I spent the last few weeks holding down the family farm while my folks were away on vacation. I had been looking forward to it all winter. A chance to relax & enjoy some quiet time surrounded by the beauty & comforts of my childhood home. Always the optimist, I had myself convinced I would enjoy the same great weather I had enjoyed during my last staycation. I was expecting a warm early spring. Boy, was I wrong!
My staycation began with an ice storm, which led to "Snowmeggedon" followed by the "Wind Bomb." Lucky for me, Grandma keeps her pantry well-stocked & Grandpa is a man of great forethought. He began building this farm almost 50 years ago. Grandpa Pillywiggin is a man with a plan, organized & efficient. Naturally, his farm is built in the same manner. There's a system to ensure everything runs smoothly, and it does. But this time was a little different.
The neighbors (aka my safety net in case of emergencies) joined my folks for the first week of vacation. They're great friends so I was happy to feed their outdoor wood stove & their kitties while they were away. In country terms, the neighbors live "down the road a piece." Their wood stove setup was a little different, a little smaller. It required wood every 12 hours on the dot. I was shown the ropes. It didn't seem difficult aside from the one fill each day that would have to be done in the dark.
But, after days of heavy snow & drifting without a county plow truck down the road... OMG! I had to dig deep to find that tough little farm girl inside me. Thankfully, a small piece of her remains because I sure needed her that first week! She kept reassuring me, "You're a farm girl. You can do this!" Together, we shoveled snow, chipped ice, chucked wood and twice a day we tackled that nerve-wracking, 4-wheel driving, drift-busting adventure down a barely passable road to feed the neighbor's fire. It was a challenging week.
I was grateful when it finally quit snowing. It took a lot of the pressure off and I was finally able to relax a bit & enjoy my surroundings. The farm looked beautiful in a blanket of snow. It was still freezing cold but the sun was shining.
One evening I stepped outside to watch the sunset and was surprised to find the full moon putting on a much better show.
The snow & ice didn't faze Tucker & Belle. They always have a great time together. Belle tries to teach Tucker how to be a good farm dog. She took him on perimeter checks every day and taught him to chase squirrels away from the bird feeder.
I never lacked for entertainment with these two, but I could have used a little personal space. They're both recliner, bed & blanket hogs! Yep, that's me below. Buried under 150+ pounds of love.
If you want them to move, you better offer up a treat.
Belle says be quick about it!
Grandma & Grandpa Pillywiggin returned home safe & suntanned with a suitcase full of gifts from the islands. We shared our adventures over lunch, talking until it was time for me to head north, back to my own little house. I missed Jason. I was tired & my muscles were sore but as always, I was sad to leave my folks & the farm.
Perhaps my little acre sensed my hesitation to leave the farm? For when I returned, a beautiful Welcome Home was waiting in my own backyard.