When we purchased these few acres in 1985, this farm needed help! Buildings had fallen in disrepair; bull thistles reined. They towered over our heads, their stalks as thick as our wrists. Yet bull thistles were the least of our worries. The roof of the old farm house leaked and the plastered ceilings were falling like rain.
We fixed and patched, covered the walls with wall paper, and then lived luxuriously in the grand old farm house. The Baby Bears had lots of room to run. They learned to roller skate in the long hallway upstairs and aimed their BB guns in the hand-dug basement.
Meanwhile … this Momma Bear was happy. She had space to garden, land for planting apple trees, evergreens, and shade trees.
Papa Bear didn’t understand the need for dirt and green things but he truly believed if Momma Bear was happy, everyone was happy. So Momma gardened.
Today we grow on five acres.
All the old buildings (including the old house) are gone except the old leaning-farther-every-year barn. It still provides a home for the most talented flier of birds, the barn swallow. We are loath to pull the old barn down. What would our barn swallow friends do when they returned in the spring to find their beloved home no more?
2014: Now grandchildren are beginning to join us as we work this land. What joy to have them follow us to each garden and field as we till, plant, and weed! Hopefully, dirt and green things will someday make each Baby Bear as happy as it has made this Momma.
2019: Our house and farm rings with laughter and hard work as our grandchildren join us during the summer. Gently, we teach each to work; how to plant little seedlings, how to pull in and pin down irrigation lines, how to fill and weigh each bag of lettuce, baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes, and how to keep the potatoes and carrots running through the barrel washer. Spare time is spent in the orchard building forts with dead sticks, zipping from tree to tree on the zip line swing, looking for snakes and toads, driving the Gator for Grandma Bear, finding snacks in the kitchen.
“It’s a good life!” says Grandma Bear.