Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Farm

Yesterday I headed south into the lush farmlands of northwest Indiana. It was a glorious midwestern day. The temperature hovered around 80 degrees in late morning. Puffy white clouds scudded across blue skies.

The corn, not yet as high as an elephant's eye, looked green and healthy.

A carpet of soybeans as far as the eye can see. One can tell that this is a large farming operation. It seems to have just sprung, without help, from the rich Indiana soil. I know, however, that further southwest is the machinery that keeps the farm going. Big white barns house immense pieces of farming equipment. There are drying and storage areas. There are two brothers who, in the season of planting and harvesting, work from sunup to sundown.

I don't go that far. Instead, I turn into the pretty oasis that surrounds the homes on this farm. Its a peaceful and lovely setting for lunch today--lunch with my good friends. The three of us have been having lunch, at least once a month, for the past twenty years. We've shared theater trips, dinners out with spouses and holidays together. We've seen children off to college, careers and marriages. They are family. At times, we are joined by other dear friends. Today was just such a day and there were four of us.

A shaded bower for reading or napping or contemplating life. It once held childhood swings. Our children played there together. They wandered through the corn rows. They went for swims on hot summer days. They gathered around nighttime fires and told tales of the stars. They took carriage rides around the farm when the great horse team of B and C were still pulling carriages. They wandered through the museum on the farm--a museum of local history. Going to the farm always evokes memories of that young laughter and talk turns to what's going on in their lives at present.

Brown transferware plates awaiting our luncheon pleasure.

There is always an abundance of blooming beds and pots around the house. A tribute to my friend's attention to detail and her green thumb.

A little straw hat on each napkin.

Fruited chicken salad, mixed greens with marinated beets and a crusty multi-grain bread. Delicious! The dining room has many windows on two sides. They were open and birdsong entertained us while we ate and conversed.

My friend makes the best blueberry pie I've ever tasted. It is composed of stewed and fresh blueberries and the taste and texture is delicious. She sent a piece home for Andrew. Quite frankly, I was sorely tempted to stop along the way, eat it, discard the evidence and never tell him about her generosity and my gluttony. I didn't. I sat and watched him enjoy it after dinner.

Happily sated with good food and good memories, I headed north and home in the late afternoon. It was a very good day, made even better by a little surprise they had for me. More on that later.

Where in the World is Bonnie Headed?

I'm headed to that "oasis" in the distance. Acres and acres of soybeans to the left of me and corn to the right of me.

Come back tomorrow for details of the day.