Thursday, October 21, 2010

Escape #2: the farm

I’d known since my trip to Utah that my dad’s sister and one of his brothers were going to be at my grandparent’s farm after Conference weekend.  (Let me interject here—my grandparents have both now passed away and my dad & Ramona are living at the farm for a year while serving a mission in the Columbia temple.)  I had really considered taking the little kids and going down for a couple of days, but after we decided to go on Escape #1, and Escape #3 already being planned for the next weekend, I just couldn’t do it. 

On Monday afternoon we went to the park at the airport to hang out with my dad & Ramona for an hour before they picked my uncle up.  We had a great visit, they were understanding about why I couldn’t come down to the farm, and then it happened.  They mentioned that my uncle wasn’t coming alone—he was bringing his wife. 

Now I have to tell you about my Aunt Diane.  She is seriously the cutest 70+ year old woman I’ve ever met.  This is no surprise to me, because she’s been cute and fun at every age.  I love her and don’t get to see her very often.

I drove home from the airport, called Russ, and told him.  “I HAVE to go to the farm.  Aunt Diane is going to be there too.”

Russ, of course, said that I should.

After analyzing my already busy week, I decided that the only time it would work would be to leave first thing Tuesday morning, and to come back home by 7pm Wednesday for the Cub Scout’s Raingutter Regatta.  That way I could recover on Thursday, take the kids to art on Friday and get ready for Escape #3.

We went to bed early on Monday, got up, grabbed some clothes, and were off.

When we got to the farm there was a lovely surprise; not only did I find my dad & Ramona, his sister (Aunt Pam), brother (Uncle Chuck), and sister-in-law, (Aunt Diane), I also found his youngest brother (Uncle Mark) and his cousin (Gloria).  It was like the jackpot of relative love,  and I was the one lucky enough to be there to enjoy it!

When I got there everyone was sitting around and talking.

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Aunt Pam (who has been the main caretaker of the farm for many years) had a bunch of projects that she planned to work on that week.  We decided that afternoon to go clean out a small family cemetery where one of our ancestor’s sisters is buried.  When we got there it was all overgrown and weedy.

We cut all of the weeds down with pruning shears,  and raked all of the debris into the surrounding woods.

October farm 2010 015 October farm 2010 016 October farm 2010 018My dad decided to do his trimming with a chainsaw!

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Ramona and my little girls cleaned off the headstones.

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I think this was my favorite headstone.  (I say that facetiously.  What on earth would make people think it’s ok not to put a woman’s name on her grave???)

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When we got there the little cemetery was all overgrown, but by the time we left it looked much better.

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It was cotton picking time around the farm while we were there.  When we came into town we were behind this huge tractor, but a type I’d never seen before.   It drove very slowly and I was glad to pass it.  A few minutes later I saw another in a field of cotton and realized that it was a cotton picker.  It was so cool to see the cotton blowing into the cage part on the back.

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I took another picture as a car drove by to show some perspective on how huge these tractors were.

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Later we drove by a field where the cotton had all been dumped into a trailer.  (Sorry—the next 2 pictures were taken from the back seat of a van, but they were too cool to miss.)

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From the yellow trailer, the cotton would be put into the green thing below.  The green thing then compresses it into what is called a module—8’ tall, 8’wide, and either 16 or 32 feet long.  They are truly huge, and weigh something like 6 tons!  It was neat to be able to see all of the machinery at work.

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Tuesday night another of my dad’s cousins came to the farm to see everyone.  It was such fun to sit and listen to all of them talk.

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On Wednesday after breakfast I went shopping with Ramona and my Aunt Diane.  They took me to a store called Hamricks, which I had never been to before.  It was like clothes paradise!  We shopped for hours, and before we knew it it was way past lunch and almost time for me to leave.  Sorry, there are no pictures of Hamricks.  Or of the cute clothes I bought…

We hurried back to the farm, ate, and then the kids and I packed and loaded the car.  We were right on target to get Jared back by 7pm for the Raingutter Regatta, when I realized something was wrong with the tire.

There had been a board with a nail on it in the road just before I’d gotten to the farm, and while I had swerved I wasn’t sure if I’d missed it.

Turns out I got it.

With both tires.

My nice dad let Jared help him take the tires off, and then he took them down to walmart to get them fixed while I took a nap.

October farm 2010 052 While they waited Jenna played on the swing,

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Finally the tires were all fixed and replaced, and we were ready to leave.  But not without a family picture.  (This porch has been the site of millions of family pictures!)

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And one picture of the fields just before the sun was ready to set.

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We had such a great time.  One of the really great things about living in NC is that I am the grandchild closest to the farm, and I have loved being able to visit there regularly.  This time was even better—to be able to go and visit with my aunts & uncles who I love so much and see so rarely was a double treat. 

It was a great escape.


  1. It looks like you had a lovely time.



    Could Jeremy look ANY MORE like your Dad?! I don't think so.

  2. I have to just say that I'm FASCINATED by the farm! I think every family should have their own farm:).

  3. I'm so jealous of the "farm"...totally awesome...especially with family!

  4. Oh! How fun to have so many there :) It makes me miss passed days.

  5. Sounds like it was well worth the time you crammed it into! So glad you decided to go. =)