My friend, Jeri, threw a party on her and her hubbies' awesome farm. It's a former Amish farm near Pocahantas, Pa., north of Frostburg in western Maryland. I love this place and could move there in a minute. Jeri and Terry used to live in downtown Cumberland, in a 100-year old building that they renovated in the Arts and Crafts style. They bought this farm as a weekend retreat but found they were retreating there 24/7 so fixed up the old place and moved on in.
It is so nice to see good taste put to use. They basically built the house from the ground up, preserving a log structure. They hired a stone mason who did impeccable work on the columns and the stone retaining wall.
The porch is deep and wide and wraps around two sides of the house. Don't you hate it when builders put on a faux porch on that's only 3 feet deep so when you sit on a chair, your knees hit the railing? That's not what a porch is about.
The porch is a place to greet friends, to relax, to shell peas, play guitar, and to thoroughly enjoy life.
The lane leads down to the pasture where the horses graze to their contentment.
They own around 165 acres of heaven. The climate here is cooler than even in Cumberland, and the pastures sure seemed greener and taller than mine here in Barnesville.
When they bought the farm from the Amish, the neighboring Amish were afraid that Jeri and Terry were not going to let them get the hay off the acreage. Far from it. The Amish come to hay in June or July (I still want to watch that with the work horses and wooden hay wagons) and in exchange for all the hay and being able to store it in the barn, the men fix up the old buildings on the property. This year it's this barn.
Jeri and Terry supply all the materials, the Amish supply the labor. And they do work hard. I always told my boys when they complained about doing a chore..."OK, off to an Amish farm you go for the summer!"
Not only are the perennial gardens amazing, but their veggie garden is abundant with food. ("Eat organic food. Or as your grandparents called it, 'Food'!) I was surprised at how the peas were still coming in and mine have been done for 2 weeks now. Yep, it's cooler here.
This was actually Jeri's birthday party so she gave a little speech.
Welcoming everyone, some who came from far away.
She thanked her hubbie, Terry, for being so wonderful and gave him a big hug. They re-met at a class reunion 5 years ago and it's been stars in their eyes ever since.
Music, great food, beautiful scenery... a perfect evening.
So out we went in the little Coop, retrieved my keys ( I kissed them!) and they invited us up to their wonderful porch. I felt like I was in the French countryside. The table was laid with fresh cheese, bread, fruit, juice and coffee. We sat down to partake and music drifted to our ears from around the corner. Folks had grabbed their guitars and Jeri's niece, who has a voice like an angel, sang while we munched on hard cheese and drank coffee. When someone mentioned, "Too bad we don't have percussion," a friend went to his car and brought out a beautiful bongo and a backpack of percussion instruments. My smile grew bigger. There was a cool breeze, the scenery was beautiful, the people relaxed, and everyone was singing along to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. I'm going to forget my keys at parties more often!
Happy Birthday, Jeri. And thank you for such a superb evening and morning. Next time, I'll have Seal drive!