Monday, July 4, 2011

Dad preached, we went along for the ride, final chapter...

I have such a love for farms!

I know that it goes back to our summer travels. We were city kids, and when we traveled to small towns in the midwest, many of the members of the little churches where dad preached lived on farms and raised crops, animals, etc. For them, it was a living and a way of life. For us, it was a whole new world and we just loved it!

One summer in Michigan, we were invited for lunch to a local farm, close to the church. The wife had baked big loaves of homemade bread that smelled so good we couldn't stand it... we all followed the scent into the kitchen. My brother, at the time a young teenager, took her invitation, sat down and ate one whole loaf of that bread, with real butter and homemade strawberry jam!

They let us go out to the garden and pick carrots and potatoes. It was a miracle!! You pull the green tops up and out pops a real carrot! We were so thrilled with the whole idea that we kept pulling them up, even the ones that were so small there was no carrot at the other end yet.

Another time, we visited some church people for dinner, and behind their home was an apple orchard! The smell of those apple trees was more like an apple than an apple pie baking in the oven! There were swings hanging from the bigger trees and we jumped on and went as high as our legs could pump.

Right down the country road was a creek that flowed under the road. We sat there and dangled our feet into the little stream. It was clear and cold. Then we walked across a field to the swimming hole. It was a huge deep round body of water surrounded by enormous trees. It was very still and even a little dark in the shade of those trees. There was a heavy rope hanging from one of them and we grabbed the rope, sailed out over the water, screaming the whole way, and dropped in.

That whole summer was kind of a 'sonjaberry finn' adventure!

Everywhere we traveled, our hosts were the kids whose parents and families belonged to whatever church dad was preaching in. They showed us the local sights like no one else could. We saw how they lived, a different world from what we knew, and the memories have stayed with me for a lifeime.

I'll always be thankful for the experiences of visiting small town America and getting a taste of farm and country life. I'm still 'city', but with a definite 'country' leaning!

And one more thing... small town America has some of the most special people I've ever met anywhere. They opened their hearts and homes to us and we could write a book about their kindness and hospitality... I think I just have, since I've written 10 blogs of those summer adventures!





14 comments:

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest Sonja,

Memories are amongst the most vivid things in our minds. Coupled with tastes, smells, MUSIC and special MOMENTS of emotions, our senses just lock in these treasures that take us back to a time of freedom as children. I LOVE YOUR BROTHER'S GUSTO to eat that whole loaf of bread...mmmmmmm!!! I COULD DO THAT, in fact I did when I was in FRANCE!! I want to thank you so much for visiting me with such kind encouragement and words Sonja; I want to write. I want to touch hearts and minds and your words that my ability is from GOD make it ALRIGHT WITH ME because sometimes I do not feel completely skilled or knowledgeable enough to be an effective writer. I want to really LEARN how to write, but when all is said and done, you either have it, or you don't, and I am hoping that as simple and limited as my vocabulary is, I pray that the spirit will help me listen to what I need to say. I guess I am a bit like Moses!!!!!!

MANY THANKS for your consistent friendship.BLESS YOU!!! Anita

Karen said...

Sonja, I enjoyed this! You are a good writer and I know that God uses your talent to bless many people.

Nancy said...

Isn't it wonderful all the summertime memories God has provided for us....
I can remember having our pastor and his wife over for lunch after church and they would stay the afternoon until the night services......I loved having them except I had to be on my best behavior and that meant I had to watch my mischieious behavior....Being very young, I have heard stories of many things I said that caused my mother to want to hide....

We did have fun thought, didn't we?

See I was on the other side of the fence from you but we had fun didn't we?

Barbara said...

Such wonderful memories, I remember some of those times myself, only my dear husband was the preacher traveling all around, hugs my friend

Farm Girl said...

I love it when you share your memories. I like hearing what you did when you were a kid. I bet it was fun.
I know when we used to go visit my cousins and they had one of those huge old barns that you could jump out of and not die, it was amazing. I love that you got to do all of that.
I enjoy reading about it.

Maryann said...

Sounds like such sweet times. I could almost smell the baked bread and apples with your description.

GWENNY said...

Dear Sonja,
You just described most of my childhood. Oh what sweet memories. Thanks for reminding me to cherish the simple things in life. Did I ever tell you I grew up on a blueberry farm the first 10 or so years of my life?
Blessings and hugs always~
Gwenny

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I love these post...I travel back in time to my grandparent's home with each of your retelling. My granddad was a traveling preacher and I am sure his stories were similar. Now if this heat wasn't so bad I would head out to pick blueberries and take in some of the farm air.
Thanks for sharing...just so much fun to read and how refreshing...I am smelling homemade bread...well in my imagination.

Vee said...

Country is country everywhere...you could have been writing about my own corner for it all sounds so familiar. Actually, the way you tell it sounds pure delicious. I can just imagine how pleased the farmer's wife was to see your brother enjoy the bread so much. Nothing makes a heart much lighter than seeing a teenager eat.

Debbie said...

I missed this! And I hope you think about another chapter to end to the book, even though you think it's the final chapter.

Sonjaberry Finn made me giggle!

Whenever you write these, it reminds me of stories that my dad used to tell of traveling with his evangelist father. In particular, he would talk about the wonderful people and their farms.

This was wonderful as usual.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

In your travels as a child, did you ever pass through my small hometown of Wilmore, KY? Asbury College and Seminary are there. Just wondering...

Wish I could have been on a few of those rides with you.

peace~elaine

Shirl said...

These have been so much fun to read. What an interesting life you have lived!

Sassy Granny ... said...

Oh yes! My own kin were farming folk, so whenever we visited them, this city girl made her way to the chicken coop and pea patch. I loved that my aunt had fresh pies cooking on the screened in back porch (and never scolded little fingers searching for a sample).

I so miss those days ... but I've never made provision for having chickens:)

Marsha Young said...

Sonja, Thank you for this wonderful series of posts. I have enjoyed them so much and they do bring back some wonderful memories of days gone by.
blessings to you ...Marsha