The farm where I grew up sits along the Cedar River, nestled up to the bottom of the river bluff. The house is just off to the right of this picture. My parents bought this farm when I was about a year old. Corn and soybeans and hay. Hogs, farrow to finish. A cow/calf herd. Typical for then, maybe not so much for now. Typical is much bigger these days. 35 years later my dad still farms the ground (no hay now), my brother has the buildings for his hogs.
My brother and I and the neighbor girl (she was “Little Kelly” and I was “Big Kelli”) had some grand adventures exploring the woods and the caves and the river banks. In my memory now it seems like we were out and about from morning until dark, on foot, or on bikes, or later a 3-wheeler.
A parade of images marches through my head. My dad pulling our sled behind the tractor in the field across the road. Washing our 4-H pigs for the county fair. Picnics at the cave in the bluff with the big rock in front of it. Riding the “Mitchell” bus. Following the deer paths through the woods between our house and the neighbor’s. Wildflowers in spring. Almost putting my car in the river on the way to school one slippery winter morning. Last-day-of-school campouts in the woods with my friends.
It’s interesting, as I sit here, trying to formulate the words to describe my feelings about this place. I’m failing. And I wouldn’t want to share them in a public forum anyway. They seem to run the full gamut of emotion, tied up as they are with past experiences, present reality, and the future.
A summer view…