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!