Friday, May 7, 2010

Old Farm

It has become my family's Easter tradition to walk back to where my great-grandparents' farm used to be. It is located on East Fork State Park property in a somewhat unknown spot. We only occasionally see other people back there.

As a child, my mom would go to the farm every Sunday and she and her siblings and cousins would often spend the warm months exploring every inch of this land. There are a few traces of the old pig farm left. A few fenceposts, a manmade pond deep in the woods, and my favorite--these daffodils. It's so amazing to see that the daffodils still faithfully come up each spring.

There's a lot of beauty, but also a lot of sadness here too. You can still see remnants of a stone wall from the farm that used to be across the road and there are old driveways and more bulbs that mark where the fronts of houses used to be. Mom said there were a few holdouts when the state was buying out the land, and one farmer killed himself in his barn. Another woman's house mysteriously caught on fire. She was in the basement and didn't make it out. My great-grandfather, another holdout, awoke one morning to find that all of his pigs had been poisoned.

 I don't like to think about the loss that occurred here. I prefer to see this as something full-circle. The land was used and loved. Then it was reclaimed and overrun by the trees and kudzu. Now I visit it and respect the land as my great-grandfather always did.

We have hidden a geocache so that others may find there way here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Empty Nest

My husband took this photo and I think it's an interesting symbol, especially with Mother's Day approaching. Some people would look at the empty nest and think it's sad, others would look at it and think, "how interesting!"

I am the latter type. I suppose these thoughts are stemming from a comment made recently to me on Facebook, which I ended up deleting because I didn't feel like getting nasty with someone. I was talking about the faulty statistics of that study that comes out each Mother's Day. In it, the researchers claim that a stay-at-home mom's salary comes out to six figures based on the tasks she performs. Maybe I worded the post poorly, but I was trying to comment on how you can't necessarily posit that a mom with no degree in psychology could dole out psychological help valued at $34/hour. And I made it clear that you can't say that about anyone under the same set of circumstances. A high school classmate took this as a personal attack on her lifestyle and posted something nasty about how I would never know what she went through because she was a mom and I wasn't and that maybe I should just keep my mouth shut. Whoa.

Do I agree I don't know what it's like to be a mom? Sure. Because of circumstances beyond my control, I might never be a mom. But does that mean I can never be selfless, tired, busy or an excellent multitasker? Are moms the only ones who can get credit for going to school and working at the same time because they chose to have kids before completing school (as this person did)? Does everything get elevated when you give birth?

I have to say no. I would argue that even without kids, my life is blessed, interesting and full, and yes, crazy busy. If I have an empty nest for the rest of my life, do my experiences count for less?

Apparently some think so.

Weeping Willow

Originally uploaded by True North Two
Found this lovely example of classic weeping willow imagery at a small cemetery near Bethel, Ohio. The detail is just gorgeous! We found a geocache nearby and I took a few minutes to explore the cemetery. Yet another cool spot discovered by geocaching!