Monday, October 6, 2008


I visited my parents Sunday. They still live on the farm where I grew up, and on the next farm live my sister and her family. I love the farm and I love my parents. My mom is such a kind person and dad is such a codger! I was glad I made it out there before noon so I got to see him (home for lunch). Do farm people ever really retire? Not when there's grain to haul!

While we sat on the porch, watching the afternoon go by (there were no hummingbirds to keep us on our toes, they've all flown south) I realized a striking difference between my family and Mike's family. A large part of what I like about visiting my family is that we are all comfortable with silence. Just to be together in one place is enough, no one needs to keep up a conversation. You can get lost in your own thoughts while enjoying the company around you getting lost in their own. Don't get me wrong, I love Mike's family. A girl could do SO much worse when it comes to in-laws. But sometimes the chattering gets to be too much for me and I wish I could turn the volume down.

Visiting the farm in the fall means going home with lots of treats! Mom, Sully and I ran around the whole place on the (new, shiny) golf cart picking apples, peppers, herbs to dry and a special fall treat: hazelnuts! Yum, I'm looking forward to making some homemade hazelnut-filled chocolate goodies!

Above are husked nuts, ready to be taken from their shells and roasted quickly in the oven. Below are what they look like in their husks.

Mom also gave me two jars of her rhubarb jam! Delicious! And I had asked a week or so ago if she still had a picture I remember her hanging up every Halloween because I wanted to make a copy to hang myself! She did the mom thing and gave me the original. And a companion print to go along with it! This picture always hung in our entry hall an I remember being scared by it until I was old enough (and tall enough) to see the lady at her dressing table and understand the title "All is vanity."

Next time I'm out at the farm I'll have to take some pictures. The apple tree nearest the milking shed (where we kept chickens and the mules) was SO full of apples and against the white pealing paint of the barn it was quite striking. Also, the "big" barn (think classic barn shape but white, not red) might not be there much longer. Mom is corresponding with someone who buys old barns, takes them apart and relocates them, turning them into houses for (I'm sure) extremely wealthy people. But here's what made me feel wealthy last night:

Some of those apples became skillet apples which I ate over ice cream!


  1. The food looks fabulous! I love skillet apples (we call them fried apples), and those pics are quite scary, I can see why you remember them.

    I totally understand about the quiet conversation. I recently visited my daughters who are off at college, and when I returned home, I certainly appreciated my "conversationally challenged" husband's silence. :)

  2. I've lived all over the United States, but Illinois will always be my home. My heart is nestled in the country. I love everything about it, the food, the quiet, the tremendous beauty. I'm working as hard as I can to get my kids a farm before they're too old to treasure it. Thanks for the reminder of the simple pleasures of farm life. ;)

  3. I too grew up on a I miss that lifestyle..the gardens,homemade ice cream (peach was my favorite),my mother in her apron..I miss it all but I really miss the I miss them.

  4. Oh I like those pictures. Very creepy.

  5. What a great fall weekend! I love the fall bounty. And I also love just sitting around getting lost in thought. I like talking too, but it is nice to just sit and enjoy.

    Thanks for submitting your post!