
What would a cabin in the woods be without a matching outhouse?!?

The Cabin at the Pond
Peace and tranquility.

Is this Seat Taken?
The dock sees a lot of activity in the summer. Big kids and little kids alike are out there
with their fishing poles catching bass, catfish and blue gill.
The boat ties up to the dock.

The annual family Christmas Eve gathering was held at the farm this year. My husband and I spent three nights there and enjoyed every minute.

Stuffed Cornish Game Hens
My favorite meal of all were these stuffed Cornish game hens...
(my brother's not too bad of a chef for a general contractor)

Fresh Boston Lobster
...along with these "fresh from Boston" lobster!!! Serious...they were still alive
when they got plopped into the boiling water...the best I've ever tasted!

Spending time at the pond and cabin brought back childhood memories of summers swimming and catching pollywogs and extreme winters when it froze over and the church youth group came out and we played hockey. Ah…the good ol’ days.

So, life goes on no matter what happens. Mom and dad would be mighty proud of our family farm now; even with the changes.

It’s good to know that the land is still in the family. It’s cared for and loved by all of us.

Well, that was our wonderful Christmas trip. The weather was pretty good going over the passes and we also got to visit friends. But, as always, we were sure glad to be home!

NOTE: The nursery stock you see in some of the photos is on the property that my uncle had owned. My brother raises a few Christmas trees, but leases out the majority of the land to another farmer.


mj said...

First, I Absolutely Love your new header photo!

Secondly, I'm so glad that your family farm is still partly in your family at least. It looks like a wonderful area and well cared for. I remember that area from when we lived in Portland. As I recall it was being developed very rapidly. I guess you're lucky to still have it be in agriculture. Is your brother a tree grower? Again, so glad that it's still so beautiful and has not been paved over for progress!

Sarah said...

even in an altered state, its wonderful that you have the ability to go back to the family farm. So many of them have been turned into neighborhoods. While I'd have a hard time seeing the old home place adn barn missing,I think its would be too traumatic to see my childhood world divided up into postage stamp lots with cookie cutter homes on them. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas. You and John are blessed in many ways!

Rhonda said...

I can sure commisserate with you about seeing changes (sometimes for the worse) when family property leaves your hands. I've been through that with one grandma's house, and the other grandma's farm, and then my own folks' place, where I grew up. IT IS HARD. But I sure enjoyed seeing this neat cabin, and that dish of baked hens and potatoes looked DELICIOUS! Thanks for sharing. :)

Crystal said...

Wow glad its a good memory for you now. And mmm did those cornish hens look tasty!

lisa said...

Dinner looked awful good! Bella Jo looked comfy even if she was being a bed pig! I know how you feel about family farms, the hubbies Aunt and Uncle have a farm that the hubby has been going to since he was a kid and we told them that we would be willing to buy it or at least have an option to if they ever decide to sell it.

Linda said...

I'd love to have a little cabin at the river like that one!!! I'm glad you had a good day. I haven't played Euchre for a long while;)

thecrazysheeplady said...


Rising Rainbow said...

That cabin is very cute and I wondered if it came with a matching outhouse........certainly better than a bush.

The food pics are making me salivate and I'm thinking I really missed out on lobster for the new year.

I remember catching polly wogs as a kid and the keeping them in a jar and watching them grow legs. Boy, those were the days.

Shirley said...

Precious memories, how they linger....
Glad you had a good Christmas visit with family.

Cheyenne said...

Isnt it strange how, as you get older, we seek to remember the past? I never thought I would hanker for the period in my past that had all of us together as a family.

Ed said...

Very cool, its good to get back to where we grew up every once in awhile the dogs looked nice and comfy..:-))

CTG Ponies said...

The cabin is such a cool building! I bet it's very peaceful to sit on the dock at sunset. Looks like a perfect holiday at the farmstead.

Janice said...

Great post, I know what you mean about going back. When we moved here 4 yrs ago it was grudgingly. I went back to see our other place and it broke my heart,it wasn't my childhood home but it was the place I was happiest in my life.Love the cabin and that Nursery looks pretty good from a distance.

Anonymous said...

What a great way to spend Christmas, and so peaceful looking. And the dinner looked yummy. :)

Susan said...

I like seeing land staying in the family. My childhood home was torn down and replaced with a fancy mansion. At least it wasn't a farm or ranch that was developed.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Looks like the changes were mostly positive. I figured you were going to say a cookie subdivision was placed on the property instead. That cabin and outhouse are adorable.
Sounds like a nice visit. And the cornish game hens and lobster looked delish!


AKPonyGirl said...

It's almost worse when the place stays in the family and no one cares enough to keep it up. My granpa would be furious if he could see the junk pile our homestead has become. It's a Century Farm but my remaining cousins have no desire to do anything with the place now. My uncle (the cousins' dad) is in his 80s and unable to do anything as far as upkeep. I have a feeling that the place will be sold when he passes away. Makes me very very sad.

gowestferalwoman said...

Well, it could be worse...when we went back to my husband's grandparents farm this year in Il, it was turned into a greek restaurant and the apple orchard was completely mowed down and made into a parking lot...kind of stood there in stunned shock trying to look for familiar landmarks...

Im so glad that theres family stewardship back on your families' land for new times and new memories - and we know Christmas trees are always fun to shape ;)!

BTW tell your brother that those lobsters and cornish hens are a wonderful ANNUAL family Christmas dinner tradition' to have :D!

Celeste said...

Well there I was enjoying the pictures of your family farm and then I got to the pictures of your Christmas feast and now I am starving! Damn that food looks so good :)

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