I attended a memorial service the other week for an old family friend who had passed away. (He passed the same week as my friend I wrote the blog about. It was a rough few days). While at the memorial, I met a couple who knew my father from his old company, and they paused to chat. They casually mentioned that their son now owns my father’ sold house in England. I must have looked confused for a moment, until they clarified “the Farm”. My face lit right up. The Farm was one of my most favorite places.
The Farm was a house my grandfather built for my grandmother. I don’t think that he was initially a fan, and they offered it for my parents to live in for a while. Shortly later, we moved to America, and my grandparents moved into the house. The memories I have of the house are from when my grandparents moved in, and frankly, those memories are some of the best of my life.
The farm sat on a busy road, but was surrounded by acres and acres of fields growing all sorta of vegetables. There was a windy brook that ran down the property that I was always a little fascinated by. I was told there were leeches in the brook, but I was never able to determine if that was truth or a fib meant to scare me away from playing near it. I once slipped and slid down the hill into the brook, getting stung by nettles from head to toe. Down t the base of the field from the house was a brick pump house. I still vividly remember running down the field, the dogs by my side, the wind whipping my hair around, down to the pump house. The memory of freedom, the fresh air, and my favorite furry friends have been ingrained in me ever since.
I remember climbing the old crabapple tree on the side of the house with my cousins, saying a somewhat bad word and getting scolded by my grandmother. I remember riding the tractor with my grandfather and being terrified it would roll over as it swayed up the fields. I remember my mother telling me how sad he was that a farmer’s granddaughter would have become afraid of a tractor in such a short time away from the land. I remember the beautiful garden, and how my uncle would catch butterflies in a jar and place them by my bed before I woke up. I still think that was such a sweet gesture (and I always loved to run and set them free). It’s actually part of the reason I have some butterfly tattoos. I remember lying in bed at the house, carefully studying the wallpaper pattern before going to put on my favorite ivory and lavender dress.
I remember the furniture, the floor in the kitchen, and the table we ate at. I remember the ceramic chicken in the kitchen that held the eggs. I remember going to collect the eggs am getting attacked by my grandfather’s rooster, who dare I say was a complete assholepants of a rooster. (I love that when I type “asshole” that my phone autocorrects to assholepants). I remember the nuances of the house. Most of all, I remember how it made me feel. We moved around a lot after we moved to the US. The Farm was home to me. It was my home base, where my family was, and where I was safe and loved. After my grandfather died and my uncle sold it, I cried for ages. I felt as though I had lost a family member. In fact, sometimes when I am down, I have looked the house up on google maps just to remind me of all the happy memories I have of there.
So as I mentioned, this couple told their son and daughter in law about me and my love of the house. They told them how I knew the history and how I had lived there. I received an email inviting me to go see the house next week while on my trip to England. I’m nervous..,,it will brim back a lot of memories, yet I am sure it will be very different now. I am so grateful to go see my old home away from home. I may even take a stroll down by the old brook, just for old times’ sake.