The longer we live in Washington, the more amazed I am by just how much is out here. Sure, we have two vast cities in both Seattle and Tacoma, as well as an impressive freeway system that connects the busy populations around here. But there’s also a quieter side to Washington just beyond the cities. Stretch out any way you go, and you’re liable to find vast open spaces, too. I’m not talking about the mountains we love to hike either. I’m talking about acres upon acres of farmland and quiet towns (our soul fuel). This past weekend I had three photo sessions booked, so we decided to spend a weekend day at the farm in Centralia.
I know what you’re thinking. What farm? Why? Who? Long story short, the director of Porter and Mieke’s preschool was looking for some shots of her boys and her family out at her family’s farm, and I have been looking to work and practice my photography. It was a match made in heaven. We loaded up the van and gear, and we found paradise just 40 minutes from JBLM. Her family’s farm is vast, peaceful, quiet, and beautiful, and it was absolute heaven to our littles.
From the tire swing on the old walnut tree to the miles of pastures behind the house, the mini horse, chickens, ATVs, and beyond, all three of our children had the time of their lives. Even Mieke sat on the tire swing – something I’m pretty sure I haven’t even done since I was a little girl. It was so neat to spend a day in what literally seemed like the middle of nowhere, soaking up fresh air, and sunshine (a fickle commodity during this season).
Ryan and I find it kind of funny because we’re usually so go-go-go-go-go that we don’t have the time to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures during the week and, that’s a large part of why we always drive out of the city in search of open spaces like Snow Lake Trail or Staircase Rapids Loop near Lake Cushman. It amazed me to think that just 40 minutes beyond a sprawling metropolis lies paradise in hundreds of acres of farmland. As we get older, the more we learn that that just speaks to our soul.
It’s been busy here lately; I won’t lie. It’s been hard. My new schedule’s been crushing us, and we’ve been seeking all the slices of free time together that we possibly can. We still don’t have orders and don’t expect to know for certain for a while – that’s just the way the Army works. We have a good idea, but it’s not definite. Training is ramping up for Ryan this week. Lockdown measures are still in effect here and, as expected, 2020 is going out with a bang. We feel like it’s more important than ever to just escape the everyday and find your slices of paradise – whatever that looks like for you. For us? Heaven was found during a weekend day at the farm.
Tell me – where do you find calm in all the chaos of this year?