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  • Writer's pictureJenifer Brown

#11 The Adventure to great soap & How to find it : What he thought was a prison, came to be paradise

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

"I was forced to be there, Child labor was cheap!" Mike says in a joking tone.

....."Mom & Dad took every moment to go to Tennessee when I was growing up" Mike recalled.

I dreaded most trips. Trips to Tennessee as a kid meant no fun, no exploring and a whole lot of work. We have always called our property up there "The Farm", and as a kid it sure felt like it. Up early, doing whatever Dad and Mom decided necessary for the day. If you're familiar with my Mom & Dad, they are busy working on something all the time. Another thing is my parents are all about recycling & saving money. Working with adult tools, working hours like an adult is something I've done as far back as I can remember. The farm house is built from start to finish by the hands of my father, many friends, family and the occasional professional. I was 13 the summer we put the roof on the house. We baked in the sun lifting the Recycled steel panels to the rafters, attaching them with Lag Bolts. We sunburned, we bleed, we ached...but we slowly built the farm together.

Working on the roof, I could stand and see out over the holler. It's always pretty, no matter the time of year. The land itself has always been special to me.

What I failed to realize during these trips, Dad was preparing me for real life skills & an abundance of knowledge to feel confident in my own life as an adult. All those years I saw building the house as an awful thing. I wanted to be a kid and spend time doing anything but farm work or building on the house.

Now, years later, I look at some of the projects we've completed as a family & it makes me nostalgic.

This past winter Dad, Jen & I hiked to a spring that we turned into a wild water trough for our old horse Buck well over 20 years ago. Old Buck is gone now, But our writings in the once wet cement remain. Time flies. The things we dredge through today just may be wonderful things we never saw as a gift in the moment.

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