Sunday, September 5, 2010

Goodbye to the Farm

No motorbike content in the post...

Today was the "Good-bye to the Farm" party put on by my aunt and her family. The Farmhouse was built in 1926 and the property has been sold to the gravel pit surrounding the small farm on three sides. I have a lot of pleasant memories associated with visits here while growing up. In fact, the very first memory I have is arriving here early in the morning after travelling all night in the car. While growing up, we visited here many times and visited many of the tourist sites in the area ranging from the capitol building to the placer gold mining areas to the east. I remember playing basketball in on the gravel driveway (I wasn't very good) and a lot of exploring in the buildings and the grape fields behind the house.

This is a small barn on the property and there were several tractors stored here. Many hours were spent playing on the equipment trying to figure out what the equipment was supposed to do.

There was also a Japanese style bath (o-furo) in a small building behind the house. The bathhouse no longer exists but the steel tub and the fire pit are still there. I remember having to use it when I was a little kid and getting the feeling that we were being cooked in a steel pot just like the cartoons. I'm told that the bath house was one of the first buildings put up by my grandparents. One of my cousins mentioned that going to bed still covered by dirt and sweat was never done.

This eucalyptus tree used to have a tire swing, and I remember just sitting there watching traffic out on the main road passing the farm. The road seems a lot closer now than it did back then. I guess my memory remembers things looking through a wide angle lens. The farmhouse rooms feel smaller but very familiar. Kind of sad to realize that this is the last time I will be visiting this farmhouse with all of the pleasant memories. It was also great to see all of my relatives again even those I just saw at the reunion in July.

I have been leaving the Google Latitude public badge set to detailed just to see what is displayed on the website. The phone app is set to update every 30 minutes and I must admit, the app seems to work pretty well. Obviously as long as there is some sort of cellular data connectivity. As far as tracking, this seems to work as well as a SPOT type of device as long as you stick to areas with cellular coverage. We have been trying out the SPOT devices on the north coast of Alaska and coverage is at best spotty. Of course, there is no cellular coverage either and Sat phones barely work that far north.

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