This past weekend was a memory maker! We drove four hours south for my sister's 50th wedding celebration with family and friends. They had an open house at her church for a few hours in the afternoon, then family and a few close friends went to a place called the Pheasant Farm for dinner and more visiting and laughter. If you check the link, you can see that this is an incredible place out in the middle of nowhere.
On Sunday, Mother's Day, our youngest son wanted to take me for dinner. We were still in the town where my sister lives, not too far from the farm where we grew up. My father farmed there for many years, but after the four children left home, he got tired of the dust blowing from the neighbor's fields. At the age of 50, he sold the farm and moved north, taking some "homestead" land in the trees, clearing it, and starting all over. My dad was an awesome man.
The farm where we grew up was purchased by the same sort of enterprising, hard-working person. He turned it into a camp ground, greenhouse, nursery, with a restaurant in a train car. This place has become famous, with 4 1/2 star ratings in the restaurant guides. I had not been back to that farm since my father sold it more than 50 years ago.
When I suggested we go there, our son called them. They were 100% booked for Mother's Day but have a patio that is 'first come, first served' so we set off, about a 30 minute drive, again, out in the middle of nowhere, to Aspen Crossing. (The website is currently under reconstruction, but if you search, it will pop up and show other links.)
We ate our delicious lunch with me fighting to control my emotions. As soon as the owners found out who I was, we were given freedom to explore. The memories were like a flood. The buildings my dad built are still in use. The house was remodeled but still there. The trees my dad planted also still growing.
The best places were the pump house that is exactly as I remembered it, and my father's old shop where he taught me how to make boats and repair broken bridle reins. The smell of it was still the same, his distinctive hardware holders still on the walls. The grainery I helped shingle as a child stood nearby. Dad's barn also stands, still used. The woman who waited on us asked about a board in the barn wall with a brand on it. I said, "Is it a 'lazy H L?" She was surprised and said yes. That was my father's brand.
My mother had created a tennis court in the yard, and a bigger, more complete court had been created, almost in the same place. She would have been so delighted, as would my dad to see how his farm had become what it is today.
I am so thankful. My Mother's Day was about as perfect as a day could be.