So, did I ever tell you about the time that Steven and I drove to Enid and basically took a homeless, pregnant meth addict to lunch at Golden Corral? No? Well, it is an interesting story to say the least, but will have to wait for another day.
For now, just know that we were in the car for 2 hours each way which meant plenty of time for talking. One of the topics that came up was the name of farm. And, who knew that naming a farm could possibly be more difficult than naming a child? We spent most of the way there brainstorming ideas. We had the general notion that it should be called something that communicated the purpose of the farm or a feature of the farm or some combination of both. We wore out the thesaurus on our phones looking up synonyms for words like: refuge, sanctuary, safe haven, rest, respite, etc. And we visualized the features of the farm like: the oak, the creek, the pond, the blackberry patch, the magnolia, the farm house itself, etc.
We tried for a long time to get a word combination of some sort to work with “The Mighty Oak” because, people, she is impressive. Magnificent, even. But we just never could come up with something that flowed well or would look good on paper, typographically speaking. So, eventually we came back to “The Magnolia.” Funny story before I continue. When my dad and I walked the property before the auction while Steven was gone, I took one look at the oak in the backyard and said, “She alone is worth a bid of $15k.” To which my dad replied, “Your mom would detract that $15k once she saw that ginormous magnolia over there.”
And, she may have a point since they are messy and can be a bit stinky & attract bee type creatures. But, I have never seen (in person) a magnolia tree as majestic as this one is. She is as tall as the house with a girth to match. Albeit, she is unkempt and kind of wild. And, over time she has become one of the girls’ favorite things to do on the farm. They fall out of the truck and immediately fly to her branches. Climbing & exploring for hours while experiencing the most exciting exploits. She is like a fortress or the gateway to another world. A world of adventure and peace, providing both shelter & intrigue. An escape from the surrounding reality. Where both the most amazing flowers & imaginations bloom. Which makes her a pretty darn good candidate for the symbol of our farm. And the life we hope to provide for sojourners there.
So we settled on magnolia for a while and tried to find some fancy schmancy name for farm to go with her. But, in the end, we realized the beauty of the juxtaposition between the elegance of “magnolia” and the commonplaceness of “farm.” Not to mention how well they would dance on paper. One with lots of flourish and the other simple & crisp. Like a strong man leading a delicate lady. It’s like a graphic designer’s dream. Which lead to us renaming the “bunkies” to “cottages.” Because, really, who wouldn’t want to come stay in “The Cottages at Magnolia Farm”?
So, it felt decided. And, also a tad bit familiar. Like I had heard it before somewhere. Of course, there is a good chance that multiple places in the world would have the same name, so I wasn’t too concerned about it. That is, until I started watching this show on HGTV called Fixer Upper and fell deeply in love with Joanna and Chip Gaines from Waco, TX. Because they are by far the most likable and amazing couple on TV. The perfect combination of cool, nerdy, talented, silly, charming, hilarious, hard working and just plain genuine. And their work makes my heart sing. Which is when it dawned on me that I recognized the outside of their house and their kitchen, because I had pinned them in my farm house files on Pinterest months prior to watching the show.
And the name of their farm, wouldn’t you know, is Magnolia Farms (which is named after their real estate/construction business, Magnolia Homes). So now the quandary of whether or not we can name our place after a farm that is kinda famous in HGTV & internet land. I didn’t mean to copy. Honest I didn’t. But obviously my subconscious remembered hearing the name when I first stumbled upon their place on the world wide web. What to do? What to do?
Well, what I really want to do is hire them to come renovate the farm house. So, if any of you, dear readers, have some sort of connection with the Gaines from Waco, please, please, pretty please put in a good word for us (because, you know that I have already tried contacting them myself). I don’t care about being on the show, I just want JoJo to get her hands on my house. And, possibly give me her blessing to name my farm after hers…