What's in a name?

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare wrote:

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself."

So what is in a name?  As the process for buying our farm started to get real, I began to wonder about the name of our new farm.  On a sunny afternoon Kathryn and I were driving around.  I asked her what are we going to name the farm?  Her face lit up with a smile and her eyes opened as wide as I've ever seen them.  Propping herself up on the console with her left forearm and kung fu gripping the o'shit handle with her right hand.  She leaned across the cab of "Bertha." That's what she calls my old truck. And with excitement blurted out, "I was just thinking that!"  

Now the farm hasn't been a farm in so long that it no one could remember what the name was when it was last in operation.  That suited me because I felt like we should be able to name it ourselves.  It's said to be bad luck to change the name of a boat but I've never heard the same old wives tale about farms.  I hope the same rule doesn't apply.

We fired ideas back and forth via text and email throughout the workdays.  We yelled random names across the house and yard evenings and weekends.  Nothing seemed right. We continued tossing out every idea we could think of.  Some weirder than others, I suggested Pizza Farm once but Kathryn was quick to overrule me. Shepard Farm came out more than once.  While special and unique to us, I thought we could be a little more creative.

I've always been intrigued by interesting and meaningful names of businesses and such.  Especially those names with double meanings. Farms I knew growing up were almost always named after the family that owned it.  That or some geological or geographical distinctive feature.  Wheeler Brook Farm was on Wheeler Brook, Great Rock Farm had a big rock.  Ingraham's Tree Farm was owned by Mr. Ingraham and the Smolak's owned Smolak Farm, etc.

I got to thinking about the project as whole. The only piece left from the original farm was house. The architectural style of the farmhouse is greek revival so I started focusing on that. We are fixing up a greek revival.  We are reviving the house and bringing the land back to life...revival farm? I said it with a twinge of question in my voice.  Then I said it again, this time with a little more confidence.  Kathryn said it out loud and we both beamed with excitement. It just fit.  Simple, special and had that double meaning.  Revival Farm was born. Welcome to our journey reviving this old house and land.

Justin ShepardComment