After more than 5 years together, I finally took Jose to the farm! Here we are in the “new” barn…which was built in late 2001. That should give you an idea of how long it had been since I’d visited: WAY TOO LONG.
“The farm” is my family’s dairy farm in southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. My dad grew up there in the 50s and 60s, and my two uncles took over in the 1970s. Every year, we’d drive up from Charlotte to spend a week or two at the farm and my siblings and I all LOVED it. We fed calves and stacked hay and picked up rocks and rode on tractors — and my uncle even paid us like $1.00 an hour, which at the time seemed like the coolest thing ever. Today, two of my cousins have joined the business too, so the farm will stay in the family for at least another generation.
This is the house my dad grew up in, the house we visited every summer, and the house my grandmother lived in for years until she had to move into an assisted living home a few years ago. Today, my cousin lives here but I still call it “Grandmother’s house.” I can’t help it — I think it will always be Grandmother’s house to me.
We got to see my grandmother on Tuesday, which was really important to me because Jose had never met her. She’s 91 years old and her health has deteriorated a lot in recent years, and she wasn’t able to come to our wedding in 2009. Still, she completely demolished both me and Jose in a game of Scrabble — totally fair and square, too. Her score was more than our scores combined!
Anyway, the farm is quite an operation, as Jose discovered. I think he was picturing something small and quaint, but these days they have more than 1000 acres and something like 600 cows. This is the view looking down from the “new” barn towards the old barn. (What looks like a nice tranquil pond is actually the manure pit. I like to call it the poo lagoon.)
It was great to see my family and introduce them to Jose. I don’t plan to let another 10 years pass before I go back.