Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What I Did This Summer, Part II

Chatting with a friend on the phone this morning, I realized I have forgotten all about the 'lost blog posts'... the what I did this summer when I was too busy to blog about it posts. :)

So, here is another installment!

In high school my friend Melanie had an on and off relationship with Jared. Even when they were not dating, they still were pretty close. For example, they went to prom together, though I believe the lights were 'off' at that moment in time. Eventually they got married, because they love each other very much.

The End.

Or it would be if life was a Disney movie, since a marriage is the culmination of most of those tales! ;) However, in reality, life goes on and thank heavens, right? Jared and Mel are now chef-proprietors of a restaurant in the beautiful countryside near where we all grew up. As an aside, if you asked me to open the yearbook and draw a circle around the photo of someone I thought would live on a farm and raise chickens, well, I would not have chosen either of them, and I somehow think they agree. I'd have probably made a beeline for the "H" page and gone for Laura Huckabee, a lovely girl who did live on a farm but was also at one with it, unlike me, who just wanted to live in a normal neighborhood for crying out loud. But not Jared, not Mel! Melanie was model tall and thin and talkented at acting, and Jared could (and surely still can) play a set of drums like no one his age should have been able. While in college, I was too busy doing other stuff and not going back to the Burg very often to keep up with anyone, but I heard rumors that Jared and a few other knuckleheads I knew were rockstars in the making. To belabor my point: NOT exactly FFA members.

Life is funny. Fast forward a million years and my husband, kids, and I are sitting creekside on their land adjacent to the restaurant in idyllic Bedford County.

I grew up on land with decrepit old buildings falling apart here and there, and I love a dilapidated building for some reason known only to my inner child who also loved the old hay barn I was not supposed to, but did play in. So, I snapped about 500 photos of the old mill. It's the coolest color, has broken windows, rusty stuff... all visually appealing to me, at least.

It doesn't hurt that there are lovely plants and flowers ALLLLLL over.

Here are the chickens. Told ya. I just wish I'd seen the time last winter when they got out and Jared chased them with a stick, and--I am not kidding--a lawnmower to herd them back to the coop area. I'd pay good money to see that.

And, look! Babies! They were adorable, and I am not the world's biggest bird lover.

Speaking of babies, Bunny fell instantly in love.

Here's Hazel. Love at first sight for Bunny. She carried this poor kitten for as long as Melanie would let her. Actually, they seemed to enjoy each other's company.

The creek near their home provided hours of entertainment for Carter. He got good and soaked hauling out river rocks, piling them...

...and hucking them all back into the water. Melanie had been a little excited about this pile, as she likes to border her gardens with the rocks and thought perhaps a little labor had been saved for her. But nope! All back from whence they came. :)

This is, more or less, the sunset I grew up with. Fields, mountains, and fire oranges.

A cool old pipe runs from the creek to the mill. While nonoperational now, it was a lot of fun to balance on!

Here's the pasture near Jared and Melanie's house. You can see they've set up a little picnic/barbecue right by the creek, which is at the treeline.

Dusk fell, and the fire flies came out!

Our hosts even provided Mason jars for the kids to house the little buggers. Cole had no clue what was going on, but nevertheless enjoyed the heck out of running around at dusk screaming his little head off.

After dinner, they got to make s'mores! Carter, who often is reluctant to try new foods, had no reservations about this treat!

One last photo: crazy faces!

We had, so, so, SOOO much fun, and hope to be able to visit again, maybe next summer! I also want to try brunch at their restaurant. As good as their mac and cheese was, I know brunch will be incredible!

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