I am a total urban/suburbanite and generally feel pretty out of place in the country but every year I look forward to Farm Day with GREAT anticipation! I physically start to relax when I get off the turnpike and start heading onto the two lane roads leading to Deb's family farm.
My friend Deb grew up on this farm in Pennsylvania and her parents still live there. When she moved to Washington after college we were part of a large and ever growing singles group at our church. Fifteen years ago a bunch of either single or newly marrieds started going up to the farm some Saturday in July just to sit under the huge shade tree by the lake, swim, canoe, eat fresh corn that was probably picked that morning, and generally just do some Olympic level hangin' out.
Now the "day" has evolved a bit. Farm Day is more like Farm Weekend for the many families that camp out over night. (Because we are serious camping weenies (see Borderlands post) we have never done this ... but our oldest keeps begging so maybe next year) When we were single or childless I remember a lot of volleyball games. This year the fifty kids that were there were launching water balloons across the lake to where all those lazy parents were just lying around in the shade. The kids are getting older and the conversations about them have shifted from preschool chatter to IB programs. (Although there are still a few of us with little ones happily sitting at the parental feet of those who have gone before us.)
Not to get too bogged down in tradition this year's innovation was a PIG. Or a HOG? Can you tell I'm not a farm girl - I don't know if there is a difference or not but this oinker was HUGE. And PINK. And after ten hours of roasting it was DONE. You have to be a committed carnivore to eat something that you can look in the eye. I'll post a photo when I can because - well - you have to see Hamlet's little snout and hooves to really take it in.
For we day trippers the day culminates with THE TRACTOR RIDE for the kids. Jim just pulls the huge trailer bed behind ye olde John Deere around the farm while kids snatch rasberries from the bushes or hop on and off to run along side. At this point the sun is setting and the light is beautiful. When the loop is complete everyone hops off to raid a superfantabulous ice cream sundae buffet. Next year I am taking more pictures!
While all of this is quite obviously just good clean fun for all involved it really is so much more than that. We have lived over half of our married lives overseas and being able to reconnect with people is always a huge gift. Many people no longer live in the DC area but travel from whereever they are to Farm Day during the summer. This is the one time I ever see a majority of the people who come. I love seeing how kids have grown. I love having long coversations with friends neck deep in the water.
Deb and Jim - again and again we thank you!
It is just a sweet, sweet time.