if you go down hanley road, past a few vineyards and strawberry fields, before you get to the counrty store that sells "spaghetti on tuesdays", you'll find a still operating historic farm from the mid 1800's. i've known about Hanley Farm since i moved to medford four years ago, you see, once upon a baby free life, i met up with the volunteer coordinator of the jacksonville historic society about, well, volunteering. my duties would have included hoeing and egg collecting at hanley farm, that is if i hadn't got pregnant and a month later devoted myself to a toilet. four years, two children later i made it to hanley farm. this time, for a picnic under an old maple tree with my two boys, and the hanley farm dog, daisy.
we didn't bring all the fixins, but we had the essentials: a quilt, strawberries, blackberry-chocolate covered hazelnuts, hummus, pita chips, and water. the first order of business when we arrived was checking out the chickens, conrad informed me they weren't clucking, indeed not, they were laughing. which, i believe him. he seems to have a six sense about these things; many a times i have caught him talking to birds, snails, dogs, and his goldfish. whose to say he didn't hear those chickens laughing...not me.
after chicken watching and strawberry consuming, we made our way through the grounds, vigilantly inspecting every old tractor, petting every dog that came our way, chatted with every volunteer we saw, and read a few interpretive signs about when the giant willow tree was planted, and the such.
it was as pleasant of a thursday as thursday's get, and i can't wait to do it again.