Neff Road: Town kids gone country


“So what do you say we go to a farm today?” A farm. Emma and Nolan really have no concept of farm.

They have seen them along the road. They have visited petting farms. So now a year older, I packed them into the car and headed to a little farm where they found their pumpkins the previous fall. The sweet simple farm now included pony rides, barrel rides and a hayride for a healthy price. I decided that we would be richer for the experience by not adding on the bells and whistles. Farms = simplicity.

Last year the farm had two porta potties. This year they were up to 10. Seems that last season was so profitable that they increased not only the price and activities but also the ‘facilities.’ The farm was busy with several preschool classes in attendance. Evidently, this would be a good season as well.

The kids and I took the path less traveled and found that we were alone with the animals. Emma went directly to the horses. “MeMe, can we touch them?” Well, we certainly could. I grabbed a handful of hay and the beasts raised their lovely heads, and noses were rubbed. “MeMe, they smell bad.” How do you tell them that the smell is wonderful. I grew up surrounded by the smell of the barnyard. What they smelled was the smell of home.

We talked to the calf and donkey then visited with three bunnies who did not take time to stop nibbling in order to give any notice of us. We chatted with three of the biggest turkeys I have ever seen. None of us could take our eyes of their colorful heads. The pig did stink, so we didn’t hang around long. When the duo saw a baby goat nursing, we had the conversation regarding milk and the udder. I seem to have destroyed their belief that milk came from a box. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose.

We ate lunch sitting by an old John Deere tractor surrounded by pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. We talked about the farm equipment in the field. They ran through a maze and slide down a huge slide. They did it all for free. We went into the store and paid for my lumpy pumpkin. On a shelf I spied a bag of freshly made donuts just like the kind they made at Painter Creek Church on voting day. I took home the donuts, the pumpkin, two honey sticks and the kids after a day of adventure and only one porta potty stop.

Emma: MeMe, was that a farm?

MeMe: Yes. I grew up on a farm.

Emma: What! Did you have a horse?

MeMe: Yes, I did.

Emma: Did they let you touch it?

Hm. We came a long way that day on the farm. Seems we still have a long way to go. We talked to animals. We learned about milk and udders. We found the head of the turkey frightening as well as fascinating. We discussed the smells with their pros and cons. And, best of all, we sat on a bale of straw eating sugary donuts.

By Pamela Loxley Drake

On Neff Road

Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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