To add to my mood, my dad's been talking about selling the farm and I've been torn about this. He already sold the other farm he owned and I have a little remorse about that since it once belonged to my great grandparents. Since my brother died no one goes out to the farm as much as they used to. My dad once dreamed of retiring out there, but now he rents out the house, rents out some of the land, and visits from time to time. I suggested we go out to check on things and do a little work this past weekend. Since we brought Riley with it really was a small amount of work, but it was good for my dad to see how his land looks.
It saddened me to see it a little overgrown, a little beat down. I love the farm and have so many good memories from there, but I'm also always a little sad when I'm there since my brother died 6 years ago. It was a place my brother loved and it's where he's buried as well.
My brother carved our family name out of wood. It's seen better days, but glad it's still standing. Next time we visit I'm bringing the weed wacker.
|Seriously, these buildings and this yard used to look far better than this.|
Riley and I wandered around a bit while Jesse helped haul some dirt, plant grass seed, and empty some gutters for my dad. The farm dog followed us around and I thought Riley would be totally freaked out by the size of this dog, but the dog was a gentle creature who didn't bark once the entire time we were there. I think she was just excited to have visitors since our renters (her owners) were gone for the day.
Not only did we find a deer hoof in the yard, but the dog was chewing on this animal hide. Riley was surprisingly ok with both of these things.
We checked out the farm fields, the swamp, the trees... it was no wonder that I was covered in ticks (and an inch worm) when we left. Luckily, I didn't find anything on Riley, although I still feel like I have ticks crawling all over me.
I'm used to seeing these fields filled with prairie grass and weeds as we haven't always rented out the land for farming. In fact, my dad has never actually seen the guy he rents this land too.
As I mentioned, my brother is buried on this land. He was cremated and buried next to this ash tree that we planted at the time. It's been 6 years this July and I'm impressed how this tree has probably doubled in size since that time.
|Playhouse my brother built for his daughter who is now 23 years old and has a baby of her own.|
|Inside the old barn|
We drove out through the path, but didn't get very far. My dad's farm is about 140 acres and probably has 5 miles of paths running through it. We used to clear them on a regular basis and previous renters often went snowmobiling or four wheeling which helped them stay somewhat clean, but they are overgrown and trees are down. We also had some loggers out there this past year and they ended up putting ruts in the path so they need to come back out and fill those in. Lots of work to maintain a farm.
|Driving through overgrown brush|
|Riley was actually playing with the dog - not running away from her.|
Loss does that to you.
For my friend, she left behind a daughter and I couldn't help but think about what if that was our family. What sort of legacy would I leave behind for my daughter?
Thinking about all this stuff helps you reflect on your life and make changes if necessary. And it just makes you sad. After awhile you move on and realize that you are just living life again. What about that bucket list you were going to start? The traveling? The devoted moments with your family?
But then you step back and think my life's full. I may not be filling every day or moment with good thoughts, or visits to old friends. I might snap at my kid or husband some days, and I don't write my aunts as often as I should, but my life is full. I love my family. I love my friends. I have great co-workers. I have a home. I feel safe. And most days I am happy and grateful that this is my life.
I'll go on those trips, and play hide and seek for hours with my kid, but I'll also have days that aren't the best. That's life and it's real.