Here we are at Ardenwood Farm in Fremont and that's the Patterson House behind us. The house is fabulous and dates back to 1857. That's four years before my Great Great Grandmother was born and more than one hundred years before I was born. Even though this family was wealthy and lived in a very extravagant home (for that time), they enjoyed a lifestyle that was completely void of every modern convenience that I take for granted each day. We toured the house last year and I still remember walking from room to room intoxicated by the sense of nostalgia (or maybe it was just the thick aromatic smoke that filled the house from the stove in the kitchen?) What stories could these walls tell? I can't help but wonder what my great-great-grandchildren will think of MY house when they stand in front of it some day.
We've been to this farm before but each time we return it's a brand new adventure.
An old train track is still in use on the 205 acre farm. Sometimes, there's a magnificent horse pulling a railroad car/carriage on these tracks. He wasn't there today so wewalked along the tracks with a dozen other families and marveled at all of the Monarch Butterflies swirling around us. Such amazing little creatures! Unfortunately, none would pose long enough to have their picture taken!
The girls also participated in an old tradition of "slinging" hay up into the loft of the barn. They'd pull on the rope to hoist up the bale while someone else made it swing to and fro by pulling on another rope. Then, with perfect timing, they'd let go and the bale would be flung into the loft! It took a few tries but it was easy to see how this would be much easier than carrying each bale up a narrow (and steep!) flight of stairs.
Clever people, our ancestors!