Five Minute Friday: Place

My painting of the family farm, 2013

Writing for five unedited minutes on the prompt “Place” for Five Minute Friday.

Last Friday, I was alone in my home–a rare evening when my husband was out of town and my children were with my in-laws.

I took a stroll in the balmy evening. My one-mile walk led me to my family’s farm, and I walked around it freely, since my grandma was also out of town that night.

In a shorter time than I’d like to face, the farm will no longer house someone from my family. My grandma will turn 80 next year, and when she’s gone, in all likelihood the farm will be dissolved. My own family of five will be the last remaining family members left in the area, which has been the homeplace of six generations of my family.

This 100 acres has been in my family for generations, and it’s sad to know this place will change sooner than I’d like.

I walked around the garden, near the old chicken house, under the apple tree, and near the barnyard. So many memories flooded back. As the first great-grandchild, I have the most memories of any of my siblings or cousins. Many good memories of my great-grandparents and grandparents washed over me. I treasure the thousands of memories from that special place.

Even when the land isn’t in the family anymore, it will always be the place I feel most at home. The family farm was a constant for me as a child of divorce. I have always craved a solid, secure homeplace, and the farm was a peaceful haven for me.

Ten days from now, I plan to sit in the front field while I watch the solar eclipse. My great-grandparents are buried nearby, and I will remember the presence of many other family members in the brief and beautiful historic moment.

Questions for reflection:

Do you remember a family homeplace? Is it still in your family? If not, how did you feel when it passed into someone else’s possession?

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  • Aimee Smith

    Hey Sarah, I’m your FMF neighbor this week. My family recently visited the small rural area where my mom grew up. She was in the fourth generation raised in one tiny corner of the world. No one has lived there in years, but we still felt the presence of the people who have gone before us. The place still connects the people!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Aimee, thanks for stopping by. I’m glad you can relate, and you still feel the presence of those who went before, just like I can too.

  • Julie Ann Dibble

    Hi Sarah, thank you for bringing me to the farm! I could see where you were walking. It sounds peaceful and packed with memories. Let me know if you need prayers as the farms future sounds uncertain. Like you, I was a child of divorce. Life was truly a struggle until Jesus. I am thankful for Him and this community of writers. Blessings, Julie, visiting from #27 FMF

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello, I’m thankful for your visit today, Julie Ann. I’m thankful for the very supportive FMF family, like you. I’ll visit your post this weekend. Blessings to you, and I’m glad you understand so well.

  • Sarah, this little post captured my heart as you guessed it would! Our family farm has gone thru changes as well and the property’s house is now being rented. Change is hard, but we hang onto to those carefree days planted firmly in our memories. Thx for this! ❤️

    • Sarah Geringer

      Yes, change is hard, but I’m glad to hang onto many great memories like you. Thanks for stopping by today!

  • Marie

    Your post reminds me so much of things my father has said about his childhood. He spent a lot of time out at his grandparent’s farm and it was a safe haven for him and his brothers when their parents divorced. The property no longer belongs to anyone in our family, but he never stops thinking of it as home.

    There is something so special about the places we associate with specific memories and feelings.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Wow, sounds like my story is in common with several others. I’m glad to know I’m not alone. Thanks Marie!

  • Aww. The only ‘generational’ place in our family belonged to my great-aunt Ester–a beautiful place along the Columbia Gorge in Washington. I have lots of cool memories of Aunty Ester and her farm. Her youngest son has turned the lower portion of it into a campground.

    • Sarah Geringer

      A campground…that’s a fun transformation! Thanks for stopping by, Anita!

  • JeanneTakenaka

    Sarah, what a beautiful post and a beautiful painting! The house I grew up in was built just after 1900. I loved it, and have so many memories woven into its walls. My parents sold it shortly after I graduated from college. I miss it. The other place I remember is where my aunt and uncle lived in Danville, IL. They are both gone now, but we would drive out there and spend a few days with them. I remember chasing fireflies, playing with the neighbor girls and enjoying with family.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you for sharing your memories here, Jeanne. Places are powerful memory markers, aren’t they?

  • Sarah, this is a beautiful post and painting. How precious to have so many memories of a place that has been home for your family for so many years. I am glad you shared your thoughts with us all. Blessings!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello Joanne, thanks for your visit. I’m blessed by this place in so many powerful ways. Blessings to you also!

  • Oh, I want to come rescue the chicken coops and apple trees! What a gift to have such solid memories of a homestead. As you know, I don’t really have this, at least anymore. A couple of our houses did feel like a homeplace, a solid structure of safety and bliss. I loved them and your memory brought up my own. Maybe place is closer than I imagined. Thank you.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Christina, I am always glad to visit your blog and get to know you better there. Even though we’re in opposite places on the homestead spectrum, I’m glad we’re writing sisters at heart. Blessings to you!

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Sarah, this is just so beautiful…I have no family homeplace, but I know that soon the places where I live will be held by another, and that my beloved tools and books will find meaning in other hands.

    And my dogs! they will be loved, but another voice will call them, because mine will not be heard in this world any more.

    And I can’t go on.

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/08/your-dying-spouse-348-other-side-of-me.html

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thanks for visiting, Andrew. Praying God’s peace for you in your struggles right now.

  • jennifer smith

    How bittersweet! So wonderful that you have such wonderful, tender memories….and I’m so sad that the land will not longer be family – and I’ve never even been there!:) Savor all those memories while you can!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you for your encouragement, Jennifer! I’m soaking in the memories and beauty as long as I can.