Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Carrie and Matthew Come to Visit

Saturday October 25 and Sunday October 26, 2014
Greenfield Mountain Farm




Carrie can’t come to be with us for Thanksgiving.  She doesn’t have enough vacation days to do that and to spend the week at Christmas time that she has booked.  And of course the airfare over Thanksgiving to anywhere given the short window is ridiculous.   So she’s asked if we could just have Thanksgiving in October.  This is fine with us.  Actually Thanksgiving, I think, is supposed to be a harvest festival of thanksgiving for the bounty of food grown during the season now ending.  There is really not much still growing or being harvested, at least not here in late November.  So I actually like this idea. 




They arrive on Saturday morning.  It’s about a 3.5 hour drive for them from the outer edges of DC to the farm.  We spend the late morning and early afternoon getting the regular universal pig out on the table. 

It is, of course, way too much food but then that seems to have become the point in this country.  And besides the left overs are wonderful.  We have ham, mashed potatoes, oyster dressing, cranberry sauce, french green beans with almonds, brussel spouts, broccoli, candied pineapple sweet potatoes and gravy. 

It’s all served on one of my Aunt Carrie’s hand embroidered linen table clothes.  They are priceless heirlooms.  The next picture is actually a better one and unfortunately the dishes cover the detailed embroidery on most of the cloth. 

Carrie says Matthew needs a haircut.  I agree.  I also like him better with a clean shave.  He is a very handsome man if you can see his face without all the hair.


And as is his habit, David has more servings than anyone.  So when I’ve finished, I take another family picture.  Here he is the only one with food on his plate.  Don’t you just love it!  As you can see, we do not “dress” for dinner.




After that of course we need to go our for a walk to try to jostle some of that food around.  We head out to the barn and then down by one of Carrie’s childhood play spots, picnic rock, which you can’t even see anymore for the leaves and the tree that has fallen over it.



We walk along the stream then down and beyond the pond.  The view up to the house is lovely.



The woods is mature and open with most of the leaves fallen on this late October day.  There has been no timber harvesting in this woods for nearly 40 years other than what we have taken for firewood.




There is a really wonderful ground cedar covering throughout this part of the woods.  It’s being mostly hidden by the leaves but will show up on top of them in the spring.





Like mother like daughter, Carrie likes pictures of the treetops.





We make our way to the oldest tree on the property a maple too tall to get a picture of which takes 3 of us to get our arms around it.   This tree has gotten many many hugs over the years.



We come up in the just mowed field where I take some pictures of the western facing side of the house.  The bay window is the living room and the second story porch overlook the sunset over the blue ridge is the master bedroom.   I look down and see this most interesting mushroom.  Anyone have an idea what it is?








Well we’ve walked off some of the dinner so it’s time for pie.  But first Matthew decides he wants a cold beer.  I guess he put it in the ice box while we were gone and here’s what he got.  Looks like a beer float doesn’t it?  I can’t imagine beer with pie but what do I know?




This is the first year we haven’t had pumpkin pie and whipped cream for “thanksgiving”.  Matthew voted for apple from the granny smith in the barnyard but he was outvoted three to one in favor of home grown cherry.

In every picture but this one someone was either chewing, had their mouth full or looked half asleep.  This was Carrie’s reaction to my continuing to take pictures of the pie being eaten.





We finish the night playing games including Scattergories.  I don’t remember who won but I do know Matthew thought some of Carrie’s answers were a bit flakey and shouldn’t count.  He thought I was being too easy on her.  But I don’t play to win, I just play to play and even if she is in her 30’s, she’s still my baby so what the heck.  She can have the points!





It’s another beautiful day and we again spend it eating and hiking. Carrie and Matthew have to go home today. I’m sorry their visit has been so short.

Carrie always wants a big “farm” breakfast when she comes home so that’s the first order. Everyone gets in the act although everyone can’t get in the kitchen end at the same time.

Carrie does the biscuits. She’s in training. Does she make any at home for herself and Matthew? I don’t think so. Just a little ribbing sweetheart.







Matthew is in charge of the bacon and takes over for me on the potatoes when David is making the omelets and there are too many cooks at the stove.




Another meal to walk off. LOL





This time we walk down to our lower field which requires we go to the very end of the farm lane. I think that’s about a mile away to the bottom.







We walk down to the end of the field and into the woods.  This field is very secluded.  We once had a fire pit and a labyrinth here.   An organization I founded called The Blue Ridge Earth Alliance held retreats at the farm for several years.






Such a beautiful day in the woods.




Good grief look at the size of these three poison ivy vines, growing up this poor tree especially this elephant trunk in the front.   Glad Al Lueck isn’t anywhere around.  They say he can get it by looking at it.



Eventually we cut over to the farm lane and head back. As we approach the farm house I take some pictures from this angle of the front of the house and its porch which has the swing.









The porch is a lovely place to sit and just be. There is a beautiful view out the side to the west and the the dogwoods lining the lane have turned red









Too soon it is time for them to pack up and leave.They have to get back and ready for work tomorrow.  It’s a long drive back and the Northern Virginia traffic at any hour is problematic.

It’s been wonderful having them and all too short.  We won’t see Matthew again until the wedding in May although Carrie is coming for a week at Christmas time. Sure wish they could come more often and stay longer. But they are in the busy lives part of life and we understand.


  1. Holidays aren't about the date, but about getting family together whenever that occurs:o)) What a wonderful Thanksgiving you had on a beautiful October Weekend!!! I have too favorite photos. First is the photo of dinner where David still has food. Love the way Carrie is looking at Matthew!! Second is the photo of Carrie and Matthew walking hand in hand down to the lower field. It just was a very lovely way to celebrate family!!!

  2. Wow, what a feast! You had a lot of vegetables for your early Thanksgiving dinner, just the way I like it. :-) The walks around your land are just beautiful, and sitting on the porch looks idyllic. Sounds like a perfect family weekend!

  3. Loved seeing all the different photos of the farm...It truly is a lovely place....A great Thanksgiving you had, that's for sure....And all of you seem to be great cooks! I'm envious! :-)

  4. Your property looks wonderful for walking. Our Canadian Thanksgiving is in October, and it seems to make more sense that way.

  5. Any family get together should be a time for thanksgiving don't you think? A lovely holiday and love the breakfast. Your property is just beautiful.

  6. Your farm, ablaze in autumn colors is the fodder of my dreams. I can well imagine me,sitting in a rocker on that porch. If it were not for my wondering spirit I could be content to spend my days in such a setting. Better still to share those stolen moments with those you love.

  7. You sure have a wonderful looking farm there. Peaceful walks through the woods with family brings back many fond memories for me. It was always the activity after a big family meal like you had. Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. What a lovely family you and David have. I love the farm! That dinner was really huge!

  9. Thanks for posting all the pictures of the farm. It was certainly lovely with the fall color. I'm glad Carrie and Matthew got to come for Thanksgiving, even if it was a month early. Are you planning to be in Florida when she comes for Christmas? I know how much you two love the beach.

    Thanks for the tips on poison ivy. Haven't found any octagon soap yet. Will keep looking, but he's better today, after finding and removing the plant we had growing right by the motorhome.

  10. Looks like a great time. I always suspected you were tree huggers:)

  11. What a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration! Carrie and Matthew are an adorable couple :)

  12. I am suppose to be making dinner as I sit here reading your blog. Now I am really hungry!! Thanksgiving dinner sounded so good!! And I love a breakfast with bacon and biscuits:) Yum!!!

    What a great visit with Carrie and Matthew! How nice to have gorgeous hikes right outside your door to work off all that wonderful food!

  13. always love pictures of the farm.. such a lovely, lovely place!!! Inside views a great too!

  14. You all look so happy! Cute kids, Carrie and Matthew.

  15. I love the pictures of your farm. Thanks for sharing your Thanksgiving with us.

  16. So great when family gets together. What a lovely home you and David have. I bet Carrie has many nice memories of growing up on the farm. I have never been to that part of the country, but it looks wonderful in your photos.

  17. Such a terrific weekend ...... All of you look very happy and relaxed ...... The farm is right out of the movies.... Those fall colors and rolling hills, talk about lovely...... Your harvest dinner was such a tasty, colorful spread......breakfast in your kitchen was right from Country Living ....... Oh and Aunt Carrie's tablecloth was the finishing touch !!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!!!!

  18. I prefer clean cut men as well. It doesn't seem to be especially in style these days. So, what happened to the turkey? ;)

  19. super duper family time...crakin me up!!! lv it!!!!

  20. I'm green with envy when you travel and I'm green with envy when you are at your farm. Carrie and Matthew are adorable, together. Can't wait to hear about all the wedding plans!!

  21. Thanksgiving can come any day and should be every day. Especially when you can spend it with family. The farm is so gorgeous with the woods and fields. I could swing on the porch for a while.

  22. What a peaceful place to live and spend family time. I think the holidays are spent with family anytime of the year are the best holidays.

  23. We had a "different' Thanksgiving Day dinner last year as we had to schedule it on a day between Bill's chemo appointments when we knew he could eat and feel halfway decent. It ended up being one of the most precious Thanksgiving Day meals we've ever had! And that picture of Carrie and Matthew walking hand in hand is a real keeper. I'd be for enlarging, framing and giving it to them as a wedding gift!

  24. I'm going to try one more time, this is the third attempt to comment (my internet has been wonky).
    The farm is such a wonderful family place. Carrie must love sharing childhood memories with Matthew. Love the pics of them - I suspect they are both delightful goofballs :-) Beard or not (I'm a fan of beard), you gotta love a guy who drinks a beer slushy. You could have made him an apple pie....just sayin'. Our autumn equinox celebration marks the harvest time, and Thanksgiving for us is all about a big meal with family. We have a family (Bill's) reunion in March in NM, and we're having Thanksgiving dinner one afternoon :-) Bummed that the labyrinth is no more. They are so enchanting, and I rarely get to walk one any more. Thank you for sharing your special weekend. You are so blessed.

  25. so true. . .she will always, always be your baby. . .always!

    The farm is lovely. . .can see why you've kept it. . .what a lovely place to be.

  26. An amazing time with your beautiful daughter and hairy future SIL. They sure are a cute couple, following in your's and David's footsteps, no doubt!

    How can you not fall in love with nature when your farm is surrounded by its beauty. I'm sure all those trees miss your hugs when you're traveling on the road. :c)

    That is quite a poison ivy vine, hope Al doesn't catch any just by looking at the picture!

  27. Holidays are about being with loved ones; date doesn't matter.

  28. That was a great blog!! Why? Because I'm in it! LOL :) Some of those pictures are hilarious! We always do have such a great time. The pictures of the woods and house really show the quality of your camera...lovely all. PS...Matthew shaved...now we need a haircut. Thanks to the commenters for the kind remarks :)

  29. We often have the holidays before or after the usual celebrated date. It is hard when family live in different states. My daughter gets frustrated with it all, wants everyone to live in the same city, but I remind her that she is the one that moved out of IL first. I just love the scenery at your farm.

  30. Sherry and David, your farm and the woods that surround it are just beautiful. What a wonderful place to spend the Thanksgiving holidays.

  31. Dave used to have to work on Thanksgiving so our holiday dinner was always a day or two later, to us it's always been about the gathering of family and friends not the date. Looks like you enjoyed your gathering, love the pics of your farmhouse and homestead.

  32. Family bonding to the max! That is one heck of a farm and house. Who watches over them when you are out on the road ? I think I can live there unless there are no snow :) (just wishing)

  33. My Wayne has to be prodded to shave or get a haircut and most of the time I just don't bother. Now that winter is upon us he'll soon look like a bear posing as a human in an attempt to keep his head and face warm since he works outside. Glad you all had such a nice weekend, I don't remember the last time we did Christmas on the actual day due to Wayne's work schedule, a holiday is the spirit behind it and what you choose to make of it, right?


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