Yes, a farm.
Now, don't get carried away...my family never did any real farm work. My dad's gardening was about the extent of our farming abilities, so we left the animals and the hay farming to my uncles. Nonetheless, I grew up surrounded by acres of open pasture and barns filled with horses, chickens, mules, and at times, hogs. And of course, these guys:
Though we moved to "town" (it wasn't far...our new house was only about five miles away) when I was in high school, my mom still owns the house we lived in and the acreage. My uncle continues to live in the same house where he and my mom and their siblings grew up.
My mom now rents out the house where I grew, and Jeremy and I lived there for about a year after we married. We did a lot of work to the house, but it is a very old house and needs some major updating to be modernized. Still, we enjoyed our time in that house, relishing the peace and quiet of semi-country life. It felt a bit like coming home for me.
Addison and Mackenzie made their first trip to the place I will always consider a part of my home last week. My uncle goes all-out for the 4th of July--slow-cooked bbq, chicken, pork, etc. It's not the huge gathering it used to be, but we braved the heat and took the girls to visit this year.
It was such a bittersweet feeling to watch them standing at the same fence I used to slide under, waiting for the day I was finally big enough to climb over. The gravel they couldn't keep their hands out of is the gravel of the very same driveway I walked countless times back and forth between my grandfather and uncles' houses and my own. It was on that driveway that I learned to ride a bicycle, a motorized scooter, and a four-wheeler. It was where I first learned to drive a car, beginning with the times my mother would let me scoot over beside her to steer down the length of the driveway, always stopping me when we got to the paved road.
The house I grew up in is at the opposite end of that driveway.
All those years ago, I would never have imagined I'd be standing on that same gravel road, watching my own little girls discover some of the joys of farm life. I only wish my grandfather and the uncle we lost last year were there to see them...how they would have loved it!
There may be other families in the old house now, and Jeremy and I may not ever relocate back to that plot of land, but it will always be a part of me and a part of our family. It's where everything began in my life--both my childhood and my life with Jeremy. I am so glad the girls got to spend a little time there. If they have anything to say about it, I have a feeling we will be back to visit the cows again soon!