The old farm, from the eyes of a kid

My in-laws’ original farm northwest of Elgin was a place I had been to a million times.

They lived on a beautiful, isolated farmstead that was super quiet (except for the sounds of their grandchildren). It was ultimately peaceful.

They have since moved to a new place in southeast Nebraska, in order to be closer to all their grandkids. And that place is equally beautiful, peaceful, isolated and just so-Bud-and-Tarri-Wilkinsonish.

It’s a magical place, because that’s where they are. The logistics may have changed, but the experiences have stayed the same because that’s where the heart of the family beats.

Yet, sometimes my mind takes me back to the old farm and all the memories the family shared there.

That said, this week I ran across a little gem that really took me back. It was an essay written many years ago by my niece, Sydney.

Syd is now a grown woman, but she was a student at Norris Middle School when she wrote these poignant words that clearly grasped how she saw her times at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house. I thought I’d share it.

So to the grandparents out there who might be reading this, think of how your own grandchildren cherish the times they have at your place. And maybe we can all reflect on the beautiful memories we have from our own childhoods.

So here we go. Get ready to clearly see how a talented young lady named Sydney Wilkinson saw times with her grandparents:


“The car begins to rattle as we hit the gravel road. All the kids in the back of the car slowly awake as they groan and try to stretch in their small spaces. It doesn’t take them long to get woken up though, because, the second they see the lights that stand proud on the hill of my grandparents’ farm, they know we are close.

Everyone grabs their things and start to unbuckle, for the three-hour car ride is finally over. No one can wait a second longer to be at the Wilkinson family’s household. My entire family loves my grandparents’ farm for so many reasons, like the amazing food, the fun memories and best of all the wonderful outdoors.

Now the car ride down there can get a little restless sometimes, but it’s all worth it for the place we are ending at. The moment you step into my grandparents’ home, you smell the mouthwatering small of homemade chocolate chip cookies. The three dozen cookies will be wiped out clean by the end of the weekend.

Also in the oven, you can smell the sizzling sweet bread as the cinnamon rolls bake and rise in the oven for breakfast. We sit down and talk to our grandparents and I begin to drool as my grandma lists out the meals for the weekend.

We get to have smoked to perfection ham with extra cheesy potatoes, homemade chicken noodle soup with my grandma’s famous doughy bread. I swear if I lived with my grandparents, I would never stop eating!

People usually always get souvenirs when they go on vacation. And sure, souvenirs are nice, but they can get lost or ruined. But fun memories will last you a lifetime.

When I am at my grandparents’ house, a memorable event happens every day! I still remember the first skit my cousins and I did for my grandparents, years ago, and now we have done them ever since! I also remember when we had two gigantic tubs of cheeseballs and ate them all in three days.

That, my friend, was fun! And best of all, how when I was younger my grandma and I would always watch the Wizard of Oz, because I wanted to so bad, yet I always cried when I saw the wicked witch. My grandparents always try to make it the best time we’ve ever had when we are at their house. So many good times will always be treasured in that house forever.

I would have to say the outdoors are the best at my grandparents’. Nothing beats driving around on a four-wheeler all day! Yes, we eat a lot of food at my grandparents’, but I’m pretty sure we burn off all the calories when we play outside all afternoon.

We walk through the thick green woods and look to see if there is anything interesting, as we tumble over sprouted roots and old, knocked down sheds. We always love to help grandma with her freshly grown garden. Once we are tired and need to rest, we walk out into the tall grass meadow with gorgeous purple daisies everywhere.

We will just lie right in the middle of the meadow, close our eyes, hold our breaths and just listen. Listen to the beautiful sound of woodpeckers knocking on the trees, tiny humming birds as they sing songs of joy to each other, and the tall green grass blowing easily in the wind. You feel as if you are in a completely different world with absolutely no worries.

What’s the worst part about my grandparents’ farm? The worst part is leaving. My parents practically have to drag us to the car. Nobody wants to say good-bye, even though we know we can come back soon.

Everyone will miss the delicious food, they will remember the new memories we made and smile, and most of all they will miss the great outdoors that we could never get enough of. Everyone buckles up and sighs in sadness as we jump on the paved rood and leave behind the gravel roads.”


Thanks for writing that, Sydney! You were just a kid when you wrote it, but you sure had insight. Thanks for helping us all see how much children (of all ages) cherish their grandparents and the times spent together.






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