Christmas at the Farm

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When I look back at old pictures, I notice that it’s often the littlest details that draw the fondest memories. The familiar building from 1951 with the unfamiliar embellishments… the make and model of the family car in 1994… the cut of the clothing in 1979… So, when we went back to Richland County to enjoy some time with Marci’s parents, I decided to try capture the look at feel of “Christmas at the Farm, 2022.”

Christmas at the Farm

Bowman Road has changed very little over the generations. Particularly the exteriors of buildings. Even on the inside, change is gradual and subtle. But I love the way that my mother-in-law Louise has made the farmhouse her own. Especially the kitchen.

Christmas at the Farm

She’s collected a lot of Swedish decorations, which are on display throughout the house. But especially in the bay window at the back of the farmhouse. Jultomtes (Christmas Gnomes) and Julboks (Christmas Goats), in particular. The eclectic fabric patterns on the cushions are also charming, if you ask me.

Christmas at the Farm

From the breakfast nook, I can see a sort of chalkboard affixed to the side of the refrigerator. I love the shopping lists: both in the “still to be purchased” category and the “already purchased” (imperfectly-erased). And I especially love the ongoing tally of mice killed since October 14th.

Christmas at the Farm

This piece of furniture along the adjacent wall in the kitchen is called Fleta’s Cupboard (which you may also recognize as the name of Marci’s furniture restoration business). It goes back several generations. But even more than the wooden structure, I love the knick-knacks around it: the hand-sewn nativity scene on the top… the Swedish Dala Horses in the window to the side… the collection of dishes to the other side… and even the miscellaneous clutter in the pen jars and such. It’s all in the details. It just feels like “Christmas at the Farm” to me.

Christmas at the Farm

Still, nothing is quite as iconic as the farmhouse’s kitchen sink. Again: more Swedish decorations around the window. The various jars of utensils on either side. And my mother-in-law Louise’s favorite mug on the counter. The extreme cold was causing some troubles with the pipes on this particular day (we could only manage to maintain a faint trickle of water). Even so, this was a gathering space before the dinner and after the dinner.

Christmas at the Farm

The stove was busy, too — which you can definitely see in the photograph above. However, I’m personally drawn to the side stuff: the towels hanging below the stovetop… the wear patterns on the cabinetry… the utensils strategically positioned around the periphery. Louise is a masterful cook and baker. So, all of these pictures from the kitchen feel like a reflection of her.

Christmas at the Farm

It really is the people who make the farm special. Still, the objects reflect the people in unique ways. So, I’m glad that we got to spend Christmas at the Farm this year.

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