Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas in the Country

Ahhhhh....I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas.... Ben and I went home to my parent's house in upstate New York to join my family for a nice, relaxing and informal celebration. We ate lots of food, laughed, talked and exchanged gifts. The few days we were there were all balmy and warm. It didn't deter the already fallen snow though! There was so much of it that it would take at least a full week of warm weather before we really started to see the ground.

My parent's house (the house I grew up in) in almost 300 years old! It's had many modifications since it's erection in the 1700's, but it still has that old country charm with exposed beam ceilings, centuries old molding and uneven floors. My brother and I knew every creaky step in that old place. My younger sister's now do too. The big red barn is almost as old as the house and almost completely original. Many exhilarating hours were spent playing pretend among the hay bales!

Well...this post is sort of like a tour. We took a nice long walk through part of the property (the day was too perfect not to take advantage!). And we started at the house:
This is the view from the windows on the one side of the house. Rolling fields framed by pastures, streams and forest. This is where we took our walk.

One year the stream got so flooded it ran right over the driveway! My dad and I ran out to swim in the crazy waters, but once I saw all of the ants and other bugs hanging onto the tops of the talls grasses above the water for dear life, I couldn't help but save as many as I could!

My brother is spreading manure on the fields. A very old and environmentally friendly practice of fertilizing the crops. Hmmm...the smell was

This old girl was sitting at the edge of one field. It looked like a reck but my dad swears it still runs.

Here are the gas and break petals. Yes, that is moss growing underneath and even on one of the petals. There were other plants growing inside of it too! With no glass in the window frames, the inside of the cab was completely exposed to the elements. I remember my Dad digging ditches with this thing when I was kid!

Then we hiked up a small hill on one side of the property. Ben wouldn't move from my frame. :) You can see the house and barn in the background. We could also see several layers of light blue mountains way in the back. Some of them were as far away as Vermont! Unfortunately the camera couldn't capture what our eyes could see.
This was Suzi after we climbed the hill (did I mention it was a small hill?)

We did some sledding on the way back. My dad holds a sled while wearing his church clothes... ;)
Ben victoriously makes it down the hill.

Back at the house I stopped to chat with the heifers. An entire pasture and they always choose to hang out in the muddy spots!
These girls are wearing their fuzzy winter coats...cozy! It was the perfect weather for cows (they like it around 40 degrees)...not too warm and not too cold!

Finally my parents bid us adieu.... but not without a parting gift! A dozen and a half fresh eggs from the chicken coop. Last spring they got 12 aracana hens and they've just started laying within the past few months. Aren't the blue, green and pink eggs just darling?! My dad told me that they're for eating but I might have to dry out just a few! :)

I hope you all had a very Merry holiday and a peaceful New Year. :)


Anonymous said...

What gorgeous photos! Looks like you are all having a wonderful time!

laurie - magpie ethel said...

Happy New Year. What a magical place to grow up! And the house is almost 300 years old? Wow! Thanks for sharing.

sMacThoughts said...

I am in awe of your family home and just LOVE it. What a wonderful place to grow up in and spend the holidays. Love seeing the cows with their winter coats all lined up in order. :) And the plastic sleds brought back so many great memories for me!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos brings back childhood memories growing up in Concord Mass.Now in Hull,Mass..looove your cute creations!!