The sweet smell of alfalfa mixed with a little bit of cow and fresh dirt is the first thing that hit me as I stepped off the Amtrak train in Hanford, CA. Most people would think "whats that smell" but to me I thought "I'm home and I've missed it." The Fresno valley is not my home and I didn't grow up there but I did spend many summers in a little town just 30 miles south of Fresno, CA and while I probably complained about it then, I love it now. It went from being a place that our parents sent us in the summers that was always 98 degrees and terribly uncomfortable, to a place of refuge and now to a place of comfort and content. I love going to see my family in Riverdale and I love the smell that now has a sweetness while others would say it smells like cow poop. I know it sounds weird but it's true! (I'm not embarressed to admit it!)
I am back and already missing it. We had a wonderful time seeing family, antiquing with my Aunt Lola and BBQ-ing with our cousins and all of their children. The thing about Riverdale is that it really is all about family. We "go into town" very rarely and really just sit out side playing cards, eating out back or just enjoying the sound of the 100+ roosters on the farm. This time was especially fun because my sister went too, she hasn't been to Riverdale in 6+ years and it was fun for us all to be together. We rode the train up on Friday night, got to see some Amish people (such a delight for me since I wanted to be Amish as a child, it's a twin identity crisis thing, don't ask) and arrived at 6 AM on Saturday morning ready to hit the farm. I got some really cool antiques at some small town antique stores (how come this didn't happen in small town Texas Elizabeth?) but of course all of those will someday be revealed when I get my new camera, if that ever happens. Long story short it was a wonderful trip and I will be back there in June for my cousins Issac's 8th grade graduation party. Here are a few Blackberry photo shots of what Riverdale looks like...
(a little background on the property, my Uncle owns about 2/3rds of the street they live on and their house sits on 20 acres. The rest of it is fields that they grow different things (alfalfa, corn, cow feed, grain, etc) on throughout the year.)
the front yard...that is a cherry orchard across the street