4th of July on The farm

4th of July on the farm could be a warm a wonderful night or a cold and cloudy spitting rain. Often the rain would stop just before dark, leaving the ground damp. What else would you get in a rain forest.

I do remember one really wonderful 4th, among many others. The tent was set up and the fire pit was filled with wood. the sun was shining and warm. The kids played all day swimming in the pool, driving the sit-n-ride lawn mower around the field with his sister on her electric car following. When not in the pool, the rope swing was in high gear. Our mastiff, busy watching after both kids. Playing with them and laying in the sun watching all the time. The chickens a permanent fixture on the landscape, bust scratching for bugs , nipping at the grass and ruffling their feathers. My daughter always at the ready to collect eggs immediately after a hen emerges from the coop.  During the summer always included the rescue of a hummingbird almost daily. The little birds would be enticed onto the sun porch by  a cactus flower. Flying into the porch yet not able to exit. The chirp, chirp, chirp of the hummingbird,  would bring my daughter from anywhere in the yard, to do her task, to rescue the little bird. Safely in her hands,  she would step out the door, open her hands, to have the little bird perch on her hand untill shooing  it away. Chirping as it flew into a nearby tree. Often times returning to the porch two or three times in a day.

As dinner time  rolled around, the fire was started. Hotdogs roasted on a freshly cut alder stick.  Filled with dogs and warmed by the fire, back into the pool for some more swimming, until the night air-cooled.. Back to the fire for roasting marshmallows and lighting fireworks.

A sheet of plywood leveled by bricks, the stage for the firework display. My son,the oldest,  would light the fireworks(with a little help from dad). My kids would take their time with each one, enjoying the show and stretching out the time it took to light them all.  As the evening wore on, my little one trying her darndest to stay awake, would succumb,  to the fresh air, late hour and fun-filled day, to sleep in my arms. Putting her in her sleeping bag in the tent. My son would soon follow, into the tent, snuggle into his bag and be fast asleep.

My husband and I would enjoy the peace and quiet by the fire. Watching the stars and reminiscing the days events.  Taking pleasure in our parenthood and the feats of each child and how they were growing and changing each day. In the background the coyote song and frog symphony at play.

A 4th of July to remember and cherish.

The Summer…Heavan on Earth!

The summers were heavenly on the farm. Granted  we were in a rain forest. The first four years we lived in Rosburg we received 140 inches of rain a year. Think of it 12 feet of water coming down on you. Of course not all at once but at least 9 months out of the year. Even with all that rain when the sun came out it was absolutely gorgeous. The greens were emerald and forest and lime and teal and every green in between. The colors of the azaleas were saturated. Purples and corals and pinks. The rhododendrons were huge and full. nothing like a rain forest with flowers. We had  rhododendrons 12 feet tall. I would prune them and they would grow a foot in just the spring. In summer I would trim another foot off of them after the blooms were gone, which usually lasted a month.

Grass was mowed 3 times a week.  Having free range chickens helped the front yard. Eating all the bugs and clipping the lawn after a few years having the chickens the front yard looked like a golf course. The chickens scratched up all the moss, which was a lot, when we moved in. When bugs emerged from the sod, the chickens would scoop them up like candy. The chickens ate the new tips of the grass, keeping the grass growing straight. eventually choking out weeds and unwanted grass. watching the front yard go from  a bare yard to a beautifully manicured lawn. The chickens would fertilize the lawn. The worms would come up at night, naturally aerating the lawn and clean up chicken droppings., a natural fertilizer.

We maintained about 2 acres of lawn. The field next to the house used to be for  hay. The first year in the house, a neighbor mowed the hay. This field became the playground for the kids. My son was to big of a kid to have a battery operated car so we got a sit-n-ride lawn mower instead. Taping a block on the pedal he could drive it all over the yard and field. We eventually put an above ground pool in the field and further out we put together a fire ring and set up a tent for the summer. Many a night we would sit at the fire and watch the stars and be serenaded by the frogs, and coyotes. The kids would often roll into their bags in the tent and sleep like logs.