willowbrook farm

historic yellow springs


If We Build It They Will Come

What do you do with a very large field that used to house horses in it?
Get out your tractor and cut a baseball field into the verdant green grass!
That is what my dad did this past summer. I think he secretly did it so he could lure his 12 grandsons to come over and play frequently…as long as they stayed outside.  Or being the baseball lover that he is, he might have truly wanted to re-enact Kevin Costner’s baseball field of ghost greats! Whatever the case may be, it worked this past weekend when we were coming up with plans to celebrate our oldest sons’ 22nd Birthday. When asked what he would like to do, his first reply without even thinking was, “To play baseball at Skip Pops.” (That is what the kids call my dad. When we had Christopher, who was the first grandchild, he was younger than I…ouch! and did not feel that he was ready to be called grand pa…so he came up with Skip – his first name and Pop. Makes him sound much younger!) 
So that is what we did! We sure can field 2 baseball teams with family members and the day could not have been any more beautiful!
Christopher is always the pitcher… because he can get it across the plate.
Being that there were so many boys here…I did say 12 grand SONS (okay one was too little to play and his brother was just born a week ago so there were only 10 and 3 live in North Carolina so that left 7) they needed to get some more of their energy out by running around an almost painted empty pool. Tons of fun! Kelsey, our daughter who is spending a semester abroad in London at the present time, would have been standing at the edge shaking her head asking, “Why?” as they completed their 57th lap.  
One thing I observed, as I was walking around the place that I called home for so many years, was an understanding of where my love for patina originated. It is way too seldom that we gather at my mom and dad’s, even though they are not that far away. Our busy schedules, and theirs as well, competes for our time. Upon being here during such a beautiful Fall afternoon, it all became totally transparent. Yes, I had grown away from it for awhile while in college. I wanted nothing to do with leaky faucets, a cold 3rd floor where I wore a hat to bed and at least a 20 minute drive to get milk. I went to school in Washington DC. Married, lived in townhouses as the kids were born and then a brand new house.
 Wham, it hit as the kids were getting older! That yearning for coming back to my roots, maybe? A soul fulfilling dream? My love for history never faded and every chance we got to take a trip away from home, it was almost always centered around a historic place or city. History has a way of repeating itself so they say, and I think in this case it is true. 
My quest for creating what my parents had created for us has come full circle, leaky pipes and all. Plaster that occasionally falls from the ceiling, as Shane let us know last night was happening in his sister’s room. (That is a whole other story how they are jockeying for her room while she is away…) So much work to be done to maintain these one hundred and fifty year plus buildings, but it is all worth it. They are testaments to lives past and ways of living that have almost vanished and they are filled with a  palatable beauty…to some.
With a heart full of patina~

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