Whenever I think about Blackstone Farms, where I grew up feeding Half-Pint-the-baby-calf with the world’s largest bottle, picking the thick Virginia clay out of my horse’s hooves, and spoiling an unreasonable number of puppies, I generally feel a sense of calm, quiet peace.  But in reality, my mom and dad are on a spring cleaning frenzy, inspecting the contents of drawers not seriously considered in twenty odd years, burning credit card statements from 1983, and evaluating the need for six spatulas in one kitchen.  These days, I generally picture them with a cloud of dust over their heads, comic strip style.

Their recent efforts have resulted in daily emails entitled “Three Precious Stones” – generally photographs of my brothers and I as small children that Dad has unearthed while cleaning.  Our last name is Stone, or to be accurate, my brothers’ last names are Stone, and my middle name is now Stone.  Though I tell Honeydew frequently, had I known what a royal pain it would be to legally change my name on everything from my bank accounts to my TJ Maxx rewards card, I surely would have left well enough alone, and remained a Stone.

At any rate.  I thought I would share some of these pictures with y’all out there on the internets.

No one seems too clear on where the glasses came from.  Mom thinks perhaps an Easter basket.  Dad looks pretty stylin’.  Brother Dear and I are rocking the footed Winnie the Pooh pajamas that appear in 98% of pictures from this time period.

A little bit bigger.  I believe this was taken in Yellowstone National Park.  The hiking bug bit us early in life.  We are still suffering its aftermath.

The year I turned 16, with the old GMC Jimmy my cuz Tyler gave me, our black lab Garth Barks, and puppy Gus.

This one is my favorite of this bunch.  Look at Brother Dear’s angelic expression.  And I think Howard looks so much like Funcle How in this shot.

Christmas … circa 1988?  We are camoflagued and clearly feeling mischevious.  Mom is tired as a result.  But so pretty.

Brother Dear exemplifying the mathematical shortcomings of our family.  No, he is not seven years old here.

Me posing with Mom’s gorgeous yellow climbing roses, Brother Dear and Howard spiffed up for Sissy’s weddin’ – twenty years ago this August.

No, we were not the most darling children to grow up in the ’80s, but we were vaguely precious, and  because its spring, and the time of year when all things small are welcome, little promises of bigger bodies and dreams, I felt the need to share.

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