Monday, February 16, 2009

Trip to the Farm

From The Farm- Winter 2008

Last December, we traveled to my maternal family's farm in Alabama for the yearly family gathering. This land was purchased sometime around 1900 by my great-great grandfather, a traveling preacher. He built a house there in 1903, and remarried (he was a widower) soon thereafter. That house is still in use, and it's where we stay whenever we go down to visit. (note: I'm afraid none of these photos are of the actual house- they are all of barns and other farm outbuildings.) Every December my maternal family gathers there for a little Christmas reunion, with good Southern food, good company and a fun "white elephant" gift exchange. It's a highlight of my holiday season.
From The Farm- Winter 2008


I've been going to "the farm" since I was a little girl, of course. I knew my great grandparents well, and miss them to this day. I distinctly recall a time when I was in middle school, when I developed an interest in genealogy. I carefully prepared a cassette recorder and a list of interview questions to ask my great grandparents during my next visit. They were mostly basic questions, such as "where were you born?". I was astonished when my great grandfather responded, "Right yonder." and pointed to the back bedroom!
"There?!?" I asked, "In that room?"
"Yup." he said, and that was that.
From The Farm- Winter 2008


My great-great grandfather and his second wife had only one child, a boy. My Poppy. When Poppy eventually married, his young wife came to live with him and her in-laws on their family farm. Their children, including my Grandmother, grew up in that house as well. And later, my Mother would spend some of her childhood right in that same family home. It is special to me that now, my own children get to be there, in that house, on that land, in that history.
From The Farm- Winter 2008


There are so many relics of our family's past there- even my great-great Grandfather's wagon survives, stored away in the barn. All of Poppy's tractors are still around- the barn is a little boy's dream. Babyman loved sitting in one of the old tractors.
From The Farm- Winter 2008

He was ready for some action!
From The Farm- Winter 2008

Babyman's middle name honors my great Grandparents. I think he's a natural.
From The Farm- Winter 2008


From The Farm- Winter 2008

Walking around the farm offers so many wonderful details, so many tiny bits of lore. Almost anything you stumble across probably has a story.
From The Farm- Winter 2008


The boys are mostly oblivious to all this nostalgia- they simply love being there! The dirt, the rocks, the tractors of course, the animal tracks and trails. . . but last trip, it was all about a ride in my Uncle's pickup truck.
From The Farm- Winter 2008

A normally forbidden treat, we climbed into the back of the pickup truck for an open-air ride down the lonely dirt road in the forest. There were no other cars, and it was a slow easy ride in the beautiful afternoon.
From The Farm- Winter 2008

With just one tiny stretch of asphalt road, we were back to the farm in no time.
From The Farm- Winter 2008

The boys talked about it for weeks!

I look forward to going back- maybe I'll take the boys down this summer for some serious vegetable harvesting.
From The Farm- Winter 2008

4 comments:

Robin Easton said...

WOW WOW WOW!!!! I am blown away by your photos here. They are soooooo beautiful, touching, expressive and clear. You children look so healthy and alive. I am so proud of you for that. They look like they love everything they do! Babyman on that tractor where he looks up and smiles is beathlessly beautiful. His face personifies all the joy in the Universe. You are so beautiful that you see this beauty around you and are able to catch these precious moments. I also love the water reflection. I too photograph a lot of water and reflections. Thank you for taking the time to put ALL these photos up here. They are truly unforgettable. Sending you hugs, Robin PS I've been running way behind due to work and had almost no time for blogging but I am soooo glad I saw this today. It is FILLED with Life. :0

Bird said...

Oh holy crap (forgive my language) but if this post hasn't just...well...I'm not sure I can put it into words. My life and the life of my direct ancestors was so choppy and rootless I can't imagine what it must have been like to hear your great grandfather say he was born right there on the farm. And to think your children are now playing there too, that's a lot of continuity, a lot of family. I have to say it makes me feel kind of wistful. As Robin says, this post is so touching.

foolery said...

Kit, the photos are magnificent. Your children are radiant, lit from within -- I love to see children in moments of pure joy.

And because I live on an old farm/dairy/ranch (all three), I see things maybe a little differently; these photos look like some version of home to me, maybe in the future, and without the many, many layers of history and antiquity your family has, but all of the warm fuzzies.

I really enjoyed this post, Kit!

-- Laurie

Kit said...

@ Robin: As usual, you bring joy wherever you stop. I'm glad you liked this post. :) I'm grateful for every moment I'm able to photograph into memory, because there are so many that I forget. . .

@ Bird: My paternal family is scattered, too- marked with divorce and well-meaning people who've just drifted out of touch. It's so nice to have this other side of my family whom I also love, that makes the effort to hang onto their roots and see each other, even if it's only once a year for some of us. I love that the land of our history is still a part of my life, now that I'm old enough to really appreciate its presence.

@ Laurie: Thank you, for stopping by and for your kind words. I love that this post can sort of feel like home for you- and that you feel the warm fuzzies, too. :) Perhaps one day, YOUR farm will have the continuity and history to go along with all the beautiful memories.