A Long Lost Friend
by Linda Jewell


I'm sure you have heard the lyrics to the song “Almost Heaven West Virginia”. There is another song by John Denver that says “hey, it’s good to be back home again” and “this old farm feels like a long lost friend”.

After my first divorce, I moved away from the farm my kids grew up on. Years have passed since. Bob and Annie eventually purchased the 106 acres and house that Gene, Barb, Bob and I owned. It joins the 108 acres the kid's Dad owns and lives on that his parents originally owned. Bob works where his Dad used to work (Kaiser Aluminum, which is now called ALCAN). He also farms and maintains the total 214 acres from both farms.

When Bob's grandparents died, most everything in equipment and machinery was sold. He almost started from scratch, buying what was needed, when he decided to work the farm and live there. His heart’s desire is to farm only, on a bigger scale selling more hay and raising beef cattle to sell. Bob is the only grandchild of the Jewell's that wanted to carry on the heritage of his grandparents to keep the farm going and keep it in the family and to have family reunions there.

Annie also stays very busy working full time at D&W Estates as Office Manager, Receptionist, etc. The rest of her time is spent maintaining the family home, caring for farm animals and family pets, and doing gardening, flower, craft, and landscaping projects.

After Linda's fiancée' Joe died, she asked Bob and Annie if she could move into their empty mobile home one-half mile back the road on their farm. Renters had abused it. One year has passed and with team effort we have turned it and the property into the beautiful place it once was. Annie said she has always wanted me to live there.

Not long after getting up one morning, I was walking through each room enjoying looking out the windows at the countryside. Every window captures a beautiful view. It was then that the lyrics to the two songs started running through my mind; "country roads take me home, to the place where I belong” and "this old farm feels like a long lost friend, Yes, ‘n’ hey, it’s good to be back home again".

The back porch has an old swing and the tin roof over it sounds great when it's raining. The creek runs in the field below the woods. The whippoorwill's call at night, the lightning bugs are everywhere, and the coyote's howl. A mocking bird sings all night. The good Lord, a cup of coffee, and a cushion on the swing is all that's needed!!! My Australian Shepherd Scar, and my Bassett Hound Bradley play in the field out back. A storm just passed by and a deer is over in the field -- many come down to drink and eat.

Allison likes to stay all night on week-ends. Kyle and Bob swing up my driveway on their four-wheelers now and then on their way hunting, fishing or just joy riding heading for the trails in the woods. Kyle sometimes takes me on his four-wheeler to the top of the farm because he and I both love the sunsets. Annie and I sometimes work in flower gardens, share decorating ideas, and shop at the mall.

I wrote a story in the Hayman Holler one year about being glad I was a country girl and that I missed the country while living in town. You never know where life will lead you. This old farm does feel like a long lost friend that has been found!!! Thank God I am a country girl.