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Memory Lane Craft Retreat

Patty Hanson is helping women make fond memories on the farm
Photo courtesy of Patty Hanson

Patty Hanson remembers how her father took such pride in his 101-acre farm near Orangeville, Illinois. Gene Meads also loved to entertain and share the place with friends and family. When he passed away a few years ago, Patty wondered what would become of the farmhouse that held so many memories and good times.

She decided to honor his legacy by turning it into a retreat for women. Small groups come to the farm on the weekends for a girls' getaway.

"I’ve met the coolest people," says Patty. "Scrapbookers and quilters seem to be our main people that come to the house. I just booked though, for a group of cousins – and this is so cool – they met through Ancestry.com, and they’re going to come here on a weekend and do genealogy together."

The house will sleep nine people. There’s a kitchen too, but Patty says guests have to bring their own food and cook it themselves.

She has her dad’s antiques on display, and makes the home as cozy as comfortable for crafting and taking in the country lifestyle.

"The big room, there’s the tables and stuff and the crafting room, and it goes out onto the deck which looks out over the pond," says Patty. "A couple of people have said it reminds them of when they used to go visit their grandma and grandpa’s house on the farm. That’s just a cool thing I think to share with other people, the experience of what life on a farm is like."

Since it’s a working farm, guests can watch planting, harvest, and other typical daily activities. Many visitors have never seen farm animals up close and in person. Horses, barn cats, and baby goslings add character and charm, but Patty says Blosom the cow is a favorite. She’s a 13-year old charismatic Holstein that has become so popular with the guests, she even has her own Facebook page.

Learn more about Patty and her crafting retreat

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