I started writing as the MaryJanesFarm “City Farmgirl” a long time ago. Don’t ask me when. 2006, maybe? 2008?
It’s been a FUN ride. I always enjoy writing my posts and then, the best part, hearing back from you all! And the folks at MaryJanesFarm? Well, you can imagine how inspiring and encouraging it is to work with them. I couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to share with you here than I am. It’s great.
Recently I had to purge some photos from a photo storage site that I used early on in blogging. I received a notice about their fees increasing, so decided to see what I was storing there. I wound up sitting in front of the computer for hours as I looked at hundreds of photos. I hadn’t seen these since I put them up on the blog years ago.
Doing this turned out to be an emotional experience. It was a weird sentimental journey, a wistful wondering, a deep look into the eyes of me, back then.
I remember where I was in my life when I took many of the photos. I remember what was going on with me and around me. I remembered some of the topics of the blog posts that accompanied the photos. But most of all, I remembered the feelings.
My life has been a roller coaster ride since those photos were taken. Lots of unpredictable curves that have had me gripping tightly, white-knuckled, to the safety bar. Didn’t want to be slung out the cart and slammed onto the ground. The ride has taken me on a steep climbs, clickity-clackity upward. And suddenly whoosh!! A thrilling and stomach-flipping wonderful ride down. Yeah, definitely a roller coaster.
I encountered a particular set of photos that made me wonder if I was going forward or backwards in time. Let me explain. These photos were taken at “Aunt Pearle’s,” the name I gave my very first farm that I purchased in May 2006. Pearle was the name of the woman who had built the farmhouse in 1939 and who lived there until her death. No, she wasn’t my aunt. In fact, I found the farm online. But, for some reason, this place became known to all who visited as Aunt Pearle’s. As in, “Hey, do you want to go up to Aunt Pearle’s this weekend?”
Aunt Pearle’s was my happy place, a weekend farm tucked safely in the NC mountains outside of groovy, beautiful Asheville, NC. Looking at the photos, I remembered the blog post I made with those photos. It took me forever to locate it, but I finally did. When I read it, I thought, “I’ve gone back in time.”
I have the same sentiments about my current farm, christened “Dragonfly Farm,” than I did about “Aunt Pearle’s.” The love, the peace, the spirit of this place is the same as that at Aunt Pearle’s. There’s this deep sense of “everything is ok” here. Every single thing. I am home; I am full of peace; I am happy. Can’t beat that, right?
So, here is the blog post, recreated here. It’s how I felt about a place before, and it’s how I feel about my new place now. (The difference is the snow. I’m further south now, and we just get rain here. No snow.)
Emerson has a quote I like, “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.”
It’s kinda similiar to what I’ve always said, “Life is a party. Dance.”
There is a place in my life, a special spot on this earth that makes living those words, both Emerson’s and mine, easier.
Going there, to my special place, has an immediate impact on my heart, mind, soul. When I am there, life is indeed a party and a dance.
When I’m there, I am in a bubble.
You’ve heard me talk about it before. It is my mountain farm. It is my place of respite, renewal, recreation (re-creation). And sure, I’ve taken you there before, but never in the snow. You gotta see the snow!
We recently made a trip when snow was predicted. I learned that snow turns my BUBBLE into a SNOW GLOBE.
So, step inside the snow globe with me. It is dreamy here. Let me give the globe a good shake first and turn on the music box. Okay, ready for wonderland? My wonderland?
Let’s start with my snow.
Just look at my snow as it begins to fall. Softly. On my metal roof top. On my meadow. In my woods. On my road. In my creek.
I run out to see if it is real. Barefoot, no coat, no hat. Crazy city from the south. No snow sense. I run back inside and announce, “It’s snowing!!!”
This, my snow, is magical fluff that brings joy and awe. The world becomes shade of black and white as it falls.
Here is my farmhouse.
My farmhouse is set in a cove, protected and serene.
The farmhouse is full of love and enchantment and peace. Built with care and craftsmanship in 1939, it possessed those things: the love, the enchantment, the peace before me. I’m guessing. I continue to fill it up with those things, and the house shares those things with me and fills me to the brim.
(While I am there, I load my pockets, my luggage, and my heart with all those things. Gifts, really. I jam as much of those gifts as I can into the car before we leave. Back home, I use them sparingly as I return to traffic, light and noise pollution, and concrete. They save me and my disposition.)
Here are my mountains.
I love my mountains. They are part of what are (probably) the oldest mountains on earth. The Appalachians. Yes, God took his sweet time in forming these.
Here are some of my frosty trees on one of my mountains.
Frosty on top. And frosty on bottom.
There are frosty mountain cows on a mountainside. You have to look carefully to see them. They are black spots in the photo. I worry about the cows in the cold with snow on their backs. I guess they had survived just fine without me, so I should stop worrying.
In any event, I cannot claim these cows as “mine.” They belong to a neighbor.
But I wish they were mine.
Or maybe not.
Here is a mountain goat.
Photo of mountain goat has gone missing.
Wait! I found it!
Also, not mine. Him? I would make him mine; I would take him.
My daughter and I converse with him whenever we see him. We call him Frank. After Sinatra.
Here is my forest. I love my forest.
Photo of forest has gone missing. It’s a pretty, dense, evergreen forest. Use your imagination.
I like that the forest is constantly changing. The ground is ancient. These trees are not. There were planted over old pastureland and are slated to be used for timber.
This is my fast, wide, rushing mountain creek.
Cold, crisp, clean, and clear mountain water rushes down a waterfall. It is cold all year long, not just in the snow. My mountain creek makes the most pleasant sound I’ve ever heard.
Here is my dog, Strudel, taking a walk just as a snowplow passed. (Strudel has been on a roller coaster too. I’m lucky to have her with me today after being attacked and almost killed by dogs last year.)
I hold her 20’ leash. I have a feeling that country dogs do not know what a leash is. City dogs do not know what freedom is.
Strudel is somewhere between city and country. Me too.
That is my daughter’s sweatshirt that Strudel is donning. Do country dogs wear clothes?
Here is my hay field. My child, in a snuggly pink coat, (small pink speck in the middle of photo) frolics in it. The field and the child are both mine.
I like them together. They entertain each other and get along beautifully.
My daughter reads over my shoulder and admonishes me. “You shouldn’t call all those things yours. Only me. I’m yours, but not that other stuff.” She turned and walked away, then came back. “And Strudel,” she added, “Just me and Strudel. The other things aren’t yours.” She walked away again and then rushed back. “And the house. Me, Strudel, and the house. That’s all that’s really yours. The rest is everybody’s.”
Yeah, I know.
My special place, my “life is a party” place, is Aunt Pearle’s. My mom always says, “Being at Aunt Pearle’s is better than any European vacation.” I don’t know about that, homebody that I am. (*Edited to say that NOW I do know. I am no longer a homebody.) But I do know that this place is the most special place in the world to me. Here, every single day is indeed the best day of the whole year.
And now I can say that about my new farm. Every day here is the best day ever. I felt it over 10 years ago at Aunt Pearle’s. And I feel it now at Dragonfly Farm. I think I’m moving forward – backwards in time. Not sure if that’s good or bad.
I’m sure lucky, ain’t I.
Until next time, Savor the Flavor of life!
Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah
I love your farm, your home, your mountains, and all the other claims that you can make here. Your daughter is correct is that the mountains, streams, and animals are everyone’s, but I feel as though you can claim a piece of them.
You are absolutely blessed! You have experienced the Appalachians! Many people don’t understand the wonder of those mountains. Some siblings in my own family don’t. But they are beginning to love them. They are my happy place, both backwards in time and moving forward. The mountains are there…beautiful, dangerous, and wonderful, all at the same time. My parents took me to the mountains a lot when I was growing up. My Daddy and Mama were from TN/NC, respectively, just across the mountain from each other. Then early in their lives they moved to GA for my Dad’s job. He did NOT want to be a tobacco farmer. So he was very innovative and learned a new trade to support his family. Many, many years later, I think they became “homesick”, and we visited often. That’s when I fell in love with the place. Recently, a friend from those mountains shared a book with me. It’s called “Dorie: Woman of the Mountains”. I couldn’t put it down! You could have just replaced the person’s name with my Mama’s name! It’s about a time and culture in those mountains. It’s like I could see some of the culture that I was taught by my own parents. I bought a farm there and loved it!!! Then I moved to MT to be close to my daughter. Now she has relocated for her job to Asheville, NC. Yeah! Now, I’m going back to my beloved, beautiful, wonderful Appalachian mountains!
For some reason I have always pictured you outside of Asheville. I must have missed a post that said you were moving. When was that, and what state are you in now? I now live in Asheville! I love your blog, especially when you talk about your love of the land and your farm. Truly, you remind me that ‘farmgirl’ is a state of mind that I can access even in a town or city. Thanks for your lovely writing.
Thank you Bekah for that heart_warming/heart-felt, forward/backward trip.
I felt like I was there and I enjoyed it thoroughly!
The whole meander was Gorgeous, Thought-provoking & Fun!!
Thank you again!
Rebekah, I remember that post as if it was yesterday! I was so happy when you found your farm. There were many great blog posts from “Aunt Pearls” and I am sure there will be many more from the “Dragonfly Farm”. Keep riding that roller coaster and I will ride along with you.
Love your writings, I felt I went along the ride with you.
In my life I know a piece of your former place goes with you, and a piece of your heart stays there.
Life is a journey , backwards and forwards.
That piece of your heart revisited in memories.
Keep riding the roller coaster
Peace and Happiness,
You have such a lovely place, so peaceful.
Loved reading your post about your farms, Aunt Pearle’s and Dragonfly. You made me feel like I was there with you, your daughter and Strudel.
Thank you for sharing YOUR Mountains with us and sharing part of your journey with us
I enjoyed reading it with my morning coffee ☕️
Until next time.
I love how you love the country life. I was raised sort of in it and can understand your love of it. the stillness when out in the woods and hearing something fall from a tall tree, could have been a squirrel up there or just something decided to fall right then. but I loved the peace of it and I don’t get to go back to that now but I love reliving it through your blog posts. I must have missed from when you moved from one farm to the current one but hope you enjoy this one as much as you did your last one.
And that’s all I have to say about that.