Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Farm

During the kids Fall Break we visited my Grandparents. Both of them are still loving though my Grandfather's health is not as good as it once was. My Grandmother is almost 87 and my Grandfather is 88. His heart is functioning at only 30% due to so much blockage but isn't stable enough for any type of surgery. Neither one of them travels far from home and my Grandfather only leaves to go to the dr. He isn't able to walk very good anymore and is very unstable. He has a wheelchair which he refuses to use. He will however use his walker which is helpful most of the time. In this next picture my Grandfather looks pretty rough. He is a pretty large man (not fat but almost 6 ft tall and dead weight sometimes) and it really wears my Grandmother out dealing with him physically. He doesn't bath daily now b/c she doesn't have the strength to help him and he is so unstable and falls easily that she doesn't want to risk him falling (on Tuesday of this week he fell 4 times but luckily didn't break anything however she couldn't get him up and had to call some friends to help 3 times and the sheriff to help the other time sometimes they have to send the ambulance to help get him up). He also had just come from the bathroom and nobody noticed his pants weren't buttoned or zipped :) I still love the picture though, I cherish any pictures of my kids with my Grandparents as I am very close to them.

My Grandparents and 3 of their great grand kids

My Grandparents owned a farm for many yrs and we still call it "our farm". They had 150 acres of the richest farmland in west TN. They farmed that land with corn and soybeans up until 4 yrs ago when my Grandfather's health started declining. They sold everything but the house. Their house is really special...nothing fancy but lots of memories. My Grandfather has lots of lumber on his farm and when they built that house 35 yrs ago he cut the lumber for the house himself. He split all the wood himself also. Each room is paneled in a different wood....walnut, pine, maple and cherry. It is absolutely beautiful. All the closets are lined with cedar. If it was possible I would put the house on a trailer and bring it here :) One day the house too will be sold and there will be many tears from the 4 grand-daughter. Unfortunately neither of my Grandparents 2 son-in-laws nor 4 grandson-in-laws are farmers so we will have to part with it eventually :(

Their farm is about 6 hrs away north-west of Knoxville so we started out bright and early Saturday morning. My dad sat out this trip so it was just my mom and I plus 3 kids who are the best travelers. The make this trip often enough to be familiar with it :)

Sunday we went to church and my Grandmother got to show off her great grand kids. It was a treat for her have us with her as she normally attends church by herself. My Grandfather hasn't been in about 2 yrs due to his health. When we got home it was lunch time which was great. My Grandmother is the best cook. We sampled homemade fried chicken, fried catfish, fried apples (from here trees), fresh corn (well it was fresh in August but she pulled it from the freezer) and spaghetti made from her own spaghetti sauce (which is wonderful).

Sunday afternoon the man who rents the surrounding property was combining the soybeans so we spent the afternoon on a blanket in the front yard watching. There were 2 combines and they were emptying the soybeans into a trailer on an 18 wheeler. I have seen it done a million times but that was a 1st for Caleb and Madison (my Grandfather was still farming when Taylor was little so she has seen it not sure if she remembers though). Caleb decided that he wanted to be a "combine driver" when he grows up. He doesn't want to plow the fields or plant the seeds just combine then :) He was thrilled when at dusk the combine trucks put on their lights. His face light up almost as bright as the light on the trucks :) He stood at the foot of my Grandparents driveway and waved as each piece of machinery passed and each person driving waved at him. That thrilled him. I wish I would have thought to take a picture of his face. I also wish I had my nice Cannon camera but was making due with my little point and shoot Cannon since the big one isn't working and needs to go to the "camera doctor".

The combines "combining"

Taylor and Madison watching the combines

Caleb running around the front yard

All 3 of the kids watching the combine action :)

Caleb and Grandmother

Taylor and Grandmother

I got some great pic of Madison with my Grandmother but they are turned sideways and I don't know how to rotate them on my in-laws computer (mine is acting up again).

We had such a great time visiting with them and helping my Grandmother out. When Hurricane Ike came through it caused some serious winds to come through their area. They had a tool shed that didn't survive the wind. After the insurance paid out my Grandmother purchased a free standing shed. We helped her put thing s from the took shed into the new shed. We purchased wood to build shelves but didn't get that done. I am not a carpenter! I did however build a new frame for her well house :) I was so proud of myself. I was able to get the measurements right and went to Lowe's and had the 2x4's cut to the right length and just had to assemble it once I was home. I am proud to say that I didn't smash my fingers or the fingers of my helpers (aka my mom and Grandmother). I know they are thankful for that fact :)

We will be going again at Thanksgiving. I haven't celebrated Thanksgiving with my Grandparents since i got married (around 11 yrs) so I am looking forward to that. Plus she is such a good cook. Maybe we will get those shelves up when we go down then.


Cindy said...

Holly, that was a great post! It is clear that you have a very special relationship with both of your grandparents and lots of neat memories. Thanks for sharing so much of your thoughts and feelings about them! And kudos to you on the carpentry work!

Sara said...

I second Cindy's thoughts on your blog. It's wonderful that you have the opportunity to share these special moments with your grandparents and your kids.

Your grandma has such kind, beautiful eyes!

Holly Aytes said...

Thanks Sara...I too think she has the kindest eyes. They have been through alot. She has had numerous surgeries on her eyes and a few yrs ago we thought she was going to lose her eyesight completely. We are so glad she didn't....I can't imagine her not being able to see Madison. Her eyes match her spirit, she is the kindest person I have ever known and one of the biggest role models :)

April said...

I, too, enjoyed reading your post about your grandparents. And I love the precious pictures. I think their house sounds really neat.

Cindy said...

Grandparents are so special and I can tell you savor every moment with them. When my grandmother passed away in September she was the last grandparent for both Bill and I! We miss them greatly! The pictures of your children with each grandparent are priceless.