G, Little Missy and Baby Chickadee are all at excellent ages to go to the farm

Recently, on one of the big kids’ days off from school, we travelled a little way out of town to my friend’s ranch for the morning and ended up in such pretty, hilly country that you can hardly believe it’s so close to the flat earth of Augusta. That morning G and Little Missy explored with their friends and got wet in the creek and breathed in big air.

As I drove home I wished so hard for them that we could live in the country, to give them a chance every day to explore and dig and get dirty.

So when Hubby suggested we go to his parents’ farm overnight last weekend I barely hesitated with my yes. Usually I have to think through the clothes I’ll have to pack and the food we’ll have to bring and whether that food has even been purchased yet and all the driving for one overnight excursion. But the February weather was supposed to be gorgeous on the day he wanted to go, we had no commitments in Augusta, I wanted the kids to breathe big air again, and so we went.

G, Little Missy and Baby Chickadee are all at excellent ages to go to the farm--the big kids can pack their own bags and help us get the food and the fishing poles and the whatnot together, then once we’re there all three of them can explore a bit without us standing over them. Hubby and I can now sit in the sunshine with coffee and watch them push through the trees and get their legs wet in the creek. (Although I was the only one sitting, because Hubby continues to be the better parent: he tramped with them through trees and held Baby Chickadee’s hand next to the pond.) Then later Hubby took the big kids on a four-wheeler to a safe spot where they could shoot G’s BB gun and Little Missy’s bow and arrow while Baby Chickadee stayed back at the cabin and snuggled on a tiny love seat for a nap.

Late afternoon we cooked hot dogs over a fire outside, then bundled in close as the coyotes howled around us and we went in a circle and each of us made up a bit of a story about our super dog who battled coyotes with us by her side. Then inside to play Yahtzee before a movie for the big kids and sleep, glorious sleep.

The next morning Baby Chickadee woke first and went to her brother’s sleeping bag with a, “Wake up, G! Is sunny outside!” She knows her brother to be the better candidate to wake early in the morning, because her brother will not roll over and attempt re-sleep like a sane person but will go out to the kitchen and play horses with her.

Then more playing, breakfast, more playing, lunch with my in-laws, a ride around ash-covered ground that had just been burned in a wildfire a week before, more playing and then cleaning up, topped with dinner at my friend’s ranch where there was more to explore.

I love our house and our little neighborhood and having friends so close by but man, I sure do love escaping to the country every now and again.



Erin Fox is a busy wife and mother of three. She is a weekly columnist for the Times- Gazette.