So, here I am three in the morning and wide awake. I'm not certain if it's from the multiple kicks in the ribs from my 6 year old who yet again jumped in bed with us or if it's from the bigger issue that is weighing on my mind. My guess it's the latter of the two.
I have wanted to write a blog for a while now and well I guess this is the perfect time to do so since Harmony in Hog Swamp is becoming uprooted. I need to start at the beginning, the reason why I have chosen the title of my blog...
I grew up on a farm with my entire family on one street in a small town in Ham Lake, MN. Though it's not so much of a "lake" as it is a "pond" or "swamp". This "swamp" is shaped like a ham so there's truth in that...my friends and I grew up calling Ham Lake "pig pond," but that just didn't go well with my title so my genius cousin (and neighbor for many years) thought of Hog Swamp. The harmony part well that has many different facets to it. My mom and her siblings have a housing development just off the farm and they called it "Harmony". Also, with having your entire family on one street this word "harmony" transforms and presents itself differently over the years, but in the end all that remains through divorces, or moves, or fights...is harmony. It's what my Grandma Grapes taught and instilled in us.
Back to why I started this now. Well, my parents are moving from the farm, from the land that was gifted to them for one dollar, from the house that my dad and great uncles built, from the place that I grew up in and lived the best childhood that anyone could have imagined. I never thought I could be so emotionally tied to a house, especially one that I did not own. I am excited for my parents new adventure though I am saddened to not be able to "go to the farm" with my girls. Trying to explain to you or my girls what life was like growing up next to your entire family is difficult, but I will give it a shot. It's sort of a cross between "that guest who over stayed their welcome" type of feel and the "one that got away" and all you do is spend the rest of your days trying to get it back type of feeling.
What I loved about my entire family living on one street...always having a cousin to play with, laughing at my grandma after she frantically calls the house saying a "blue car just pulled in your driveway, just want to make sure your safe" (she regularly sat with binoculars at her kitchen table watching over our houses), being able to play mom when I was 12 or so to my baby cousins (that was the best!), Easter egg hunts usually spanned the entire farm, if my sister or I ever got into trouble we had 5 sets of parents "protecting" us from the wrath of my mom...well that was mainly my sister, I was the angel compared to her, but what I loved the most was always having someone to talk to when I needed it. I like to think that I had 7 moms growing up and 7 fun dads and tons of cousins. Nothing can beat the feeling of having an entire farm and tons of kids to play hide and seek! If you are envisioning an Amish family right now, well we couldn't be further from that. I am not certain any of us would know how to raise a barn!
What I didn't like about living next to my entire family...if my mom were in the "right" about her wrath we had 5 sets of parents ready to back her up, little to no privacy (who really needs that, right?), the inability to throw a party when your parents are out of town (that was a real bummer and I am seriously feeling like I missed out here...lol), mainly the feeling that moving away is too much to bear because being so close is all I ever remember.
I remember my grandma used to tell me that family is forever and traditions are important to teach to my kids some day, but the truth is that family evolves and changes. There is death and divorce that divides us, traditions no longer look the same nor feel the same. My parents house will sell and I no longer will drive to the farm; the start of a new tradition will need to evolve and we will adapt because we want to show our excitement for my parents next steps. I just thought this day would never come. I guess in some respect, I wished that this day would never come.