One of the places I enjoy the most is my wife's dad's farm. It has been in the family for generations. It is our place to retreat, recharge, and reconnect.
Kim's dad was born in the small house up the hill from the main house as were his brother and sisters. His dad was born in the same bedroom some thirty years before, as was his father well before the turn of the 20th century. We don't expect any more family births at The Farm, but you never know…
A Home of History for Our Future
The Farm is the
kind of place where
span an hour or more,
The main farmhouse sits close to the road named for the family and originally was a two-room home without indoor plumbing. It was moved from the nearby small town down to The Farm with the help of a team of horses over 100 years ago. It now boasts a second story, four bedrooms, two baths, living room, dining room and kitchen. Kim's dad added a family room in 2008.
As houses go, it's not worth much; as a home with rich family history, it is priceless. It is our place to recharge and reconnect; we retreat.
The Farm serves as a gathering point for our extended families. We number over 80 spanning four generations, with the youngest born a few months ago. The next generation will begin to be born in a few years.
We travel to The Farm six to eight times a year for various family celebrations of anniversaries, birthdays, marriages, holidays and the occasional funeral. Mostly, we go to be with family and to slow down a bit from our careers and kids' activities.
anchors us as
The Farm is the kind of place where conversations can span an hour or more, with significant silent intervals and simultaneous subjects. Time passes slowly here, barely noticeable; it rewards us with the best of family memories. We connect over conversations, meals and just being together.
Our retreat lacks reliable cell phone and internet access. This “shortfall” is one of The Farm's greatest gifts to us; it severs our ties to the world and simultaneously draws us together across the generations; we recharge.
A New Generation
I've often thought that as our kids entered high school, they would come to dread time at our retreat. Severed from constant digital connections with friends and in a place so different from their own, would they resist? No. In fact, just the opposite; they want to be here and embrace time with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Both of our boys, our nieces, and several cousins have had their high school senior pictures taken at The Farm. Their photos are a lasting testament to the centrality of this place in their lives.
My sons relish opportunities to work side by side with their grandfather, uncles and me as we do the necessary chores of farm upkeep. We use tractors and machinery today and the result is the same bond.
The kids play here and learn about life and family here. Without knowing it, the next generation is learning how to recharge, and that will pay dividends as they begin raising their families and return to this place as their own retreat.
The Farm is as much theirs as their grandparents and ours; I anticipate our grandchildren experiencing similar delights.
The Farm serves as a family home base for each generation. It is a constant where time passes slowly enough to preserve all that we love about being there. It is the place where we reconnect.
We hold a reunion at The Farm every August. Each year, we return for a day of retreating, recharging, and reconnecting. Our time together reinforces the necessity for each successive generation to allow this place priority in their lives.
I return from The Farm recharged, with new ideas & solutions to challenges, ready to jump back into regular life, career and kids' activities. I hope you have a place to retreat, recharge and reconnect; I would love to hear about it.