I knew I was going to get old; I just didn’t think it would start this soon.

When I visit the family farm these days I’m steeped in nostalgia. So many of the “old folks” are gone now and the folks who I used to only think of as “older” are, well, the old folks!

And I have become acutely aware of how temporary and fleeting life is. I know something now that I didn’t when I was younger. Each time could be the last.

And so, when I visit, I collect moments the way I once collected seashells at the beach. I gather them, examine them, consider their beauty, and then I carefully save the ones I love the most.

Here are a few I collected just this past weekend.

Grandma, daughter, and granddaughter playing Scrabble. Grandma won! My brother isn’t allowed to play with us because he knows all the sneaky two letter words that are worth a bazillion points.

Me and my cousin Becky. How are we cousins? We share the same great-grandparents. AND we share a love for the old schoolhouse where Toad and Beryl (Becky’s grandparents–so my great-grand uncle and aunt?) used to host Labor Day weekend wiener roasts.

My sweetie and I with my brother and niece in front of the schoolhouse. I have a photograph of my great-Uncle Willis and his twin sister Bess standing in front of this school when they were just little tykes. And my jeans are rolled up because . . .

Olivia and I went wading! The water in Laurel Fork is just as cold as I remember. And just as refreshing and invigorating. We also skipped rocks. I think there was a dash of water from the Fountain of Youth in there.