Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

There were no market visits, unless you count Webkinz Extravaganza, and I am not sure we even ate any pork, but that rhyme has been in my head so there you go.

We had a great trip to Michigan. It's the first time I've been to the lower peninsula in about 3 years, I think. If I recall correctly, I was there last for my sister-in-law's baby shower. We've been to the Upper Peninsula, where my parents live, and Todd and the girls have been to Glennie, where Todd's parents have their cottage, but since my folks moved away from the Lansing area, we just haven't been back that way.

It was so good to be there, and so hard, too. I didn't realize how much I missed it, and how very strange it is to go home but have no home to visit. Since my parents moved, and sold their house, there isn't any place for us to go, you know?

We were able to spend a night at my grandmother's farm. Well, it's really my Uncle Jerry and Aunt BJ's farm now, but you know what I mean. It was fun to stay there and have the girls spend a little time where I grew up. They were not very happy with my for taking them away from Grammy and Papa in Dearborn, but I really needed to go up there. Unfortunately, Aunt BJ was out of town, but we got to hang out with Uncle Jerry, and saw my Uncle John, too, and my cousin Mike. You just never know who will turn up at the farm!

Here is a picture of Uncle Jerry holding the Snort, who is wearing the outfit Aunt BJ got for him:

Here is a picture of Grandma's multi-colored cabinets. The peanut clusters always lived over on the left. Aunt BJ very kindly still keeps some there.


Here's the dining room, with the farm table. I can't tell you how many hours I spent there, talking with my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, cousins, and various other relatives who might have been there at any given time. The farm was, and still is, a central gathering place for us.

Here is my grandmother's bird feeder. My aunt and uncle keep the birds fed. We've seen some pretty cool birds at the farm, including sandhill cranes in the corn fields.

Here are some of grandma's grape hyacinths. Does anything say "Grandma Rosen" like the smell of grape hyacinths?

Well, maybe the red tulips. :-)

Here is an aerial picture of the farm, taken in 1999, the year my grandmother passed away.

My aunt and uncle keep my grandparents' coffee cups in the kitchen window. For some reason, the sight of them made me cry.

Here is the pond, also affectionately known as the Tractor Wash. My family loves to have hot dog cookouts by the pond with a bonfire. A small, impromptu gathering of whoever can show up is often around 40 people, so it's good to have an outdoor venue.

Look! Science! Anyone know what kind of critter made this mound?

And here are the girlies, talking to the cows.

Believe it or not, I used to go up in the haymow and stack hay bales! We had to wear long sleeves and jeans because hay is quite prickly. I remember sneezing hay gunk for a week after a day in the mow. Ah, good times.

Once we left the farm, I cried, and we drove to Aunt Donna's house for lunch. She works from home, so we were able to hang out with her for a little while. After that, we went over to the LeBarons' house. They have been friends of my family since we moved to Laingsburg when I was getting ready to go into 2nd grade. Jim & Luann are my parents' best friends. Their daughter, Camille, was staying with them while her husband was in Iraq. Her daughter, Alia, is just beautiful. She was born a couple of months after Isaac. I made sure to get pictures of the babies together (you know, for their wedding reception someday - ha).

We had a lovely visit with the LeBarons, and then we headed back to Ann Arbor for dinner with Todd's family. ON our way, we drove down our old road to see our first house. Here it is:

Beautiful, isn't it? Well, as beautiful as a brick ranch built in the 60's with wonky windows can be. We loved living there. Every year, we've driven by our old house, thinking that if it were ever up for sale, that would be our sign to buy it and move back home. It's never happened, and I'm pretty sure it has new owners again. I guess we missed our window. Drat.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing Hollmann things. We had a family picture taken, which was fun, and went to Webkinz Extravaganza in Ann Arbor on Saturday. Here are all the cousins together:

And here is a picture of Emma, the Snort and me in the airport, waiting to go home:

Here's Abbie, hanging upside down in a chair at the airport. No clue why she's doing that.

I know I should have more pictures of the rest of the weekend, but I don't have them ready right now. Really, I just wanted to reminisce about the farm. I posted a lot of pictures, eh? Let me just tell you - not NEARLY as many as I was going to post. Consider yourself fortunate. And thanks for remembering with me.

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