It was supposed to rain.  Drizzly, warm, gross rain.  Rain that would cause some people to come, some to stay home, and others to drive out but be grumpy when they got here. 

So, I cleaned.  I cleaned upstairs, I washed floors,  I washed outside windows (pick yourself up off my clean floors- it happens).  I labeled extra trash cans and recycling.  I even completely cleaned the newly-finished basement room.  The tv was set to the Giants/Phillies ball game.  The toys were out and available. I figured people were going to come, it was going to rain buckets about 20 minutes after they arrived, and I needed to be ready for all of them to sit on top of each other whilst eating their mac-n-cheese. 

You know what happens when I clean? 

It doesn’t rain.  It doesn’t rain and people don’t need that extra space in the basement.  It doesn’t rain, forget the space in the basement, and the kids want to jump on hay bales instead of playing with puppets.  It doesn’t rain.  There are still vacuum lines in the carpet downstairs.

I could learn a lot from this.  I probably won’t, but I could.

We welcomed about 65 people to TexasNorth for a hayride and cookout.  Thirty-one of those were under age 12.  It was pretty fabulous.  Everyone crammed into our kitchen/living room/foyer/dining room.  Everyone grabbed a plate, and then everyone just ate and talked.  Some spilled out onto the (uncovered) porches.  Some headed out to the bonfire.  Some just sat right on the floor where they were. 

To all of you who drove down the out of the city, past the lights, and down bumpy road, thank you.  It’s hard to explain why we do this every year…

to see everyone

to share s p a c e

to introduce new friends

It could easily be a ridiculous idea.  We don’t have enough room.  There’s only one bathroom.  One of our doors is a sad sheet of plywood.  We never know what the weather will do.  We guess at numbers and food.  What we do have is a desire for this farm to be welcoming and But we do have a love of bringing people together… for something simple.  Just come.  Bring some chex mix.  Ride on a wagon.  There’s nothing fancy.  There’s no official plan.  Just come. 

I’m incredibly awkward in person.  My words jumble and timing gets off kilter and I forget to put socks on my children.  I went through my usual panics, gagged on weather predictions and host-anxiety (Will they have a good time?  Will they be bored?  Will someone get stampeded?)  And then the people came and it was, as it always is, fine.   I love that our friends and family mix so well.  I love that everyone just files in, grabs their food, and wanders back out again.  I love that not everything has to be so… planned

We love you guys!  We’re so glad you shared your Saturday night with us.  For those of you that missed out this year there’s always next year, rain or shine.  Who knows.  Maybe you’ll get to take a longhorn home.

dreams for next year:

picnic tables

covered porches

more lights outside

a menu of brisket, potato salad, and homemade buns

P.S.  If you got any photos, please pass them along or post them to facebook.  I, of course, got none. None of Ry and Rory sharing pretzels.  None of the hay fort.  None of Bill getting yelled at by Big Belinda.  None of Jim and Heather exchanging aprons.   Hopefully, you can help me out 🙂


About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

10 responses to “hayrides

  • shanda

    We thought about coming. Hand/Foot/Mouth disease stopped us. So glad that it went well. You are fabulous.

  • Wende

    It sounds to me like you need a designated photographer at these things.

    My favorite ways to do this is:

    1. Pick out that shy person, who always seems to stand just on the edge of the action and hand them a camera! It works for SO many reasons, best of all they end up feeling part of something they were just observing. And often, because they’re accustomed to observing, they capture shots you might have otherwise missed.

    2. If your friend set is chock full of extraverts without shy bones of any sort, invest in a bunch of throw away even cameras. Hand them out with the EXPRESS direction that they can’t leave without finishing off the roll. Collect at the end… some of those photos will be priceless.

    Or you could just fly me out to do it! 😀

  • Wende

    My favorite ways ARE… sheesh! 😀

  • esteph

    would’ve loved to have been there. maybe next year…oh wait, we will still be paying off student loans…maybe in 15 years…oh wait, isaac will be 17 and too cool for hayrides! perish the thought! we’ll get up there, one way or another…sooner than later. when are you coming to TX again?

  • Jim

    And we had loads of fun, meeting and talking. Felt like a reunion. Family and friends seemed to blend together.

  • Margie

    Okay. I know you publish posts every Monday and Thursday, and it’s Wednesday and I’m just getting to this. I think it says something about how naturally unstructured my world is…not at all a good thing.

    I laud all you did to prepare for the party! The cleaning, preparations, having TONS of people over. I want to do this, Katie, but I fear my house is not clean enough, that I don’t cook well, that people wouldn’t come. But you make me want to change all that. You’re an inspiration.

    And what a FABULOUS photo of Ry.

  • annie singletary

    i so wish we could come to texasnorth for this, i would love to bring home a longhorn. hey, at least you have a clean house!

talk to me

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: