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Sunday, September 07 2014

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” 
Pema Chodron

There is wisdom in these words. I have just taken a bittersweet journey down Memory Lane and find myself in wistful regret. As a birthday gift, a company gave me a free Shutterfly photobook. I could have chosen any number of themes for my photobook, but I picked "Failte Gate Farm."

Although I sold my little farm to buy the ranch in North Texas, I still miss its tattered charm and wanted a way to remember it in its glory.

  Walkway from house to barn covered in climbing roses and grapevines

In their effort to turn the property into yet another cookie cutter subdivision house, the new owners tore down, cut down, and burned down the very things that gave the farm its character, so that today it is a mere shell of its former self. I have shed many tears over roses, grapevines, and trees cut down for any number of obscure reasons such as 'the trunk wasn't straight enough.'

So when faced with the offer of making a free Shutterfly photobook, I immediately began searching my files for pictures of the old farm as I wanted to remember it. Soon it became apparent that the farm wasn't simply the land itself, but the faces on the land.  It is said that "home is not a place, it's a time."  Perhaps this is true, but a farm home is also the animals during that time. Little faces, big faces. Many faces make a farm.

Some faces had been forgotten, but others hit me with a pang of regret. These faces shouldn't have been sold. And perhaps there's a lesson there too. If you think for a minute that you might regret the sale, don't do it. There are goats and sheep that I wish I'd never sold. The money just wasn't worth the regret later.

This age of digital cameras has been a blessing, for as memories blur, they are recovered in full color. The camera doesn't lie and thus it captured both the glories of the farm, and the stark realities. Just as it recorded the brilliant colors of the flowers, and the pairing of aged wood fences with lush green plantings, it also revealed that the wood fences were in disrepair, and that the property flooded more than my glossed-over memory recalled.

I lovingly hunted through hundreds and hundreds of photographs in my search for the twenty which would represent the farm as I wanted to remember it. Some were romantic favorites,

   but others made the cut even though they were poor quality because I wanted to remember some little face in the picture.

 Dora The Explorer

 Karma The Rat Warrior

 Zena The Perfect

After I selected my photos, I was then given the option of different lay-outs, text, covers, etc. Since I love quotes, I began to pair favorite quotes with my pictures. Ironically the quotes helped center me and put things in perspective.

“Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.” 

Victoria Holt

What started as a promotional card that I almost threw away has become a really nice journey both into the past as it was, and as I'd like to remember it.

Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 11:54 pm   |  Permalink   |  5 Comments  |  Email
What about the gorgeous calico cat on the barrel. This was one lovely property and gave many of us pleasure.
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust.) on 09/08/2014 - 05:07 PM
The lovely cat on the barrel is Faith! She and her litter are still in the family. I'll have to blog an update on them later. They are my little calico angels!
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 09/08/2014 - 05:13 PM
Ohmygoodness! I just realized that the picture you were looking at was Karma the Rat Warrior, not Faith and her basket of eggs!
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 09/09/2014 - 11:03 AM
Oh how I miss that farm..... I wish I could have bought it.
Posted by Mindy on 09/09/2014 - 08:47 PM
Mindy, that is my biggest regret! I really wanted you guys to have that place. If our lender hadn't insisted on such a large down payment for the other property, I would have been able to sell this to you guys. It would have been perfect for everyone. :(
Posted by Forensicfarmgirl on 09/09/2014 - 08:56 PM

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