elisabeth, family, holidays, thoughts, travel

My Happy Place

This is the farm on the eastern shore of Maryland where my mom grew up. Jan3003In my mind, it will always be “Pop-pop’s Farm,” although my Pop-pop has been gone for over six years.

I have many happy memories of this place. Jan3004

I remember the feel of the patches of velvety grass in the back yard. My sisters and I would lay on the grass in the summer after picking blueberries from Pop-pop’s fenced patch. That grass seemed to be a magical variety that grew only in Pop-pop’s back yard.

Holiday mornings at Pop-pop’s were usually begun with the sounds of my parents watching I Love Lucy re-runs in the den below the back bedroom. Those TV episodes would goad me out of bed.

I remember the smell of Pop-pop’s cooking blueberry pancakes and scrapple for our breakfasts.

The taste of scrapple, blueberry pancakes, and crab cakes–for me–are tied to this farm.

The sight of the stately black and white farm house, with the quintessential red barns clustered just beyond, are enough to make my heart swell again with the sense of belonging, of roots, of family.Jan3013Jan3014

Happy childhood memories…

playing in the sand of Pop-pop’s long lane, getting lost in the cornfield with my cousin Laura, eating peas fresh from their pods in the field, creating make-believe houses at the base of the giant tree by the somewhat mysterious little white house, climbing the fruit trees, playing in the backyard which prompted Pop-pop to pull his camera out of his shirt pocket to snap pictures of us cousins, Pop-pop passing around his yearly box of Whitman’s sampler chocolates for us all to eat, tramping down to the red shed with the white door so we could look in the antique pink or yellow freezers for an ice cream treat

…endear this farm and its people to my heart.

I’m thankful I could share the farm and my extended family with my children this Christmas. Jan3015After visiting the Moodys, we drove twelve hours in the car Jan4002Jan4003all the way to Preston, Maryland where my Uncle Calvin and my cousin Matthew work the family farm. Jan3001They gave us a tour of one of their chicken houses. Jan3005Jan3007(Talk about sensory memories–the chicken house smell is enough to make your nose hairs stand on end!) This house alone has 20,000 chicks while there are usually about 56,000 chicks on the farm at a time.Jan3009

The boys rode with Matthew and his little Maybelle in one of Uncle Calvin’s giant tractors. Jan3010Jan3016Silas was so thrilled when Matthew let him drive that he grabbed the wheel and started turning for all he was worth!

I loved being able to see the old farmhouse and barns again, and we even drove over to take a look at Matthew’s new farm that is home to a Sears catalog kit barn and kit house. Jan3011Jan4001Wearing the Mountaire hats from Uncle Calvin, the boys were enamored with the idea that they were farmers for the day.Jan3002Jan3012

My view of the farm is overly romanticized, but it holds a magical place in my heart, and everybody needs a place like that to hold on to.

1 thought on “My Happy Place

  1. I so love reading your beautiful words about the farm. It is such a special place. And I went back and re-read your post about letters from Pop-pop–obviously I’d read it before since I commented on it, but I really enjoyed being reminded of it.

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