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The Home Place: a place of firsts and lastsThe Home Place: a place of firsts and lasts

That farm has a special place in my heart but it had significance long before we started making memories there.

Shelley E. Huguley

February 26, 2018

2 Min Read
Henry Perez, center, with two of his sons, Edward Perez, left, and Elias Perez, right, in the living room of the Home Place, and the old Ford pickup they overhauled together in the barn.

Our two-bedroom farmhouse lays claim to a lot of firsts. The first farm my farmer purchased as a young grower. The first home he and I shared after we said, “I do.” The first house where we brought home our two oldest children after they were born and where they took their first steps.

We shared a lot of special memories in the simplicity of that 900-square foot home with no hallways, rather one room connected to another with enough space in the laundry room to squeeze a twin-size bed for company or in-laws. With my farmer’s barn next to the house, I could step out of my toddler world and into to his for a brief moment, leaving wondering who had the greater challenge, him solving farming issues or me raising Littles!

I loved summers on the farm. We’d have a half-circle of corn planted steps away from our back door. The kids would play in the mud and sit in the shade of the tall green stalks. I looked forward to daily, half-mile strolls to the northeast corner where the mailbox stood, if it hadn’t been plowed over by a tractor pulling an implement the day before. As we would make our way down the dirt road, my oldest would be steps ahead of me, my son in the stroller along with our two dogs and a cat in tow.

That farm has a special place in my heart but it had significance long before we started making memories there. Prior to my farmer purchasing what we refer to as our “Home Place,” the Henry Perez family called that farm home for many years. It was there, that Henry’s sons first learned to farm, start well motors and to drive. It was in that same barn, where the Perez boys, their father and a friend, overhauled a 1970 F100 pickup that each of the boys would drive throughout high school— a pickup they still own today. It’s a farmhouse where every Fourth of July, a pig could be heard squealing in the wee hours of the morning prior to a day-long celebration that ended with the loud popping of fireworks.

But this month, after 50 years of farming, Henry Perez went home to be with the Lord. Prior to laying him to rest, the boys had one last request of that Home Place— some soil to lay on his grave. So as his family and friends gathered to say one last goodbye, his grave was sprinkled with soil from a place of significant firsts and lifetime of memories, a place he had toiled and loved, land he had used to support his family and make his boys into men. He will be missed.

About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions that have to be made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such a Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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