Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Old Friend

Last week we went back to The Alisal.  From the time I was six years old until I was around 25, we went every year on family vacation.  Beginning with my nuclear family, then adding Brian, we honeymooned there, and it was where I announced that I was pregnant with Charles.  So Sidney had been there once, when she was about 10 months old.  This time we were able to introduce our now tween kids to a wonderful tradition.  The only thing missing was my bro and his family, but that will soon be remedied!

When B and I bought our little farm, our first feeling driving in was the same as the one we got when we were driving down the lane at the Alisal.  Our little oasis; it was an integral selling point leading us on our now six year journey into homesteading while carrying our other house.  Maybe it was my ability to immerse myself in Little House books as a youngster, then Louis L'Amour as a tween or maybe it was growing up around this truly beautiful spot where the soul of the old west still lingered, but my connection to the land has always been strong and may have originated here.

We had just arrived, and were walking across the bridge to give the kids a tour, and as I looked across, I saw the above shot.  As I said yesterday, my camera was an appendage the entire trip.  I quickly snapped this shot in the first 5 minutes on the ranch.  It set a tone for the week; slow down, take notice, and appreciate what is happening right in front of you.

A trip like this is equal parts reminiscence and rediscovery (as most things are when you see them through your kids eyes).  I think a tear actually came to my eye when Cowboy Dick lead Charles into the corral before the breakfast ride, and then he engaged Sidney in conversation about her brand earrings (the Alisal is a working cattle ranch).  Dick was the first one to lead me in when I got to ride at age 6.  Though there are still some around from the day, they are precious few, and none living more iconic to the Alisal, than this cowboy.

Old friends can be more than just a cherished person.  They can be an idea, a place, a memory, or something that you have a deep connection with that simply makes you smile. 

This post is inspired by the July 1st prompt from NaBloPoMo "Write about the last time you connected with a friend."
NaBloPoMo July 2013

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