Throughout my school years, I grew up on a 560 acre farm 5 miles WNW of Beltrami, MN. The homestead was called “The Ranch,” although it’s been close to a century since there was any cattle there.
We had everything we could want growing up: great neighbors, enough trees and road ditches to house interesting wildlife and hold tree houses of all kinds, lots of lawn for any type of sport, dark night skies, and great farming soil.
Many a 2-on-2 baseball game was played between the quonset and the barn. Many an evening was spent in the bedroom (in the top left window in the photo) listening to Herb Carneal call the Twins ballgame while the train whistle blew four miles to the east. Many hours were spent tag-team mowing the yard with my siblings, and just as many hours snowmobiling in the winter. Army men battles raged in the sandbox.
We speared carp in the ditch just to the south, trapped many $$ worth of pocket gophers, shot skunks that the dog had cornered (always in the middle of the night), and even had a moose wander through the yard. After coming off the combines in August, we’d head outside after supper to track satellites and meteors or look through the telescope, with “Mystery Theater” playing on NPR. We rode at least the distance to the moon and back on the school bus over the years. Pulled many a weed (and thrown them at the pigs) but harvested vegetables of all sorts (and rhubarb!!), and had many a crabapple fight.
Yeah, I’d do it all over again.