While in Iowa recently we visited the family farm. It's been in the family for over 120 years now, started by Great-Grandpa Peter Wirth. Uncle Phil and Aunt Karen were so gracious to invite us over to have the kids take a look around. It had been awhile since I had been back, but I hold many memories of when grandma and grandpa still lived there in the original farmhouse, and the cookouts we would have, and of course the times we would all gather to freeze corn. It was an operation that the family had down to a science. Everyone had their jobs: picking (men), shucking (kids), boiling, cutting, bagging (women). As a kid I had so much fun running wild with the cousins, taunting the pigs, hiding from Bo the dog whom we were convinced wanted to eat us all alive, exploring the farm and just generally looking for trouble. All the things kids are supposed to do. A couple times Uncle Phil even hooked up a hay wagon onto a tractor and took us out into the fields. Such wonderful memories, and I'm looking forward to getting the kids back there again. Here are some pictures I took during the visit:
The boys on one of grandpa's tractors. Uncle Phil also has the first tractor grandpa ever bought. Both of them have been restored. Aunt Karen said that grandpa was "a red tractor guy". No green ones on this farm!
The boys taking off to check out the sheep.
And there they go!
Uncle Phil feeding the lambs.
Babies and mamas. Uncle Phil explained that they are born with tails, but after birth a rubberband-like thing is attached which slowly cuts of the circulation and the tail eventually falls off. I had no idea! I guess this process doesn't bother them too much. I have to say, the tails do look gross. They are much cuter without the tails!
And the lambs are so soft! They feel like velvet.
I love this picture. Mom and Uncle Phil. Big sister and kid brother. Uncle Phil is truly the sweetest man on the planet. I know grandpa was so proud of him for carrying on the family tradition. I told Uncle Phil how wonderful it was to be home, and in the wide open spaces of Iowa. He told me that his favorite place in the world is to be on the back porch when the corn is high, and just sit and watch the wind rolling over the fields like waves. I couldn't agree more.
I hope the kids have Iowa memories when they're grown.
I bet the lamb has other hopes.
Kevin, the city boy, picking Uncle Phil's brain.
And dad just generally looking awesome as usual.
One of the original barns. Grandpa once got stuck in the silo to the left of the barn. He was checking on the corn and fell in. He was in there for several hours calling for help and no one heard him. I can only imagine that the corn would be like quick sand? I would be terrified! While he was in there someone even stopped to drop something off and then left without a clue. Eventually it was grandma who realized she hadn't seen grandpa in awhile and she found him. He was fine, but it made an interesting story! Oh, grandpa!
The old gas pump. I remember wondering what this was when I was little. American Pickers would love this! Uncle Phil said that people have stopped to offer to buy it. It's too priceless to let it go.
Group shot of the Wirth clan. We had such a nice visit. Elayna and I both told Uncle Phil that we'd like another hayride some day. Wouldn't that be fun? Thank you for such a fun visit Uncle Phil and Aunt Karen!