I grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest in a small farming community located in Washington state. There are so many advantages of growing up in the country and living life through the different seasons. I would like to share with you some of my experiences and fondest memories. I am the youngest of four children and the second born son. Summer was my favorite season while growing up. We were all so thrilled to be out of school, as most kids are. We woke to the sound of birds singing and the sun high in the sky every morning. After breakfast, we all scattered to get our chores done knowing that as soon as we were done the day was ours to use as we wished.
One of our favorite past time was going swimming in the lake we were fortunate enough to live by. We actually went swimming every day from late spring until early September. Another pleasure was going fishing with our father on opening day and all through the season. I clearly remember the rainbow trout and the perch we so loved to fish for. There were summer cookouts, campfires and playing with our neighborhood friends. The summer nights were long and I remember falling asleep to the sound of frogs croaking in the pond just up the street.
My dad always planted a huge garden in which we were very proud. There was a large variety of vegetables that were grown, some used then and a lot canned and frozen for the upcoming winter months. We were very blessed to have an apple orchard with several different kinds of apples to choose from. We had raspberry bushes and wild blackberries as well along with other fruit trees. We raised a couple of pigs and always had fresh venison, and the beef was bought from a family friend. Our milk was purchased in a big glass gallon jar from neighbors and we made fresh butter. The eggs were bought from a chicken farmer and I have never tasted better. My mother was a great cook and I remember her making fresh bread every few days. There is nothing like the smell of bread baking. I used to help her with canning and making jam in the early morning hours. Fall was a splendid time of year in the country. I used to love to watch the trees change and all the beauty of the colorful foliage. The leaves dancing to an unnamed tune and then slowly and gracefully falling to the ground to find their final resting place. The wind was blowing and the clouds were moving across the sky as if on their own accord, and you could smell that clean, crisp air and knew that winter was soon approaching.
Winter was in all aspects another favorite season. We live at the end of a long winding road that was graced with a large hill. Being so far out of town needless to say we had plenty of snow days off school. Either the school was closed because of the snow or the bus couldn’t make it down to pick us up and get back up the hill. Playing in the snow was always such fun with the sun shining on it making it look like bright jewels were scattered evenly over the glistening, sparkling new bed of snow. I remember getting so cold that my siblings and I would think that our hands and feet would freeze and never thaw out. Awe…the joy of childhood in the rustic country. These are my precious memories and I am thankful for them.