Monday, September 1, 2008

Pilgrimage to Star Valley

In August I had the sweet experience of making a trip back to the scene of all of my happiest childhood memories. The Hale farm in Star Valley Wyoming. Spending time in the valley lifted my spirits magically just as it has always done. I visited this place every other weekend when I was young. As we drove up the dusty lane, there was always an eager row of cousins to great us as if we were the most important people in the world. Then we fished, swam in crow creek, ran through corn and alafalfa fields, played trampoline dodge ball, fed the lambs and calves from bottles, saddled up the horses for rides, climbed through the hay bails, dug potatoes, collected eggs, teased the pigs, milked the cows, played the most exciting games of hide and seek ever, and finished the day with my favorite childhood game "no bears are out tonight". I loved Grandma and Grandpa Hale's home. Whenever I couldn't sleep at night, I would always imagine renovating the beautiful old home. When I grew older I discovered that my sister had also spent many nights imagining how she would redecorate this old home too. The last time I visited, nine years ago, the old home was abandoned, I ventured through it. The furnishings were rotting and rusted, but left where I remembered them. The roof had caved in and the upstairs was home to birds and animals. As I approached the farm this time I was saddened to see that the home had disappeared entirely. I was overjoyed to discover however that it had actually been moved to a new location and completely restored. The new owners proudly gave me a tour. I was also delighted to see yet another generation of Hales were living on the farm and that it was all still in the family. My children had a wonderful visit and we are in hopes of going again next summer.

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