Perhaps as a result of my semi-southern upbringing, I enjoy visiting. No special occasion is required. You only need the desire to stop by and spend some time with friends and family. It’s a time to catch up on the week. Talk about the events of the day or share information on common acquaintances.
It’s understood that visiting is not a formal occasion. No one is going to wait on you, though visiting often involves food. To underscore that point, the best kind of visiting takes place in the kitchen.
At the farm, visiting often involves sitting near the wood stove, enjoying its warmth. Debbie and the farmer will be there. So will Sarah, the farm’s official ambassador and mouser.
As the wood pops in the stove’s woodbox, the kettle steams and the conversation ebbs and flows. Laughter punctuates the stories told and comfortable silence gives time for thought and reflection.
Visiting may be an art, but it is not pretentious. It’s democratic. Anyone can participate, even you. Go visit with someone you know and polish up those conversation skills you’ve let become rusty.
Late summer farm lunches make up some of my favorite memories. Baked beans, fresh greens and vegetables, water melon, pork, and sometimes cake, pie or cookies. The farmer and the hands come in from the fields and the barns to wash up. They’re tired and hungry, but intent on getting to the table.
Chairs and benches scrape the floor and bowls are passed clockwise around the table. At first, there isn’t much talking as they begin to shovel in everything they can get their hands on. But, eventually they slow down and begin to talk. Mostly they tell stories that inevitably lead to laughter and then more stories intended to top the last one. I’m sure there is some truth in each story, but I’m never sure how much to believe. That’s ok. I like the laughter and the good hearted ribbing. The tall tales are the means to a light hearted end.
You’d like these people and you’d enjoy being there. You’d be honored to sit with them and eat their food. Not many people receive an invitation.
Just leave me bit of that cobbler. Yeah, the blackberry. Is that cream? I’ll take some of that too. No thank you, I’ll get my own tea from the pitcher. Would you like me to top you off?
Sarah watches every step of the sausage making process. She doesn’t try to get close. Instead she waits patiently. She knows that, at the end of the day, some of the sausage will end up in a skillet over the fire and that she will receive her share.
There are times when the quality of light is a pure joy to me. On a recent visit to the farm, the sun and clouds combined in a way that seemed to defy the overcast sky.
Here is a second example. The scenery behind Jason and Charley almost looks as though it’s been painted on canvas. To me, the light feels surreal.
Do you ever experience light in a new or amazing way?
Catching Melinda checking in on the new calf that was born two weeks ago. The wee bull is a male and is not normally named as they will be sold at market.
Melinda on the other hand is a keeper. Big Laugh, bigger heart.
There was a lot of music on the farm over the weekend. The fun started on the back porch and ultimately ended with a cake walk in the big barn.
Unfortunately, the rain was steady all day long and the crowd was small. Still, we managed to have a great time. I actually like when the music is officially over, but the musicians hang out and continue playing on their own. Playing for each other and themselves.