Big Rock Candy Mountains

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This past weekend, we loaded up the fam and headed out for the country.  We had so much fun driving out into unknown lands filled with happy green pastures and yellow buttercups scattered across fields.  We drove to this one area that was absolutely breathtaking.  It looked like the rolling hills of Kentucky but only a few miles south of Birmingham!

This "secret" place reminds me of the Lisa Loeb remake of Harry McClintock's... "Big Rock Candy Mountain".

"There is a land I've heard about
Where springtime's never over
The air is sweet, and your friends all meet
And you feel the four-leaf clover."

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"In the big rock candy mountains
There's a land that's fair and bright
Where the pennies grow on bushes
And you sleep out every night
And the cows are in the meadows
And they're eating buttercups
I'm bound to go where there ain't snow
Where the rain don't fall
And the winds don't blow
In the big rock candy mountains"

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"There's a silver lake and a gold one too
You can paddle all around in a wooden canoe
In the big rock candy mountains"

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"Oh, the buzzing of the bees in
the peppermint trees,
And the soda water fountains
The lemonade springs and the
Buttercup meadows."

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"I'm bound to go
Where there ain't snow

Where the rain don't fall
And the winds don't blow
In the big rock candy mountains."

So I am calling this area south of Birmingham,  "The Big Rock Candy Mountains".  Even though the "mountains" are really just hills..... it is all fair and bright!

The Farm

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Inside my bones and heart, I am a girl who loves the country.   My dad grew up on a farm and my mom grew up on a ranch... both in Nebraska. So, my blood does have that soil in it and I do love land.  Whenever I see a farm,  I smile.  And sometimes I imagine what goes on in that farm I pass by.  Does the barn smell of hay and have lots of cats running around in it, with cows below the wooden beams of the loft?  Is there a garden filled with all kinds of tomatoes and cucumbers, corn, potatoes and peppers?  Does it have that pure smell of dandelions and manure, blue sky and fresh hay? Those were my memories of my grandparent's farm on my dad's side.  I remember one time when our family was staying at the farm during summer vacation and my grandpa tried to catch a kitten for me.  I'll never forget the way he walked into the kitchen with his hands all scratched and bleeding. He had tried very hard to get a kitten for me to cuddle.  But those farm cats... well, they were just "wild" as my grandpa said.  I remember feeling guilty that grandpa had tried so hard to catch a wild, barn cat; but that sweet gesture will always stay with me.

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During our summer vacation, my brother and I played all day in our make believe lands we created on the farm.  I made mud pies among the little grove of trees and played house on the sun porch. In the evening, we sat in the kitchen and ate mint chocolate chip ice cream and then played pick up sticks or dominoes in the den.  I remember seeing Rudolph's red nose light up the sky on Christmas Eve; and on a hot July day, painting the white picket fence that framed the perfect meadow for a horse.  I remember riding a horse and then falling off a horse and riding the John Deere tractor through the fields with my dad.  Dad always pointed out his favorite spots of the land and we  talked about the creek and how it was a perfect place to eat lunch on hot days because of the shade trees.

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And so with the memories of the farm days at my grandparents, I  have a sweet, tender view of farm life.

Now that I'm thinking through all these memories, there are so many more to share. Next time I share them, I want to have actual photos of my grandparent's farm. To me, it was the perfect farm, the perfect land.
For now, I will look at farms and continue to smile and be a farm girl at heart.

And with all this looking at farms and green grass and vineyards.... I am even more ready to see spring time bloom and the grass turn green.  Ah, February days, I love you for a while, but honestly, glad you are only 28 days.

photos from redroom studios