I cracked open an ice cold cola and leaned against the porch railing. Looking out over my new farmlands, I let out a contented sigh. It felt right to slow down. Life was moving too fast in the city. I’d only been here a few weeks, but could already sense a difference. I awoke with the sun, fed the chickens and other livestock, then made my way to the barn to milk Butternut and Gretel, my dairy cows. After a long day tending to the fields and animals, I was grateful for a moment’s rest. I watched as the sun set behind a large, oak tree. There was a glimmer of a crescent moon above it and a hazy, orange sky peeked through the wily branches.
Grandpa Sam had passed away and left me the farm in his will. My father is in his seventies – not exactly prime age for taking on a project of this magnitude. The farm had sat, wilted and disused, for over half a century. My Nana Sally died just after Dad left for college, and Grandpa – may he rest in peace – hadn’t managed to keep things going after she was gone. Still, he held onto the property, living on the land until he retired to a nursing home last year. I used to spend summers here, playing in the overgrown fields and splashing in the small pond where the ducks would come to swim and rest on their travels. The pond was gone when I arrived after being willed the land. No ducks, no chickens, nothing but a dilapidated old farm house, a falling-down barn, and forty acres of dust.
I definitely had my work cut out for me. But, after being an accountant in the big city for over thirty years, I figured the change of pace would do me good. At first, it was nice. I slept in. Ate when I wanted to. Fixed a few things here and there. The cabinets were hanging from their hinges and needed replacing, and the carpet in the living room was dingy, frayed, and smelled of mold. There was a lot of work to be done to make the farm functional again, but I was oblivious to it at first. I quickly came to realize the soil needed fertilizing, the livestock needed to be purchased, and I’d have to figure out somewhere to sell all the goods I produced – assuming I could produce any.
I was in luck, though! My neighbors, another farming couple with kids in college, offered to show me the ropes. They even gave me a few tools and sold me my first chickens! With a few good friends and some quick learning through trial and error, I quickly began to get things up and running. I think my grandfather would be proud if he could see this place now. I think I’ll call it ‘Sam’s Place’.