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  • Writer's pictureNicole Olsen

Summers in Taylor

I have to warn you that this post may get sentimental because that is how I felt the entire time I was back in Taylor, Arizona. Every Summer and numerous other times around the year I would go up to Taylor to visit my Grandma Hatch, or Grandma with the ducks as my sisters and I called her. She lived on Lazy B & N Ranch with my Grandpa Hatch and together they provided the most idyllic magical summers imaginable.

Each year once school was let out my mother would pack a bag for me with the rattiest clothes she could find and warn me around the clock of the dangers of Grandma’s pond, which was more like a few inches of water covering a mud pit. Then she would send me off to spend the long hot days running around the ranch barefoot fishing for crawdads, swimming in irrigation ditches, raising chicks and ducklings, keeping the skunks from eating said farm animals, riding horses, canning tomatoes, driving the tractor, listening to Grandpa play the harmonica, searching for ghosts in the basement, making our daily trip to the pop shop, attending the 4th of July rodeo, crafting in her sewing room, sleeping on the balcony, getting dirty, and just wandering the countryside with my sister Amy or whatever cousin was visiting at the time. It was perfect and magical and I could honestly go on forever about all my wonderful memories of this place.

My senior year of high school was the last summer I spent on her farm. I only had a few short weeks and together we packed in all of our favorite time-honored traditions. Since then my visits have been few and brief. But this summer I spent 10 wonderful days back in this place I love so much. A lot has changed since ’02. The chicken coop lies in ruins beside the dried-up pond, the wishing well no longer stands amid the morning glories, and my grandma no longer lives in the farmhouse my Grandpa built for her with his own two hands. Grandpa Hatch is no longer around to tell us ghost stories and play his mini harmonica in the evenings before bed. Instead of Great Grandma living down the dirt road in the blue house, it is my mom who now resides there. Uncle Casey, well he is pretty much still the same charming and fun uncle I remember, older but perhaps now wiser as I did not see him surfing behind the pickup truck down the dirt road as he use to.

And while all these changes pull at my heart it is not sadness I feel because this place and my family are still here and this time I come with my children who run around dirty and barefoot with their cousins feeding crab apples to the horses while talking in the beautiful Taylor sunsets.

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