Down on the Farm
Memories came back today while driving on the west side of the Valley.
When I was young, my father would often drag the Wade boys out to my grandfather's farm and put us to work cleaning ditches, irrigating, and picking pecans. Our work was accompanied by ornate descriptions of what a paradise the place was and how deprived we were growing up on a "little stamp" in the suburbs.
We did not concur. "We're going out to the farm" was an alarm bell. The place was hardly the bucolic beauty pictured in the standard portraits of farms. The farmhouse was abandoned to wasps and spiders and the barn, then unused, was falling down. By then, no one lived on the property. The land was being rented out for farming so there was usually a crop in the field but the rest of the area was spartan. As movies go, it was more Tobacco Road than Friendly Persuasion.
The overall experience, however, was not wasted on youngsters. To this day, my brothers and I have strong senses of humor. That is due in part to our trips to the farm.