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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)

TITLE: Beyond the Farm
By christine newman


Happy memories flood my mind of a favorite place I loved to visit as a child. It was my grandparent's farm. My brothers and I spent hours running around the spacious yard, shaded with just enough oak trees so we could drop and rest in the cool breeze when we were tired. We'd play hide-n-seek and climb the trees and eat the fallen apples that we found had the fewest amount of worm holes.

Grandpa had chickens and one mean, old rooster, 'Bosko'. It was quite a battle, but somehow, the rooster always came out the victor in our antagonizing games. Sometimes Grandpa let us help him with the chores. We were happy each time we visited the lively farm.

Grandma had the biggest and best garden around, where she spent most of her summer days. She had all the vegetables you can imagine and a large strawberry bed, where we'd pluck a berry or two as we ran past. Suppers were spent together around the table to enjoy the fruits of our labors. Much of it was given away.

Grandma had a big box of toys for her grandchildren, but I preferred to spend time in the kitchen with her. She told us we were never too young to help and she made it fun. Grandma was happy as we worked and visited together. She was a hard-working soul from sun-up to sun-down. She was on several committees for her church. She was available to help a neighbor at any time. She had no time for children to be naughty or foolish, but she made it easy to want to please her. She was always quite proper in her dress and conversation. Grandma loved to teach me different skills. She taught me to love the family and to enjoy all that needed to be done to make a happy home.

Grandpa was a dear, friendly man who loved to give me hugs and whisker- burns and then tickle me until I almost cried. He liked to sit me on his lap and he'd tell me funny stories to make me laugh. Everyone loved my grandpa and he would give the shirt off his back to help someone in need.

He died of cancer when I was nine years old. Grandma had an auction and sold the farm. I cried and cried. That farm held such memories of family times. I didn't know if things would ever be normal or happy again. She moved to a small house in town and lived there for many years.

My brothers and I each grew and had families of our own. We visited Grandma faithfully. It was somber to think that our children would never be able to experience the fun and happiness of the farm like we had. As an adult, I learned to cherish each visit with Grandma more and more. We did nothing but sit in her living room and talk of old times and current events. Her mind was very sharp.

Eventually, Grandma moved to a nursing home. It was then that I discovered that happiness was not confined to my memories of the farm. Happiness was the precious moments spent with my Grandma. She was happy to see us come and we felt blessed after each visit.

Grandma died at the age of 97. She inspired love, wisdom, tradition, respect, and discipline by her dear example. Her faith in GOD was strong and secure. My children had grown to love her deeply and were greatly influenced by her life.

Sometimes I drive out to the old farmstead and just sit in the driveway where I romped and played as a child. The house has since been torn down and there is only an empty barn and pasture now. In my mind, I can see everything just the way it was...the house, the apple tree, the garden, the animals... There is no life there now, bu till makes me smile. I know my grandparents will live on forever within many that were touched by their lives. We will be eternally grateful for the warmth of happiness Grandma and Grandpa provided out at the farm...and beyond.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 07/21/07
What a lovely tribute to two people who were so important to your life - and the lives of many, many others. Your love for them really shines through in this piece. Thank you for sharing it.
Joy Faire Stewart07/22/07
I love this story. I felt I was there with the MC. You paint a vivid picture of a happy childhood.