The Feltons’ Story

The Felton homestead is 80 acres of pure beauty and memories. This is where I grew up. For his entire life, my dad has lived on this land that his father and grandfather once called home. As a kid some of my fondest memories were spent here. Walking down the driveway with my brother to visit my Meme and Pepe, digging for worms using a tin bandaid can to hold them so we could catch brookies for breakfast, camping in the fields with friends, and lots of campfires. Watching my children playing in these fields brings with it a flood of wonderful memories.

Since quarantine began, I’ve spent more time exploring this property than ever before. When the weather is nice and we’re feeling pent-up our family goes for a hike up the trails, sometimes taking a nap in hammocks over one of the small waterfalls.

I made this film for my dad last fall. When I showed it to him without the narration his only response was, “Wow, do I really look that old?” I fully intended to finish the film with narration but I can’t deny my bubble was popped and I let it sit there unfinished for months. It wasn’t quarantine and spending so much time here that I really truly appreciated what this land means to our family. Without knowing it, I needed to wait until now to write the narration because this time has completely shifted my perspective of what the homestead means to me and our family.

In 2013 my brother passed away in a car accident. For a long time I felt guilty that this land will one day become mine. It should have been my brothers’. It was meant to be passed down through the Felton lineage, and although I’m a Felton by blood I no longer bear their last name. Spending time here shifted my perspective, which is reflected in the narration I wrote as a letter to my dad. This time when he watched his film, he was a puddle of tears.

“I remember the days when I was little running through these fields. Now my children are here with you. This earth that once grew food for my great grandparents now fills my children with love and joy. To them the harvest is about the excitement of picking pumpkins and corn. To me, this time is a reminder of how we are all rooted to the stories of those who came before us. You fill our children with love in every tender moment, with your patience and gentle touch, with your smile that gives comfort and peace, and with the touch of your loving hands. These are the most precious gifts that my children will ever receive. There is nothing else like the love of a grandparent. The stories they remember of this homestead will forever be filled with you. When they look back they will taste the sweetness of the corn grown with your hands. They will follow in your footsteps, learning how to love people, animals, and the earth. The Felton name will never be lost. It continues within each of us, in the land, and in the beauty that will surround generations to come.”