My summers at Grandma’s farm are some of my most cherished memories. I loved spending all day outside running around the yard with my sister and/or cousins.
I know memory is malleable so my memory of Grandma’s farm is always sunny. I suppose by law of averages it had to have been raining at least once or twice while I was there but I have no memory of that, just pure sunshine and happy days.
At Grandma’s farm there was a sandbox, which I don’t think we ever played in, but we used to walked around balancing on the narrow edges. There was a large, squeaky swing set that had one of those two-seater see-saw swings. My cousin called it the pee-pee squeezer because when you got going high enough the angle of the swinging poles met the metal of the seesaw poles and, if you were sitting close enough, well you can imagine!
My grandma had a very large garden that she would weed early in the mornings, she was always barefoot in the garden––I remember my her telling me about how she loved to run around barefoot, even though her father had spent good money to make sure all the kids had shoes, (she grew up in the Great Depression); I still remember the look on her face as she told me, I could tell she was reliving the joy of those barefoot moments while also appreciating the sacrifices her father had made to provide shoes. I mean, wow, it was a beautiful moment and I treasure that she shared it with me. She rarely spoke of her childhood or her past. She was very good at living in the moment.
There was also a long row of crab apple trees all along one side of the garden and my sister and/or cousins and I could spend all day outside, climbing those trees and eating as many apples as we wanted. We would pull kholrabi out of the garden and take it inside for Grandma to peel it for us so we could walk around eating it like a lollipop, holding it by the stem and chomping the crunchy turnip.
The big door to the garage was always open and inside the garage there was a freezer/fridge. The fridge was always full of Grandma’s cannings and yummy pickles, as well as spooky things like head cheese––I was going to say this is spooky for kids, but let’s face it, even for adults it’s spooky; some people love it though, weirdos! BUT… The best part of that freezer/fridge was the other side, the freezer side that was always fully stocked with Freezies, Revel-O’s and Drumstiks! There was no limit to how many we could eat. We could go back to that freezer again and again if we wanted to. Even though you’d think a kid would take advantage of that, I would say we still ate way more fresh carrots, kholrabis and apples, etc than we ever did freezies. I believe the wisdom of being connected to nature like that and eating fresh from the ground kept those nasty sugar cravings in check. Unfortunately, due to commercial farming and other unsustainable practices, I don’t think a lot of our food has the same nutritional content nowadays as it once did.
There were a couple of tricycles at Grandma’s farm, a big one and a small one, also a few of pairs of old roller-skates and skipping ropes; sometimes we would tie the skipping ropes to the pole supports in the basement and then whip around them on rollerskates. There was no shortage of things to do at Grandma’s farm, it was never boring. Actually, the phrase “I’m bored” probably only ever came out of my mouth once in my life, maybe twice; my mom always said “only boring people get bored.” It’s true.
When I imagine Heaven, it looks a lot like summers at Grandma’s farm.