I may live in the city at this point in my life, but I'll always be a 'country girl' at heart.
My family moved from the suburbs to 'the farm' in time for me to start the fourth grade. In childhood, my sister and I enjoyed all that living on 30 acres had to offer...raising sheep for 4-H, horseback riding in the fields, catching crayfish in the creek, and exploring every inch of the property. During daylight hours our only boundaries were to stay inside the barbed wire fence and to listen to the giant triangle my mom would ring when she needed us to come up to the house.
I left 'the farm' over 20 years ago to go to college, and while I love living in our neighborhood on the outskirts of our city, I do miss aspects of living in the middle of nowhere...and I can hardly believe that I'm raising rather 'citified' kids.
That's why I'm thankful that a few weekends a year my kids have the chance to spend time in the country.
My kids may be able to walk to several friends' houses, walk to our neighborhood school, and walk to the neighborhood pool, but they don't get to grow up with horses in their backyard. That's part of what is magical about spending time at Mama's...while the horses are way too old to ride these days, they do love being hand fed bunches of grass.
And because Mama still lives in the same house on the same property, my crew doesn't just hear stories about where I used to play, they get to actually see it. This year the day after Christmas was beautiful and sunny, so Ian suggested we take a walk to stretch our legs. I just couldn't resist the walk through the woods to 'the big bottom meadow' at the lower part of the property.
We were able to convince four of the kiddos to accompany us on our walk. As we strolled it was fun to relay memories of long hours spent in that meadow with my sister.
Then we visited several areas of the creek. Spots where we used to build damns, dig crayfish out of the creek bank, and try to step across the creek on stones without getting our feet wet...and we can't forget the winter we tried to ride a fallen tree across the deep part of the creek and ran back up to the house with our pants freezing to our legs. They listened intently and I loved hearing Caleb's surprise that I had ever been truly young...and crazy enough to attempt to pull some of the stunts I scold him for today.
A lot of memories came flooding back that day and now I'm looking forward to a summertime visit so I can allow them to experience some of the true fun of the creek!