After arriving at our friends' farm ranch in Echo, MN - we spent June 5th getting to know the farm and the area. From horse petting and pig catching to pretty churches and delicious tacos at the bar in Belview, the day was a success...especially with the wonderful company we had! June 6th - the 75th Anniversary of D-Day - the day that we invaded Omaha and Utah Beaches in France and a day that changed the course of history. We spent this day at the Fagen Fighters WWII Museum and let me tell you, it was pretty epic! My understanding is that Mr. Fagen has a passion for WWII and flying, as does his son. So, he built the museum and restoration plant to preserve this immensely important part of history. The planes and vehicles on display are amazing - best kept condition I have ever seen...and they are fully functional! The day's festivities included fly-bys and demonstrations on how the planes work and fly. Another recommendation that Ted and I agree on - check it out if you are within a few hours drive.
The next day was adulting day: cleaning the Glamper, buying supplies, prepping for the party on Saturday. Just a side note for all you city folk out there, the closest supermarket to the farm was about 30 mins away...so you better not forget anything on your shopping list! That evening we watched our friend's 3 year old in a barrel racing competition that ranged from 3 to about 18 years old. We enjoyed the show with walking Tacos and Tachos....let's just say that my health goals were ignored a little bit this week. Alas, June 8th rolls around - originally we had planned on a Hobo meal for the party. A Hobo Meal is basically made in a tin foil wrap. You take a large square of tin foil, put in olive oil or butter, chopped veggies and then meat on top, close that sucker up nice and tight. Then cook it on a grill or a grate over open fire. Cook about 10 mins and then flip....repeat flipping so that you get each side twice for 10 mins each on the grill...about 40 mins total. We had to change things around a bit but all the veggies I chopped that morning were not in vain. We had steaks and veggies on the grill and several sides throughout the day. The weather was glorious, we played corn hole, I made bracelets, drank, ate, watched the kids play, and finished off with a middle-of-the-night dance party in the yard. My friend's daughter is a dancer and competes in Jazz and High Kick. She's a phenomenal young lady who inspired me to start dancing again. I even pulled out my Zills. As you can imagine, we were all a little slow the next morning. Our friend prepared a lovely breakfast (really more like brunch) for us all, I had some self-care mani/pedi time and in the evening we went to the winery for pizza. On Monday, while most people went back to work, my friend and I had a few drinks at lunch and later on we did some horseback riding. Ted drove to Redwood for lunch with another old Army buddy. The last time I was on a horse was on this farm years ago, it took off at a gallop, with me on it, and I about had a heart attack. This time it was much more pleasurable. Horses are such magnificent animals, it was good to be able to appreciate them without being terrified. My friend has a great love for horses and quite a talent with making leather accessories as well. Running a farm is not easy, as a matter of fact, it's loads of work and chores need to be done daily. I really had no idea just how much work was involved until I spent a week there. Yes, I had fun driving a tractor at 2am while rapping Vanilla Ice with my buddy and Yes, I had fun running after pigs in the pen while wearing red lipstick...but the daily grind of farming is physically and mentally taxing. Worrying about crops that were just planted since the rains came in and flooded the fields. Staying up until the wee hours plowing fields because you aren't certain if it will rain tomorrow and you still have to do a full 9-5 the next day. My friends and all farmers out there have my utmost respect.
Yesterday we had to go dump the tanks since we were only on power and water at the farm. We also went grocery shopping in preparation for the next few weeks where we will be more remote. Back in 2008, one of our close friends was KIA in Afghanistan. He is buried in Granite Falls and both Ted and I were able to visit his resting place. RIP Brother.
That afternoon I practiced some henna and hung with the girls. We also watched 11 Days and a Wake Up about the battle of Wanat. Let's just say that we wrapped up the night in a lot of tears.
Being on the farm was very enlightening and therapeutic for Azlan, Ted and I. Azlan rode a horse a couple times and was able to walk around 2 large dogs and pet them on his own by the end of the week. Ted bonded with some of his closest friends. As for me, I reconnected with a good friend and was blessed with farm therapy.
"Doing things is not nearly as important as savoring moments in this short lifetime that we are blessed with on Earth. - Mother Moonbeam via VP"
Stay Tuned for Next Week's Week-Cap as we venture into the Dakotas!
Daisa, Ted and Azlan