My family lived on a Ranch full time from 1993 until 2015. We were a 5th generation family farm.
I am writing this blog to share my experiences living there. It is best to read the blog chronologically by going through the archives, starting with the introduction in January of 2010.
The blog starts with the arrival of my great-grandparents to the farm in 1947 and will follow the families to the present.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The coffee pot is always on.....

I recently was forced to take an extended time off work due to a particularly nasty cold. I spent the days alone in our home on the farm and it was during this time that it occurred to me how isolated this place has become. I reflected back to when my great grandmother moved here with her husband in 1947 and I know from her correspondence during that time that there was a flow of people through her house. I spent days alone here and nobody came by until the late evening when my family would come home from school and work. The only connection to community was through the internet.
I became truly thankful that when I was home as the only adult with three small children that the social climate was more palatable to socialization. Not a day would go by when there was not someone "dropping" in, starting with my father arriving to the house before 6:00 AM. My oldest son would be sure to be awake before the arrival of his "Papa" in order to turn the porch light on. He would also at times attempt to make coffee with questionable results. This routine started when my son was just over two years old and continued until his papa's death.
My son Mico and his papa, one early summer day.

There was one other young family that lived a couple of kilometeres down the road. They also had three small children around the ages of mine. Her oldest were girls, rather than mine being boys, and I contribute this gender difference to her ability to marshal her children for the walk over to our house. She would be arriving at our door just as I was finally getting the outdoor clothing on the youngest. I would never learn to dress myself last so I would be absolutely overheated and sweating profusely. My friend's children were truly accomplished walkers. I am not sure if it is because of this early training but as young adults they are all naturally athletic. Our children are as well despite the lack of the same type of walking regime. Their exercise came more in the form of aimless wandering.
Mico and Aidan wandering aimlessly

It seems to me during that time that everyone was a visitor.  For example, we were friendly with the "grader-man" who would leave the government road and continue on to grade our driveway, coming right up to the house. The children would dash outside to wave wildly at the very kind man. It was truly impressive to have the massive machine right up to the house. They were as excited as their urban counterparts would be with the arrival of an ice cream truck.
I never used the expression the "coffee pot is always on" as I had become a bit of a snob when I left home, and developed a taste for expresso or freshly ground and brewed drip coffee. However at my parent's house the coffee pot was always on. I can still recall the bitter burnt smell of old coffee. My father would often microwave himself a cup later in the day.

As they day wore on the coffee developed a veritable patina of old age, sometimes to the point that my parents would make a fresh pot.
To live in a functioning community is a gift, an exchange of services and friendship. During my years with young children my emergency list of numbers stated to phone the neighbors first and then 911.  Social events constituted of a large number of guests that were within the close proximity.  There is statistical evidence, but common sense would also lead us to believe, that children that grow up in such a community have a lower incidence of mental health disorders, addictions issues and juvenile delinquency. I have a very small sample to draw from but my children and my friend's children certainly are 100% well.

A beautiful table of local children.

Our children are 100% well.

Our friends have moved away and my father passed in 2000, bringing an end to that era of a caring community.
It is now the loneliest place on earth.