My dad dreamed of being a farmer. Yup, he preferred bib overalls to the dress shirts and suit coats he donned for work five days a week.
Dad and Mom saved enough to buy 186 acres near Evart, Michigan. May to September, when Friday rolled around, our family of five piled into the cab of Dad’s red Chevy pickup with Daisy (our beagle) and Ting-A-Ling (our Siamese cat). We drove ninety miles to our cottage and stopped mid-way in Farwell for an ice cream cone. I have two older brothers, so early on I sat on Mom’s lap. Later, we bought a big car to travel away from suburbia to his paradise.
A trout stream ran through the land and weekends found us fishing, running a tractor, and putting up fences. I’m not certain if the creek still exists. This is the area where Nestle USA is extracting water at a rate of 400 gallons a minute. If Dad were alive, he’d join his neighbors in the fight.
Back to happy memories…Our cottage sat behind us in the photo. The woods in the background provided cover for deer, bears, owls, and Whip-poor-will birds. If you’ve never heard their call, Google the smooth, mellow, and determined notes.
I was crazy about horses from the first time I remember Dad lifting me to sit atop a big palomino on a neighbor’s property near the cottage. My mom and I had a very strong and special bond, but it was Dad who took me to sulky races in Marion, a nearby town hosting the yearly county fair. A friend of his raised Standardbreds for harness racing, and we gave one of his beautiful bay stallions, Calex, a home for the best summer of my childhood spent riding a gentle giant.
Dad would be proud that I brought Lance (my 29 year old gelding) into my life and that I write about the charm, challenges, and wonderful folks in rural Emma Springs. It’s said to write what you know. Dad opened my eyes to country living. Yup, I could’ve been a farmer too. Daddy’s little girl.