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The Splendor of the Farm

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The aroma of saline potato chips and the remains of our ham sandwich lunch flooded our nostrils with quite the unusual smell. Rolling down the windows was the only escape from the scent of our previous snacks, and as a result, our cheeks burned from the constant whipping of the crisp wind. When we attempted to unfold our limbs, we were reminded how bound they were in stiffness. The past seven hours and thirty-five minutes had been spent on the monotonous freeway, and finally we were approaching our long-awaited exit. Winding down the speedometer, we sailed smoothly to the end of the exit, landing on rural country roads. The entrance into serenity reminded me of the underlying purpose to this endeavor. This was not, simply, a week free from busy streets, cramped skyscrapers, and city arrogance; it was my acceptance into the Ewald family.

As we veered around the bend, to my astonishment, lay bountiful hills blanketed in emerald sward, and at last, refreshing mountain air filled the space around. The gentle hum of the engine was overcome by the pure harmony which the miles of beauty sang. Tranquility overwhelmed my being, and instantly put my mind at ease. In the moment of peace, I was reminded of how special it was to be on this journey. The farm was such a sacred place to the Ewalds. The old rustic house, the antiquated barn, and the countless acres of heavenly beauty embraced many of their memories, intertwining them in the hills of the Appalachians. Aside from the overwhelming splendor, this land of magnificence held history. The terrain had been their own since the Civil War, and generations of Ewalds called it home. And, one day, it would too be ours.

Each mile brought a new aspect to the painted masterpiece. Peaks of silver summits peered from the tops of evergreens that sheltered the mountains from the sun’s luminous light. Tiny rays tip-toed along the mountains, leaving shadowy patterns on their walls, yet below the mountains, the sun had no need to squint, for it boldly paraded across the countryside. A quaint creek weaved through the field, yet its lack of size did not make it insignificant since the trail it led was to a flood of vast water. The astounding art work was interrupted by another intriguing sight, the charm of a small town. Even though it lacked population, the irreplaceable character filled the empty space. The town had all the essentials of living: an ample farmer’s market, a petite post office, a city police station and fire department, and an abundance of quirky family stores. Genuine love poured from the windows of each building, an essence of integrity hung from all the eaves, and honorable legacy rocked on the front of every porch. Our speed decreased significantly as we cruised through the humble town. The sound of children’s laughter, while they frolicked throughout the buildings, rang a sweet jingle in our ears. As I gazed at the pure joy that decorated their innocent faces, I imagined our children, one day, romping with the same excitement.

The winding, dusty road soon led us out of the unpretentious town. As we drove in and out and up and down the Appalachian Mountains, our ears popped with the change in altitude. The narrow roads were as a rollercoaster flailing us to and fro. On the border of the road, soaring evergreens clouded our view of the majestic backdrop. With a sudden halt, we stopped the car. The trees had parted, and there rested the most regal picture of all. A panorama of breath taking beauty lay before our eyes. The farms were divided like patchwork on a homemade quilt with cobalt skies to frame it. For miles, our eyes could frolic through the fields, waltzing across jade pastures and twirling down rows of corn. Hours it would take for my mind to fully grasp the splendor, but time was fading past.

With the start of the engine, we coasted down the twining road. The Ewalds’ farm was near approaching, and each mile brought flooding excitement. After all the beauty my eyes had absorbed, my mind frisked with ideas of how the farm might look. Imagination ran rampant, painting a grand white house decorated with shutters of crimson. I pictured an elegant porch hugging the perimeter of the house and sculpted moldings in every corner. As we rounded the bend, the farm unfolded before my eyes. On the tip of a grassy knoll it rested as a crown; there the house reigned in all its beauty. Just as I imagined, there was a porch. In all its magnificence, the crooked porch clung to the front of the house. Peeling white paint flaked off the siding, landing on the rustic brick steps. With pride, the vintage lace draperies filled the rickety windows. On the side of the disheveled abode was a distinctive dog house where three spoiled German Shepherds once lived. Each crevice on this extraordinary house shared a piece of history.

As I stepped out of our car and felt the mountain breeze rush through my hair, I thought of the stunning heritage that lived on this very farm. On the ground where I stood, generations of Ewalds had invested their time, created their memories, and raised their families. Realization ran through my blood, the legacy his family sought to establish was now ours to continue. I took a step back and gazed at the disheveled house: the decaying roof, the cracking paint, the kinked shutters, and the decrepit porch. In front of my eyes rested a glorious splendor, our future.





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