Yesterday, August 19, was Andrew’s and my 9th wedding anniversary. We really wanted to spend the day at our farm. We were somewhat hesitant to try to spend the whole day out there because usually the girls are SUPER fussy and asking to go home by lunchtime. But we decided to go out anyway, and just be done when we needed to be done.
When we left our fifth wheel at 7 am, it was super muggy and already 81 degrees. But as we headed west toward Paradise, we saw dark clouds gathering. By the time we got to our land half an hour later, it was starting to sprinkle. Then in proper Texas fashion, it started to POUR. Andrew and I got pretty wet getting ourselves and the girls into our smaller container (the one he remodeled last year and will serve as his office). It was so nice to listen to the rain falling! In 15 minutes the storm was almost done. I opened the container door and saw this glorious sight.
The storm was on the leading edge of a cold front. After it passed, the temperature fell to 75 and the wind was blowing from the north. Texas in August is very rarely 75 degrees; by 9 am lately the temp has been in the upper 80s and sticky with humidity. So to have a 75 degree morning was just glorious. The girls were in a great mood, so the three of us went for a walk. We found a place where the topsoil has been washed away and left some sand exposed. The brief storm was just right to make the sand into the perfect sand-castle-making texture!
The girls and I stayed there for at least an hour! They were having a blast and I loved just getting to sit under a tree and enjoy being outside. Then we started getting hungry so we walked back to the containers by way of the pond. The girls would have spent hours throwing sticks and mud clods into the pond if I’d let them! Once we were back at the containers, Andrew showed me that he’d set up our new propane generator and was running the rooftop air conditioner! We all had lunch in the AC inside the office container. Normally after lunch Emily has a nap, but she seemed to be in a great mood still. Andrew and I got up on top of the office and mounted a 20′ wireless antenna. That was dizzying! Then he drove the SUV and trailer down to the creek and started hanging our tire swing!
First he took down some big branches that had broken in bad storms this spring.
Then he climbed up to hang the chain and rope from a big central branch. The girls were fascinated with this process.
The girls and I also hauled branches to a brush pile. This is going to make a great hot dog roast later in the fall!
Ellie really wanted to help, so we let her climb the ladder to give her daddy some zip ties that had fallen out of his pocket. She was thrilled to be allowed to climb up with Daddy.
Andrew and I had one more thing to do before the swing was useful: it was bumping into the washer and dryer. We’d brought the washer and dryer to the property in the first week of July, before we had the containers there, and had dropped them off here under the trees because it was one of the best sheltered places. And then we didn’t think I had the strength to move them with Andrew so we just left them there. But yesterday I thought I could at least try to move them so that the girls could play on the swing. The washer was the tough one, but we scooted it up the ramp onto the trailer, and then got the dryer up no problem! (ps. when I refer to the trailer that’s on the farm, I’m referring to an 8′ flatbed trailer we use to haul things. Not our fifth wheel!)
And finally: it was done and the girls got to swing! I think Ellie would have swung all day if I’d let her! In fact, by this time (about 3 o’clock), Emily was getting very sleepy, so Andrew took Emily and drove over to where we’d left the lawn mower and I stayed with Ellie to push her on the swing. Andrew got Emily to sleep on the front seat of the SUV because he’s amazing like that.
She slept there for an hour! The lawn mower had a dead battery and flat tire, so Andrew spent a good long time pumping Slime into the tires and refilling all of them and charging the battery. Eventually he needed my help so Ellie and I came to help him. She loved getting to help pump the bright green Slime. When we were done working on the mower, one of us needed to drive the SUV plus heavy trailer up the hill to the containers, and one of us needed to drive the mower. I’d never driven either the mower or the SUV with a heavy trailer attached, so I decided to try the mower. And I asked Ellie to help me out. She and I drove around the property for 20 minutes to get the battery charged. It was so fun!
Finally, after we cleaned up and put away everything, Andrew suggested we go to a local Tex-Mex place for dinner. We were very happy to go with him!
I am so grateful for such a perfect day! We all had fun, and worked hard, and when we left we all felt a deep sense of gratitude and satisfaction for this land we get to farm.