Courage to write my first blog post - half a check there, but here goes anyways! I’ve never considered myself a blogger. I’m shy by nature and words don’t always come easily. I’d rather sit back and take in all of the sights and sounds around me. One of the reasons I adore this creative outlet is that photography magnifies details in my view, making me all the more aware. The light in my child’s hair, the expressions between a couple, what makes a little one giggle in front of my lens - all captivating.
The portraits I’m sharing today are from a personal project of mine that is incredibly close to my heart. Some places have a special pull on you. My grandparents' farm is one of them. Many of my favorite childhood memories took place on their farm - canning green beans with our Grandma, tractor rides with our Grandpa, baseball games and building forts in the hollows with cousins. Moments all spent with family that I treasure. I learned family values, lifelong lessons, and a love for God that has helped shape my ever growing self.
The setting is surrounded with deep hollows filled with tall oaks, hickories, and sycamores. Beautiful any time of year. Their home is full of our family’s long, rich history dating back to over a hundred years ago when my great-great grandparents first settled in the area.
We recently visited for one of the last times, which prompted my extensive photo taking. My grandma’s health has declined and her dementia has painfully worsened. It's a horrible disease that has slowly stolen precious qualities from her. Her long term memory is still thankfully sharp. It's the short term that suffers and her strong, witty personality that has changed. Still, her loving, caring, beautiful self shines through.
She has moved to a home closer to us to receive better care. As heartbreaking as it is to see her leave her home where she's lived most of her life, we know deep down it is the best thing for her. We are also now able to see her more often.
The sentimental part of me is sad to see the farm go. I know it’s just a place. Just things. Our family and our memories are what make it so special. It represents a huge change in my grandma's life. In all of our lives. One none of us are ready for. The memories this place evokes pull at me. I absolutely hate goodbyes.
While cleaning and packing, my family came across quilts hand sewn by my great grandmother. Here Luke is wrapped in one that belonged to my dad in his childhood room. The skies were overcast when we arrived. It seemed quite fitting.
We continued with new adventures as always. That's what we do here.
Sliding down a hay bale, then mom pushing you back up over and over and over? Um yes! Till we all are covered in hay and exhausted!
My children love it as much as I do. Watching them make new memories in this place I have loved so much brings me joy.
We "helped" my dad tear down an old pig shed. The kids were eager to be Papa's helpers. We stopped for a break to swing on the grape vines.
This local abandoned tire shop is on the edge of town. It’s absolutely classic. We ran over one afternoon to snap some shots. Luke was offering Hannah a flower and my first reaction was aww, so sweet!! Then he admitted she had said she thought she was allergic (she's not) - true sibling adoration right here!
We walked the pastures daily - exploring, playing, and of course pausing for a shoot in golden light.
My dad and our Uncle John entertained us with stories of the past - pranks they played on each other and their youngest brother, adventures taken, lessons learned - the kids cackled and never grew tired of their storytelling.
Signs of spring were everywhere. This little flowering almond was as pink as ever with forsythia in bloom behind it.
The farm will sell soon. It puts a massive knot in my stomach. It's hard on everyone. I plan to continue to visit the hills of the Ozarks every once in a while and let the kids swim in the local creek and explore the hollows. I'm thankful for the memories we have and the family we love so much. I'm thankful for the reflection it brings when I'm there. Some things can't always be put into words. Photographs help fill in the blanks.