When people asked us why we were moving from Oregon to Washington, the answer was always the same: to be near family and live on the Family Farm.
The two things go together, of course, although living on the Family Farm was a key component. We wouldn't have moved up here if we weren't going to be living on the Family Farm. I love my family, but we weren't going to leave our whole life in our comfortable suburban home in Oregon just to live in some suburb in a city that I'm not especially fond of.
But the chance to live on the Family Farm was not one we'd pass up. I grew up on this property and knew it was a super duper fabulous place to grow up. The girls are still a little bit young to fully take advantage of everything the property has to offer (tree forts! creeks! ponds! exploring the swamp!), but Sydney is finally getting old enough to do a little bit of exploring with her older cousins.
I just figured this out last weekend when I got it in my head to go take some pictures of frogs. Yes, frogs. Because I wanted to. Don't ask the pregnant lady why she wants to do any of her crazy ideas.
When I walked down to the frog pond, however, I quickly figured out that the frogs would probably not be out basking in the quiet afternoon sunlight.
Sydney and her cousin Amanda were already down there throwing cornfeed to the frogs. At least, I presumed that's what they were doing. When I told Sydney that frogs don't eat cornfeed, she said they weren't feeding the frogs, they were watching the cornfeed float on the algae. Ah. I see now.
Standing on the Tom Sawyer raft reminded them that maybe they wanted a raft ride, so they asked Grandma Nancy to take them for a float.
She quickly obliged, and off they went.
There was no Tom Sawyer raft when I was a kid. If we wanted to go out to the middle of the pond, we had to walk out there. It was hard work and quite a muddy affair. Fortunately, if we got too thirsty, we'd just take a swig of pond water. Gross, indeed. But we're all quite healthy in spite (or because of?) it.
I think the girls might have been trying to spy some frogs, but we haven't yet managed to train the frogs to come right up to the raft. Frogs, as it turns out, are very tricky to train. Also, they quickly learn to be distrustful when you scoop them out of the water for entertainment purposes.
Fortunately, ponds can be quite interesting without friendly frogs.
I have many fond memories of afternoons down at the frog ponds, holding out our fishing poles with red yarn for bait, hoping a frog might bite at it. Which they often did to our constant delight. Catching frogs is far more entertaining than you might think.
Oh, and that duck you see in the corner of the above picture?
Usually the pond has duck decoys floating in it, and the girls happened to scoop them up for inspection. We don't hunt ducks; we just like to encourage them to visit. The girls wanted to bring the duck decoy in the house to play with, but I firmly believe in the rule, "No slimy duck decoys in the house when we have a perfectly good pond for them to live in."
And so they floated hither and thither, marveling at all the wonders of the Frog Pond.
Though we had to make some sacrifices to move away from our Oregon home, I remind myself--especially on these beautiful sunny days--that this is exactly the life we wanted for our kiddos.
Ponds. Frogs. Mud. Rafting. Adventures galore.
When I watch my girls tromping through the same spots that I loved as a kid, it's not hard to remember this is a pretty great place to grow up.
I wouldn't advise drinking the pond water, however. ♥