Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Farewell Farm

This summer we took a road trip so I could say goodbye to one of my favorite places on earth - The Farm. My grandparents built a farm outside of Gainesville when I was probably Evan's age. It's their only house I have ever known; having spent weeks there each summer growing up, and several holidays as well.

My sweet grandmother passed away a couple years ago, and the family has decided its time to sell the farm. We went to help clean out the house, and for Ben to help drive a truckload of stuff for my mom. But mostly we went for me. And I'm so glad we did.

We visited beautiful Miramar beach in Destin on the way. The water on the Florida panhandle is crystal clear and perfect for the kids to play in.


We had lunch at a restaurant on the beach where the kids opted to try calamari for the first time ever, and weren't the least bit grossed out by munching on purple tentacles. After some key lime pie, it was time to wash the sand off the best we could and hit the road. It was also time for me to forget Ben's sunglasses at the table (the sunglasses he designed for Kenny Chesney/Costa Del Mar). Oops.

As we continued driving to the farm, I thought about how it was my last time I would get to drive to the farm. I have always loved driving those tree-lined Florida highways and have fond memories of sitting by my dad as we drove in the fog late at night from the airport in Jacksonville. Especially driving that last stretch of road and keeping an eye out for that red barn, so I knew we had made it.

During our time at the farm, I tried to take in every smell-- the house, the barn, the cows; listen to every sound-- the parquet wood floor, the door from the carport, the sliding doors, the early morning train, and the mooing cows. And of course I walked around and tried to get one last look at EVERYTHING-- the ponds (and I still kept my eyes out for gators like I did when I was little); the trees; the old, broken barn; the pastures; and the cows. I let my kids feed the animals, but they weren't my grandpa's cows. They weren't quite as friendly, but there were two red cows who would let us feed them.

Evan was so brave. He'd walk right up to them expecting a warm welcome. Lucas was more timid, for which he was probably grateful. On our last day Evan was feeding a cow and he turned around right in front of her. Before I could tell him to move or grab him, the cow knocked his little bum with her nose, and pushed him over. Cows aren't so polite when they ask for more food. Evan was quite offended and had his feelings hurt, but he was ok.


When we packed up the house, I was fortunate to have some stuff loaded for me to take home. We got a beautiful piano, a plant stand,  as well as several things from my grandma's kitchen. And I've used them all! It's so fun to be able to cook with my grandma's things. She was an amazing cook. After we locked the door to the house for the last time and loaded kids in the car, I remembered her old flour and sugar canisters and we ran in and got those, too. They're sitting on my counter, just like they sat on the counter at the farm.

(Oh, and the best part about having the piano from Grandma's house? It smells like the Grandma's house.) 

We had a great trip back to Austin. Lisa and Ben drove the truck most of the time; while my mom helped me entertain my kids, and look for Redbox and Dairy Queen locations to keep them happy. It was fun spending that time with my mom because we rarely get to talk that much now. She's so busy with her life in Albuquerque, and I'm busy here. And when we talk on the phone someone usually starts screaming or poking someone.

Now, there were plenty of other adventures on our trip. I'll write about them next :). I know Harry Potter pics are in high demand. But to tide you over, here is a pic of us attempting a family pushup.

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