Today, the children and I made the trip to my parents farm. V stayed home to work since he has deadlines for articles on both Monday and Tuesday. It was a lovely day. J16 drove both ways, getting in more needed driving time- including the drive back in the dark.
We helped out a bit around the farm, shoveling some of the 17 inches or so of snow that they got. Fortunately, a neighbor came over with a tractor and blade and cleared the drive and also shoveled the front porch for them. But the children and I cleared the back door and a path to the wood pile. We also cleared a path to the gas pig- and another from the little pig that supplies the house to the larger tank that holds most of the supply. The little tank is due to be filled soon so Dad needs to be able to get from the little tank to the big to attach the line for the transfer.
The real reason we went was to celebrate Dad's birthday. We were a bit early since his birthday isn't actually until Monday but we celebrated nonetheless.
The birthday boy is waiting for his cake and ice cream!
We also did a bit of a seed swap. Well, rather, I gave them some seeds for the garden. Mom commented last year that she really liked the India Paint eggplant that I grew so I gave them a few seeds. I also gave them some Amana Orange tomato seeds and a few of our new Tigger melon seeds. I think I may also start some cauliflower seedlings for them since I learned that (with his medications) cauliflower is the only brassica that Dad can eat.
But we definitely ended up on the better end of the deal. They have been conditioning some Hickory nuts for us. These are from Big Hickory trees that are much more uncommon and slower growing than the usual shagbark ones. They have much, much larger nuts and are easier to crack out. So, they have been moving seeds from the fridge to the freezer for the last month or so, giving them the cold they need to sprout in the spring. We are hoping to plant them on our property as they thrive in wetter conditions than most hickories. Of course, it will be 30 or 40 years before they really start bearing nuts but we're looking to the future here. Who knows what 40 years from now will bring. Maybe our children or grandchildren can harvest the nuts.
We also ended up with several sleds. Years ago, my parents purchased a plastic sled for J16 that they kept at their house since we didn't have a good place to sled at the time. They finally decided that it is time for us to take it home. We also ended up with two ancient Flexible Flyer sleds (or similar type) that need some work but are in basically working condition. These sleds are probably 50 or more years old but still look like fun.
And even better... Mom baked hickory nut sticky buns and sent a pan back with us. YUM!!!