June 30, 2014

Making Memories in Unexpected Ways

A few days after our granddaughter arrived here for her annual summer visit, she and I set out on a hike one morning after feeding the horses. We put on boots and heavy socks for our walk. I debated about taking my good camera but decided not to.

After letting the horses loose, we took our empty buckets into the hayfield and walked out to the blackberry thickets. The canes are loaded, but the berries aren't ready yet. We sampled a couple of black ones but they were pretty tart.

Next we headed to the sand plum thicket near the pond. They are late ripening this year; usually they are done by the time she arrives in June. They weren't quite ready yet either.

So we kept walking. We were excited to find some Indian paintbrush in bloom. They're usually through blooming by June too, but there were still quite a few flowers. Granddaughter has wanted to see some for several years now and was excited to find these.

And I was excited to find some trumpet vine on the edge of the woods. The woody vines climbed up the trees, and way up high there were several flowers. I regretted not bringing my good camera at this point; I took this with my phone's camera.

As we walked, we talked about her dog that died recently, about mosquitoes and why God created them (I don't know a mosquito's purpose in the world, but I do know that God created them for a reason), and about the plants we passed. I pointed out where an armadillo had been digging, and we walked along a deer path. She told me all about the science camp she'd attended.

Onward we went, looking for the prime goal of our walk: the bee balm, or wild bergamot, that I'd spotted a few years ago. Unfortunately it seems to have died out. Granddaughter suggested that I buy some seeds and plant them closer to the house, which sounds like a good idea to me.

As we continued through a clearing we spotted a patch of mullein plants in bloom. We stopped to pick the flowers so I could infuse them in oil. As we picked the tiny yellow flowers we noticed the different insects on the flower stalks. After several minutes I heard a noise. "I hope that's wind and not rain," I said as I eyed the distance to the horse barn, about ten acres away, but within a few minutes the raindrops were coming down. We took shelter under a tree, but the heavy rain soon soaked us, and I was glad I didn't have my good camera.

Eventually we were drenched and we decided we'd head back, rain or no rain - we were so wet that it would make no difference. We took shelter in the horse barn and waited an additional ten minutes until the rain stopped. We walked up the hill towards the house, carrying our buckets with barely a half cup of mullein flowers inside. At the top of the hill, the sole came apart from my work boot, and it flapped like a flip-flop as I walked the rest of the way to the house through the mud. Granddaughter and I laughed the whole way as we dripped and flapped. I hope it's a day she'll remember forever.

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. It's the beautifully, simple things in life that are the most memorable, Kathi. Thank you for sharing this.


  2. Oh how I enjoy walking with you this morning! I remember walking and picking huckleberries with my grandma so I'm sure it will a memory treasure by your sweet granddaughter. ~Pamela

  3. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead9:08 AM

    You are so right, Fern. Thank you for that!

  4. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead9:20 AM

    Thank you, Pamela! I'm so glad that's a memory you treasure.

  5. What a neat post.. Memorable at that!!

    You seem to know a lot about nature..and how fun to be caught in a soaking rain. :) I had to chuckle over your camera quandary. :)

    I am visiting here today from The Art of Home-Making linkup. ;)

  6. Love this. Thank you for sharing!! Such a fun memory. :) I have that trumpet vine all over my back alley...is it good for anything?

  7. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead12:51 PM

    As far as I know, Rose, trumpet vine's purpose is to look pretty. :-)

  8. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead3:45 PM

    Bevy, thank you so much for visiting. I do try to have a positive outlook - my cup isn't just half-full, it runneth over!

  9. Beautiful post. I would love to spend time with my grandchildren like that! I homed in on the mention of blackberries. It really is late isn't it? I am a neighbor in Texas. I smiled when reading this. We used to have pasture land we rented for our horses. We could always tell when the blackberries were ripe the paint horse always had purple looking stains on his face. We always tried to beat them to the ripe berries but we never did.
    Your sweet making memories post brought back sweet memories for me. Thank you for sharing this.
    I am following you. I always love visiting blogs that remind me of my ranchin' days. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead8:58 PM

    Lynn, every farm dog we've had has eaten its share of blackberries, reaching delicately through the thorns to find the ripe ones. We have one horse that will eat the berries if we offer them, but he won't brave the thorns.

    Thank you so much for visiting, for commenting, for following. I've really been blessed by all the comments today.

  11. It's the simple things that we remember because they feel so good.
    I hope you have many more magical moments like this one.

  12. Wonderful that your granddaughter has a love of nature and you to experience it with. Sorry about her dog...does the new pup have a name yet?

  13. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead6:43 AM

    Her dog had a tragic accident, poor thing. They were very close.

  14. I will never forget the summers spent with grandma... I know your granddaughter will treasure the memories forever! Thank you for sharing this sweet story on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! :)

  15. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead6:09 AM

    Thank you, Jes. We are really blessed that our daughter sends her here for several weeks each summer, since we live in different states.

  16. I really enjoyed this! I'm featuring it Tuesday on my blog at Tuesday's with a twist! HOpe you stop by to link up! Great Pictures too - Carole

  17. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead7:08 PM

    Thank you so much, Carole!

  18. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead5:20 PM

    Thank you, Lisa. We have a lot of fun when she visits. ;-)

  19. Wonderful way to make memories and beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday.

  20. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead10:41 AM

    Thank you, Millie.

  21. How wonderful Kathi! I'm sure she will remember. It's things like this that I remember so fondly about my Grandma.

  22. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead4:43 PM

    Thank you, Ann, I'm glad to hear that's the kind of thing you remember too.


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