down at the farm

Yesterday we were invited to my brother and sister in law's farm . .Ken and Mary's. I grew up on the adjoining farm and it is always a treat to venture back. The first thing I always notice upon arriving is the gardens. They are perfectly groomed and always sunny with blooms, for every season. Mary has always loved gardening and the grounds are enjoyed by all who visit.
The second thing I always notice is the warmth of welcome. There are hugs all around and on this day my other brother and sister in law Gerry and Heidi were also visiting the farm. When we arrived a game of tennis was already under way between my brother Ken and Mary and Heidi. I have never sadly quite grasped the rudiments of tennis. I'm still waiting for my eye and hand coordination to fully mature.

I couldn't help but slip off my sandals to feel the velvet green grass of the court. I held a racket and picked up one or two more lessons on the basic skills. I'm sure by the time I'm 50 the coordination will have developed and the lessons will begin in earnest. Oh boy.

The two spectators at the end of the net enjoyed tossing in their opinion from time to time, while debating the merits of exercise. Heidi was poised to send the ball back with elegance and sheer determination.

It was a bit difficult for them to concentrate on the game with the paparazzi zipping back and forth on the court. My vivid imagination had me at Wimbledon.

That's my brother Ken. Is he saying . . .we're trying to play a game here, or . . . .come here and let me hug you, or . . . . .Okay, take the picture, I'll stand still? . .

The women learned that the game would be won by careful strategy. They plotted and schemed but in the end, I'm not sure who won.

I worked my way around the yard, enjoying the bursts of color and the careful design to ensure continual color throughout all the seasons. I always pick up a few new ideas for our own farm beds.
Later, we were treated to a wonderful dinner. The Barbeque master Ken, did up some steaks in a secret marinade and he also did some skewers of shrimp. Mary had baked some fresh local potatoes sliced and baked with onions and butter, she also served roasted asparagus with sliced almonds. It was fantastic.
Heidi had brought my favorite romaine, avacado, and papaya salad. It has a wonderful papaya dressing that I'll post for you soon. It is just scrumptious.

It was a wonderful afternoon, thankyou for having us and sharing your wonderful yard, excellent food and warm hospitality.


  1. I feel like I visited Ken and Mary's place as well! They ARE genuinely kind and friendly people!
    And did I ever tell you that I played with Heidi when I was about 11 years old? I'm not sure if I remember her just from that time or from before that, in Brazil.
    It's a small world.

  2. Gentification of the farm lands come to mind. Very Gatsby-esq, the afternoon could have played nicely into a scene of a novel. Lucky ALL of you!

  3. Warm fellowship, good food and such an inviting beautiful yard...what more could one ask??
    True contentment!

  4. Lovella, yes the welcome at Ken and Mary's is never less than 'warm'!!
    I of course have loved Ken all my life and Mary as soon as Ken was old enough to bring her around!!
    The property always brings back happy memories for me too.
    Families are so neat --especially when they stay put on family property.
    There otta be a law!!! smile

  5. Lovella, I have never ever seen a tennis court as beautiful as that one your brother has there. And to have the priveledge of playing on it? Wow, lucky you! I LOVE tennis! We should play sometime. I usually play on concrete though. I wonder what it would be like to play on grass? Interesting...OH and they have a very beautiful home too, not just flower beds.

  6. What an amazing home and grounds your brother and his wife have! Just beautiful. I've played tennis since I was very young - it is a very popular sport in S. Africa. But I have to say I've never played on as lovely a court as your brother has there!

  7. Can you put me in touch with the hot babe in the white shorts and top?

  8. Such beautiful a beautiful setting!

  9. Tell that Gerry Peters to meet "the hot babe in white shorts and top" in his backyard later tonight.
    Yes, Annaliese we played together as kids in Brazil and we had a ton of fun.

  10. Aunt Lovella,
    I'm just like you when it comes to the tennis skills... not that I haven't tried- I even took tennis lessons so I'd be better out there on Mom & Dad's court- but I just can't manage to get it... one day maybe!

  11. The yellow daisies in mom's garden are always my favourite. They always grow 10 times bigger than mine. It's a good thing you didn't venture off to see what was lurking in your old farmland gardens! I'm working on that today! I can't keep up even though we've eliminated half the garden space we had. This was supposed to be the summer of yardwork. Now I'll have to wait one more year. Have a great day!

  12. Oh my, that is one well groomed tennis court! yikes. The dinner looks marvelous. Lovely job with the camera :)
    What a blessing to have family that are friends!

  13. You guys look as if you were have TOO much fun! Her gardens are, indeed, lovely. My gardens look fabulous for the month of June, then everything just looks tired and old. Kind of how I feel by the end of July!!!!


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