Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

The farm connection

22 Comments

The perfect campsite; shade but no mud!


Saturday, August 11 was supposed to be a perfect night to view the annual Perseid meteor shower. I debated where to go to watch the sky light up, while also being close enough to Ann Arbor, a city about an hour south of me, to attend a production of West Side Story with my aunt and out-of-town cousins.

But what was the perfect location?

Why, the farm where my mom grew up; the place I, as a kid, hung out in barns playing with the farm cats, or pretended to drive a tractor down the lane, while sitting on my uncle’s lap.

The backs of some of the barns, across a soybean field.

I have so many special memories of the farm and my grandparents, my aunt and uncle, my cousins.

Morning sun makes the barns glow.

So I was grateful to get permission to camp Saturday and Sunday nights near the back of the farm, in what used to be the orchard. Today it’s a beautiful mowed area with a mulberry tree, beautiful oak trees and a couple of very old pear trees, heavy with fruit. The whole area is surrounded by soybean fields, giving me long vistas to watch the sky.

Morning light on a misty soybean field.

If only the sky would cooperate. I had high hopes as I watched the sun set behind a neighboring barn.

Sunset on the first evening.

Saturday night I saw one meteor, just as I stuck my head out of the tent about 11:00 p.m. I set up the camera and messed with the settings for a bit.

There were more planes than meteors . There are two planes in this shot.

Behind me I could hear thunder. Above me the sky was rapidly becoming cloud covered, the weather front directly overhead.

Clouds begin to encroach on my night.

I ducked back into the tent moments before the first rain hit, and then listened as the storm wound up to pouring rain and gusty winds. At one point I considered running for the car, but figured I’d get soaked just getting out of the tent.

The storm pushed away around 1:30 in the morning and I settled in to sleep. No more sky watching for the rest of that night.

Sunday morning was damp with fog. Everything was dripping but the sunrise was pretty.

Sunrise, spectacular in a quiet sort of way.

I spent the day with visiting cousins, catching up, enjoying meals, and the production of West Side Story.

A pretty nice set for the story of the Jets and the Sharks.

By early evening I was heading back to my camp hoping for a re-do of the night before. It turns out they had rain while I was gone, and steam was rising up from the ground while water dripped from the trees. A little after 9 p.m. I could see ground fog coming my way across the soybean fields. Soon my entire campsite was surrounded in white mist.

Still, the sky seemed clear.

I tried again, but the fog and lights from the city made most of the stars disappear. Mostly what was visible was a planet to the south. So I worked with that for a little bit and then tucked myself into my tent and slept the rest of the night listening to the night noises.

See that planet up there above the tent? There’s a star or two too.

Monday morning arrived dripping wet. I wandered down the lane toward the barns I remember so well. It was early and I didn’t want to disturb the tenants living in the old farmhouse.

Lots of roof lines.

I quietly walked through the wet grass remembering playing in the corn crib, remembering the pigs streaming out of the barn doors, remembering where there once was a watering trough, a fence. A gate.

Ingenuity.

So many memories.

No I didn’t see a lot of meteors shooting across the sky, just three total over the two nights. But that’s alright. As I packed up the soggy tent and headed home, I was grateful for the connection to my mom on her birthday, and grateful for two nights on the farm.

A good couple of nights on the farm.

A big thanks to my cousin for graciously allowing me to camp in the old orchard of the farm he now owns. Thanks to him, too, for keeping the farm in the family and preserving so many memories for all of us.

The whole experience was priceless.

An original fence post.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

22 thoughts on “The farm connection

  1. The memories are as wonderful as your photos, Dawn.

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  2. Wonderful post, Dawn! Memories, a lovely barn, fog, night skies. All of the photos are wonderful. I especially like the one with your tent at night. I hope I can get up your way sometime so you can teach me night photography. It’s something I haven’t explored much.

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    • I’m no expert on night photography, still figuring it out, but that would be so much fun! Maybe one of your trips up to visit family you can tack on a couple extra nights (and miles). We’d need to drive somewhere dark but that’s doable.

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  3. What a wonderful “adventure”! The views are spectacular and I enjoyed reading about your memories and the present. How beautiful the fog was rising like that. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful experience and the photos to go with it

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  4. Love the shot of your tent glowing blue in the night. What a great experience you had!

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  5. Nice to keep a piece of property that lovely in the family. And I enjoyed your persistence in trying to photograph the meteors — you must have been among the majority, for I saw very few actual shots of them anywhere!

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  6. Love all your photos! I forgot all about the Perseid and I’m such a space geek! Apparently it was a good show Sunday night here in Northern California, as we heard a lot of yelling (like soccer goals scored) after midnight in our weekend campground.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And I love, love, love the images you captured! Great job, Dawn!

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  8. The sunrise and sunset pictures were really stunning. How fortunate you could camp at a place with so many memories.

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  9. Your photos are beautiful — but of course you also had wonderful subjects. Old barns, fog, sky –there’s not much better. We were kept from seeing the sky show because of Saharan dust, but there always will be another time. You can count on the sky!

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  10. I’m glad it worked out….and great photos!

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  11. I love how they painted over the screwdriver.
    Life is about perspective and you have a gift to find beauty and balance in all.
    I love your inspirational take on life.

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