I believe it was during my first visit to SFF that I was introduced to creating freshly cut flowering lavender into beribboned little bundles of pot-pourri. A very pleasant pastime and a pleasing fragrance as well. But more important, the beginning of a wonderful on-going friendship.
My second visit found me sitting in a small sunny glade beside a singing brook with an inviting footbridge and a nearby pond which must harbor all sorts of creatures. Benches and chairs were arranged in a friendly fashion and in this sublime realm of unspoiled nature we set to work shelling peas. Working conditions such as these are what dreams are made of.
At other visits we cut up wee tomatoes and home grown mushrooms to be dried and later packaged. And we dusted off considerable crops of potatoes and onions, grading them as to size as we went along. Whatever and wherever the task, the company and the scene of action seemed to lend an air of celebration that I’ve never experienced before.
I haven’t exactly counted the times I’ve visited SFF, but it’s a very special place and each visit brings its own treasured memories. I wish I could have met these amazing and incomparable people when I was younger and would have been more help, but they, being the epitome of love and understanding, seem to have accepted my old and decrepit state and have even gone so far as to try to convince me that I have been some help.
Please realize that this is not an incidental statement, but those three lovely people, the Hoyts, know how to and set about making long lost dreams come true. To say thank you is vastly inadequate.
An addendum by Lorraine: We met Marge this summer when she called looking for someone to do some repairs at her home in Sandy Creek. Zach went and enjoyed listening to her stories and invited her to visit us at the farm. Since then she’s joined us for work and lunch and brought us many items that she wanted to get rid of and we could use. We enjoy hearing about her life and seeing this place anew through her enthusiasm and interest. Whenever possible we take a break while she’s here and Zach plays a few hymn tunes or waltzes for her on his fiddle.
Sedan Chair and Chariot
by Marge in 2018
It gives me a great deal of personal pleasure to have the opportunity to write about a most enjoyable experience at St. Francis Farm. I will pluralize the word ‘experience’ because it has occurred several times, and I’m beginning to feel as though I should invest in a tiara or a turban at least to justify the way I feel.
Not long ago, (sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale) my good friends at the farm put their heads together and devised a sedan chair. At least that’s what we called it. This chair, a canvas affair, was mounted about midway between two long poles (which may have been stilts). My two lovely friends Joanna and Zach positioned themselves, one at each end between the poles, and as soon as I seated myself properly, we ‘lifted off.’ I think I may have let out at least a moderately loud ‘whoop,’ for I did feel like I was part whooping crane! But what a lovely ride! Of course, previous to my visit to the farm Zach had been industriously mowing the perimeters around and through areas for our passage. I couldn’t help but feel as if I weighed at least 500 pounds. It was quite laborious for them I’m sure, but the smiles never left their sweet faces! God bless them both.
It seems that an accumulation of various odds and ends were being saved for who knows what, and sure enough an ‘ingenious craftsman’ one day retrieved from this collection an old axle with a pair of wheels with tires, a long hollow pipe, and who knows what else. So with much labor, pondering, measuring, cutting and welding the chariot was born.
It was a very comfortable arrangement with a padded back on the seat. The arms are very sturdy and were made with new lumber and sanded to a satin smoothness and there is even a foot rest. The long pipe runs along under the arm of the chair and extends for maybe eight feet or so—then a shorter piece is welded on at a 90-degree angle and thus serves as a steering device for the Charioteer himself!
And what a lovely ride through the beautiful forest—past ponds and along streams and beautiful growing things. I feel as though all this was shared with me as a gift, for me to keep and remember for always. I was and still am and always will be overwhelmed by the loving care and time.