I come from a family of farmers. Well, my grandpa farmed. And his brothers. And his nephews. And now my uncle is his sole child who’s pursued the work of the earth. (Luckily his youngest son is also following that path.) It’s an honorable way to make a living, but a very difficult one. I suppose that’s why so many farm families give it up and sell their land.
That’s what happened all around my uncle’s property. There are new homes popping up everywhere. He used to view unending fields of corn and other crops from his backyard. Now he can’t even bear to spend time on the patio where we always gathered for family picnics. The newly contructed homes he sees from that spot remind him every day about the way the world is changing.
So this time around the lawn chairs were set up near the garage, under a mulberry tree, where we faced his still-active fields of corn. The grills, manned by my cousin Tracy, produced burgers, ribs and hotdogs. The aunts and uncles produced creamy macaroni, simmered baked beans and potato salad (and, thanks to Aunt Nancy, s’mores!).
Horseshoes, baseball, sidewalk chalk and four-wheeling were the activities of choice. It was a perfect summer day on a lovely four-day weekend. Wish we could have stayed for the bonfire, but my little guy tuckered himself out exploring the place.