Taking a weekend road trip with children is like telling a lie – the more often you do it, the easier it becomes (or so I’ve been told). Anticipating 18 hours on the road over the course of four days can induce anxiety. But in the midst of the deed, it doesn’t feel so bad. And once the deed is done, it feels totally worth it. Of course, no matter how necessary it seems, one should not tell a lie. However, one should definitely take that road trip.
I so enjoy a trip to the home farm I married into. This was the purpose of our road trip a few weekends ago. The farm is more home than farm, so welcoming and instantly transporting. Though a mere hour or so from New York City, this farm is far placed from urbanity. Inside the farm house there is a varietal assemblage of family art and antiques and a vast collection of well-aged books. Outside there is dirt and weeds and fields and cows and a vegetable garden that seems naturally placed and absolutely necessary, not like my urban garden that’s simply a nod to locavorism.
If the entire property was perfectly landscaped, with no space for mud, I would feel restless and worried my children might tramp a dirt clod into the wrong space. If there was no overgrowth along the hedges, I would have to assume every last bit of land was accounted for and my children’s romp through the flowerbed would be noticed. Not so at this home farm. Children are free to roam and swim in the pond and be, well, children – scraped knees, ripped clothes and all.
If I had an antique truck parked in my front yard with grass growing halfway up the rims, it would be considered tacky and trashy. On a farm it’s quaint and adds character. It’s perfectly placed. If I placed a potted plant in a naturally distressed, old milk can, I could send the photo to a magazine and tout my country style of decorating. On this farm, it’s just another small symbol among many of an authentic country life.