Sometimes you travel to places that feel like home. Even if you’ve never been.
I’m homeschooling right now so that means I get to go learn wherever I want. And sometimes whatever I want. My mom makes me do math, reading, typing and writing, but then I get to choose other things to learn. My cousins have a farm in Idaho. I thought it would be a good idea to go up there and learn about the farm. Because guess what? They have a baby goat. I asked my mom if I could go up to the farm for a few days. By myself. She said yes. Then, my aunt said yes! So that means I could go to the farm. I wanted to go that day, but my mom said I had to wait until “arrangements” could be made. It seemed like it took forever.
Finally, it was time to go to the farm. I was excited to spend time alone with my cousins and see all their animals. Especially the baby goat. I woke up early and packed up all my clothes in an orange duffle bag before my mom even asked me to. She checked it later and I hadn’t forgotten anything. Not even my toothbrush or toothpaste — or my underwear. I sometimes forget that last part.
When I was driving up I felt really excited. My mom drove me to my grandpa and grandma’s house, which was about half way. Then, they drove me the rest of the way to the farm. The drive took two-and-half hours all together. I looked out the window and saw trees and fences and sky.
When I got there, I didn’t even wait to see anyone. I went straight over to the chicken coop, got a bucket and collected 8 eggs. There were green ones and brown ones with little spots. Then, I went in to where the goats were and I held the baby goat named Gracie. She jumped on my back and she chewed my hair. She ripped a little out of my head. It felt weird, but it didn’t really hurt.
I put my bags in the bungalow. The bungalow is what they call the little house by the river. It’s still on the farm but it’s a little bit away from the main house. My aunt thought I’d like it there and she was right. It was really sunny and nice in there.
There were all sorts of new things to see and explore at the farm on top of the chickens and the goats. I saw cranes and heard them, too. They were very loud. I went to see the goose sitting on her eggs. She was hissing at us a bunch.
I went to bed that night and slept really good.
I woke up the next day to the roosters crowing. But they didn’t actually wake me up. The sun did. My aunt said the roosters had been crowing a long time before the sun came up.
For breakfast I had eggs, fresh from the chickens (the ones I collected from yesterday) and bacon. The yokes were orange. They were super delicious. The bacon wasn’t from the farm, but it was still delicious.
I helped do farm work that day. I checked out the two roosters. One of them is named Golliath, and he’s the big one. The other is named David; he’s the small one, of course.
I didn’t milk the goats because the goat with milk also has a baby nursing from her. There is this one male goat named Chewey. He tried to horn me. I think he was trying to show off how manly he is.
My cousins are starting to build a greenhouse, a big garden and a vineyard. I helped make holes to put beams in to grow the grapes. It was hard work. Even with the help of my twenty-year old cousin, James. We didn’t wear gloves or anything. We just used our hands. We got really dirty.
After the work, we went to the hot springs nearby. I went in some hot springs in Thailand once, and these weren’t quite as hot. The ones in Thailand were boiling. Each pool, had a different name that had to do with eggs and cooking, and they got hotter and hotter and stinker and stinker as you got closer to the natural spring. The hottest one was called “hard boiled egg.” These hot springs weren’t as hot or as stinky as those ones. They actually weren’t stinky at all. The water from the hot springs came out of a spout into a pool. I think the hot spring was a little bit away which is why it isn’t so hot. The workers told us the actual the hot springs are covered by rocks.
There was a slide tower at the hot springs that was all boarded up. We didn’t go in there and it looked kind of creepy. My cousins and I made up stories about people living in there.It was really fun. But then it kind of freaked me out because my imagination got carried away.
I still slept well. It must have been because of the hard work from before.
I woke up and heard the rooster crowing again. Then, I watched the movie Little Rascals.
I helped on the farm again later. We worked some more on putting beams in the ground for the grapes to grow on. I got really tired doing it today. I got dirty again.
I also flew a kite. It was windy that day. The kite was the color of a rainbow with a sun on the front. I stood in an open field on the farm and let it fly. When I was taking the kite back to my aunt, I tripped and my fingers got smashed in some wood. It hurt and I got a few splinters.
That night, we had a bonfire in the fire pit my aunt built by the river. We were going to roast marsh mellows but we didn’t have any. I helped build the fire. One of my cousins had already chopped some firewood but it didn’t all fit in the pit so I helped chop it into the smaller pieces. Then, I stacked it in the pit.
We sat around the fire telling stories about adventures. It felt warm. We sang songs. I can’t really remember which ones but I liked the singing. We sang without a guitar or anything – we just used our voices.
When I got back home, I didn’t want to wash my clothes or my hair because I liked the fire smell so much. And I didn’t – for a few days at least. It reminded me of the good times on the farm. But after a while, my mom said that I’d have to think of other ways to remember the farm because I was way too stinky!
The drive home seemed a little bit longer than when I drove up to the farm. My grandparents drove me the whole way home. I was a little bit sad, and happy too — a lot of emotions all mixed up together. I was happy to see my family but I already missed the farm, the animals and all the noises. I kind of think I’m built for farm life. When I told that to my mom, she said it runs in my blood because my grandpa Oscar was a farm boy. I talked to her about when I could go back because I’ve got all sorts of plans!
Photos by Lynette Norton