Thursday, November 27, 2014

Build it and They will Come.....Home!

A gorgeous day on the Farm.

         A Thanksgiving Tribute

 On this day of celebrating all that we are thankful for, I will do the same. 

My blog profile states how I was a Navy brat for years and then was a civilian living overseas after that.  I was born in Pennsylvania, but moved to London, England when I was only six weeks old.  I’ve lived in other countries such as the Philippines, Cyprus, Italy (3 different times), Spain and the US states of South Carolina, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Virginia, Florida, and finally, Kentucky. 

During the early years on the Farm.

While all that was very exciting and I usually loved every moment of it, I never developed “roots”, but I always believed that – “home is where the heart is”.  During those years, I was either a child with my family, a wife with my husband, or a parent with my children. Either way, I was with my dearest friends and I did believe that home was where the heart was.  Through the years I have made many friends and left many friends in all corners of the world. And on nostalgic occasions, such as Thanksgiving, I think of each of them even more.  Fond memories are a wonderful function of our brain.  J

From living in so many other countries/places and being immersed in various cultures other than my own, I gained an understanding and acceptance of people being different from how I am. Traditions and holidays from around the world have always fascinated me, and my family has incorporated many of them into our own celebrations through the years. While this has made me feel connected to the world, I still was lacking that grounded feeling…that feeling of “roots”.

Gorgeous Wisteria growing larger each year!
When we were living overseas and would come back to the States to visit extended family and friends, I always felt a small tug of envy that the people we saw had “roots”. They could walk through their hometown and tell a story relating back years with all the same people. I could tell stories too, but my places and people always varied.  I guess they were as envious of my adventures as I was of their stability.

About 14 years ago, I decided it was time to finally be grounded.  No more moving from place to place; I wanted to make sure my children felt like they were from SOME  WHERE in particular.  Although it was a lifestyle change for me, I thought I was giving my children what I’d always been longing for.

We had owned homes other places, but when I bought in Kentucky, it was different—I bought a large tract of land. I like to think of it as our homestead!  J   The land had been farm land prior to my purchase.  I remember asking the owner what the land had been used for. Had it ever been a dump? What had they grown on the land? The list of questions was long.  And, I still remember his confused look while he simply answered that he had owned the land for over fifty years and before that it had been farmed.  J 

Imax, just hanging out under an apricot tree.

Perimeter fencing went up even before we moved on to the land.  This was more to keep our animals in than to stake my claim on the land.  Whenever I say “claim the land”, I get such a visual and not necessarily a nice one…..On this Thanksgiving Day, I will pause for just a moment to let you think of the contrast with how different the settlers had been from the Native Americans.  L

Our land was undeveloped grassland with a very slight gentle roll. There were no trees except at the very back of the property.  We had our work cut out for us; we built the farm from the bottom up. We put in paddocks, built run-ins, plowed a garden, planted an orchard, built the home and then landscaped. It has been a long progress and one that probably will never be completed – there will always something to do.  

My oldest daughter was joined by my youngest,
 and they hiked together for just a bit
on the Appalachian Trail.
But while the trees, shrubs, and all other plants were beginning to grow roots, and become established, I felt the same thing happening for me.  Finally I had a place that I called home. I had never had that before. In the past when asked where I was from, I just always said, “Well, I was born in Pennsylvania but left for England when I was six weeks old.”  Now, I had the farm. And the dogs, horses, llamas, and sheep living with us are all our pets.

Each new generation should go forth, learn new things, meet new people, see the world, and gain a richer appreciation of life. One daughter has hiked from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail and is planning to hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail this next year to raise money for the research on Lyme Disease.  hikefor sponsor link      And, my other daughter is planning to go to graduate school in Europe.  
McAfee Knob in Virginia

Even though they are independent and long for adventure and to see the world, I know the farm, their homestead, and their mother will call to them and eventually they will return home.  J    Ah, yes, build it and they will come…..home. 

                                                                                           Happy Thanksgiving!

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