At the farm, I was laid in the cradle that my dad made for me.
The house was tiny and cute. It sat in front of ten acres that included an orchard of pear, peach, and apple trees. A creek ran along the northern boundary. A spring-fed trout pond was on the eastern part of the property, next to the barn. Inside the barn were our horses and a mix of dead and live pheasants (ask my sister). We had chickens and ducks – and Jude. Jude deserves his own blog post.
My mother grew tomatoes, corn, green beans and squash next to the pond.
Every now and then my brothers or sister would dive for a duck egg in the bottom of the pond. I have no idea if we ate those or if I am imagining that part but that pond was fun. My brothers and sister learned how to swim in that pond. The younger brother to become the star swimmer at his high school, years later. (Coach to my mom: your son is the fastest swimmer! Where did he learn to swim? Mom to coach: in a trout pond).
One of my brothers, undoubtedly the oldest, rigged a pulley on the top of the barn. From it to the pond, swung a rope. Barns are large and tall. Very tall. My brothers and sister would invite their friends over to swing from the barn to the pond hanging from a hook that they would grab with both hands.
I remember moving off that farm. I was never so happy to leave a place such as that farm but I did miss my apple tree.