Typically, I write much like I talk. If you know me personally, you know the only difference being, I talk a lot more than I write. The reason is clear to me, I’m thinking about what I’m writing. In ‘real life,’ I do a lot of word vomiting, rambling, etc. I am a classic story-teller, and I love to listen to stories just as much. When I ask someone else how their weekend was, and they say “good”.. I could punch them. I want every detail, like your weekend translated into a gossip magazine article, even if you just went shopping and got drinks with your friends. TELL ME EVERYTHING! So, in honor of Sommer, who literally said she was so happy I was at her party so I could blog about it, I will attempt to write as much as I talk.
Firstly, The Darland Farm, or Hillcrest Farm, is pretty much every girls dream farm turned practical. There are no horses or cows, but there are kittens and TONS of flowers. I will start with kittens. Almost as soon as we arrived, Sommer directed me towards the barn where I could find a fresh batch of minx kittens. I found them chewing on a dead swallow. Ew. But the swallows are everywhere, and they fly dangerously low and close to anything they want, so who’s fault is that?! The cutest kitten is a little fat gray guy, but he had zero interest in being the subject of my pictures, so you’ll just have to imagine. Think Toulouse from Aristocats, only gray. The kittens lost interest in the birds and soon moved on to my toes, basically the best thing ever for me.
After kitten time, and whatever everyone else was doing, we moved inside to eat brunch. Sommer’s Dad cooked us up eggs and bacon, while we drank screwdrivers and bloodies. We dined on the delicious feast and swapped stories of some not so smart things we had done in our youth. Lately, there’s been a lot of reminiscing going on around me. Is this a sign of growing older? In just a few years, these years will be the times I reflect on, college and my part time job. “Sommer, remember your birthday party when there were all those baby kittens and we picked flowers?”
Of course, some time was spent with the usual animal suspects at the Hillcrest Farm, Arie and Casper. Arie is my dream cat. She LOVES to be held. Between Audrey and I, we probably carried her around for a good 2 hours. Casper is just a youngin’. He’s wild and rambunctious, but you can tell he’s a lover. I’m sure in a couple years he will mellow out a bit, and then I would like to cuddle up in his fur for a good long dog snuggle session.
The flowers. The freakin’ flowers. As a person who is mildly obsessed with flower pictures, like I might actually consider taking pictures of flowers a hobby of mine, Hillcrest farm is one of the best places on earth. The Darland Family runs a small business that grows and sells the most beautiful flowers. (If you need flowers for your next event, check out their Facebook) I wandered through the rows of different varieties, snapping pictures of almost every single one. I paired down the selection a lot for the sake of not having to make yet another post that is exclusively plant pictures.
Sommer and her boyfriend, Nick, had to run into town to get Sommer’s dog, so Audrey and I hung out under a big awning and watched a storm roll through. My Dad grew up and farmed just a few rural blocks away from Hillcrest Farm. He has always told me stories of the amazing storms that would come in when he lived there. It was a neat experience to be in his shoes for an afternoon, even if the storm wasn’t too exciting.
Sommer invited me to join her in picking flowers and putting together a bouquet. Um, YES. Potential new hobby. We found vases on shelves covered in dust, and gave them a quick bath under the faucets that her Dad installed throughout the flower garden. She told me the names of almost all of the flowers I picked, and told me the rules her Mom has for arranging flowers. Sommer doesn’t always abide by the rules, but a bouquet is of these flowers is beautiful, no matter if it’s in groupings of three.
Also happening the day of Sommer’s birthday was my dear friend’s Dara and Ethan’s Going Away Party. I had chosen to spend the afternoon at Sommer’s, the evening at Dara and Ethan’s, and then return to Sommer’s when the bar closed. Let’s be honest, I didn’t make it back to Sommer’s or to bar close. I got tired and went to bed, Classic Hannah. Dara and Ethan’s party appeared to be everything they had hoped for. A few of their favorite Iowa musicians played, and they got to have one last hurrah at Octopus. They have since moved to sunny California. I wish them all the best, and hope to visit them soon!!
The following morning, Audrey and I headed back out to the farm. We had to pick up music equipment that the bands at Sommer’s party had used the night before. Sunday was Father’s Day, and Sommer’s Dad had fired up his gift from his family, a flat top grill! He was churning out all sorts of breakfast staples. I found myself in he kitchen making toast, and chatting with some of my favorite gals. I spent the remainder of my day with my dear ole Dad. We grilled all sorts of different things, even watermelon (total fail).
Summer, and Sommer, have treated me pretty good this year.