down on the farm

lucy's teacher, mrs. dewitt, owns the lakeside equestrian center. soooo, guess where the four year olds at st. luke's episcopal day school got to go on their end-of-year field trip? we've enjoyed a few birthday parties at the equestrian center, and i don't know who gets more excited about going - lucy or me! it's a gorgeous, peaceful place. i love to watch lucy climb fences, ride horses, kick up the dirt and pet the animals. it always brings me back to the time i spent at my aunt carolyn & uncle sherman's. each summer i got to spend a few weeks on their farm outside of enid, oklahoma, where the wind howled like a pack of wolves and the dusty roads were sooner red. when i look back now, i imagine the setting as a sort of mix between a steinbeck novel and an old garth brooks song. the men were usually knee deep in harvest, and the women would spend much of the day preparing and taking out meals out to them in the field. we would have mid-day picnics in the shade of a combine, heat radiating from the baking steel. i spent my time chasing farm animals in the hot, wide open spaces, wearing the the worn playclothes and cowboy boots my mother would not allow me to wear to the country club back home. there was a shower off the mudroom in the back of the farmhouse, and i was not allowed past it until i had been IN it. so i stayed outside from sun-up to sun-down, and by the time i showered with that bumpy lava soap they had, little rivers of blood-red dirt made odd trails down my legs and arms and into the drain. it always seemed like such a long time to wait for that water to run clear. nights on the farm were usually spent around the kitchen table playing heated rounds of gin rummy, which my aunt was patient enough to teach me at a very young age. i was always sad to leave, as it always felt like home to me. i think i would have made a darn good farm girl. i'm so thankful lucy gets to experience this little slice of farm life every once in awhile - i think it's good for her soul. and mine.

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