Thursday, August 10, 2017

A trip to Pennsylvania {The sweetest summer days of 2017}

I closed my eyes just in time to feel the cool, summer breeze dance across my face.  I wanted to hold on to that moment for as long as I take a mental inventory of all the sights and sounds of that perfect, summer day on the farm.
Some days just stand out in your memory and this was one of those days for me.  I can still hear the laughter of my girls as they ran barefoot across the field.  I can hear the crank of the ice cream maker as all the little cousins took their turn making real ice cream out by the barn.  

I love the city, but there's something so refreshing about the simplicity of life on the farm.  It forces you to slow down and appreciate the sound of the crickets at night.  It welcomes you to see the beauty of a sunset over the cornfield.  It allows you the opportunity to feel the comfort of the fresh air as you sleep with the windows up.  

Last week, we packed up our little family and made the road trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  I am so grateful for our time in this beautiful 1834 farmhouse and the memories we made with our children are a gift I will cling to. 

We had a few busy days packed with family gatherings and events, but we also made some of the sweetest memories of the summer.  Our last full day at the farm, Mike and I sat on a blanket in the yard and reminded each other of all the joyful moments we had experienced that day. The roaring victories of grown men playing cards on the back porch, the laughter of children as they chased each other in and out of the back screen door, the taste of home made ice cream with peaches, the corn hole games out in the yard, and the long conversations with those you love out by the wagon.  It was the perfect summer day. 

I am so thankful to be a part of this sweet family.  They really are so special.  This trip was centered around a family reunion.  It wasn't just any reunion though, it was the 300 year celebration of Mike's family line.  Hans Christian Brubaker was an anabaptist in Lucerne, Switzerland.  He escaped religious persecution and immigrated to Lancaster,Pennsylvania to start a new life in 1717.  This is one of the oldest recorded families in North America.  It was pretty fascinating to hear all the history and see how many people gathered together to celebrate 300 years of faith, family, and freedom.  

On our last day in Pennsylvania, Mike had the honor of preaching at Rohrerstown Mennonite Church.  This 300 year old church has witnessed so many families that love and serve the Lord.  Many of them traveled long distances so they could celebrate 300 years together and remember how it all began back in 1717.  I love this picture of Mike and his 97 year old grandpa right before he got up to preach.  I watched this special moment and though I couldn't hear their conversation, I imagine it was one Mike will always remember.  

As we packed up in the minivan and set out for Nashville, Tennessee, Mike told me a little bit about that conversation with his Grandpa.  He said that one of his Grandpa's greatest accomplishments has been walking on the same land that his ancestors once did.  I have to wonder if maybe one day we will say the same.  
{Lancaster, Pennsylvania 2017}

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