My grandparents purchased 40 acres of Oregon mountainside; it was my heaven.
Every summer, on Independence Day, we’d have a family reunion of sorts at "The Farm". My grandfather was one of four siblings, and they were rather a close bunch; add his father, “PopPop” to some, into the mix, and it was completely wonderful. The family would start arriving early; the tables would be laden, the sights and smells tempting us; a bounty to make the hungriest amongst us anxious for the call to “dig in.”
Aunt Evelyn made fresh peach ice cream; to this day, peach ice cream, peach ice cream topping, or peach milk shakes make me 10 again and I am flitting about the farm with people I love. Grandma made fried chicken, and my mother made her now ‘family famous’ potato salad. It really doesn’t get much better than that for me.
We played for hours, my “second cousins” and I; sometimes to the pond, sometimes to scour the forest. I thank God that we didn’t have ‘social media’, the Internet, or Cable TV in those days. The grownups would sit talking in the shade for hours as well. How I wish I had been old enough to sit and talk with them; how I miss them. They’re all gone now, those grownups of my grandfather’s generation; their memory and their love live on in my heart.
Sometimes, when we’re picnicking, I have little flashes of Independence Day at the Farm. What glorious flashes they are.