Faith and Farmers

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So many things in life take faith. In the years I have been married to a farmer I can testify to the fact that farming is one of those things.

Every year my husband diligently heads off to the field to prepare and plant the crop he hopes to harvest in the fall. Some years that works out really well…..and other years not quite so good.

This past year we experienced some of the worst flooding on our fields that we have ever seen. We watched that water come up, go down, come up and again, very slowly go down the second time.

My farmer husband patiently (sort of) waited for the fields to dry enough to get back in them. He would walk out to the bottoms and stand in the middle of brown dead corn. He never said much when he came back…..he just waited and wondered what the best course of action would be for those fields.

This past week I witnessed an act of faith. I saw him once again haul out the disk and planter, prepare that bottom piece of field and plant it. It is rather late in the season but he has faith that there will be something that can be harvested from that piece. He is a quiet witness to perseverance, hope and faith.

I am reminded that we have never experienced a total crop failure like those farmers did in the 30’s. I often wonder how they kept hope alive when the rains never came.

It is a good lesson for me to learn…..that things are probably never quite as hopeless as it looks at the first look. That with a little patience and perseverance things might turn around….that sometimes the only thing you have is faith and the hope that faith brings……and that is enough.

“A farmer has to be an optimist 
or he wouldn’t still be a farmer.”

Will Rodgers

 

“He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate-
bringing forth food from the earth.”
Psalm 104:14

 

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Changing Landscape

Lakefront Property???

 

There are some days that feel like you are a passenger on a train that seems to be gaining speed. Lately I think I have somehow managed to jump on that train and am just trying to catch my breath!

In a few weeks my middle son will be getting married. I have an entire list of things that need to get done before that day. My husband has a list of things he needs to do. For some reason I am in charge of both lists…I think that just might be the way it works in a marriage.

Trying to get those things done the last week has been difficult due to our very rainy weather. We have had a lot of flooding in our area of the country and have watched our fields covered by water, watched them uncovered only to be covered again with the rain last night and today.

Add in to that; the fact that our land line has been out since Saturday as the phone boxes down the road were covered by water. If I understand it right, anyone in our neighborhood with a land line has the same issue. I will admit it does make it quiet around the house! I am, however, grateful for a cell phone.

The road that takes us to town was covered by the river. No one around here ever remembers that happening before. We also saw three carp swim over the blacktop road….another thing we have never seen before!

We found out the other day that the motor in our well has decided to go on the fritz. I discovered this when our faucet seemed to be running really slow when I wanted a glassful of water.

Since that time we have been camping in our house. My husband has been pumping drinking water from our well with a Dempster hand pump that he and my dad installed this past spring. I am SO grateful they put that thing in!

We have also found our camping solar shower bag to be a very useful item. Living a few days with no running water in the house has been….interesting. I will not go so far as to say exciting……… so will just stick with the word……interesting.

A corner a couple miles from our home

 

I have decided that our problems are fairly minor when I think of the town just down the road that has derailed train cars leaking oil into the river! Yes our little town of Doon has made the national news with that one.

My husband and I have decided it can always be worse. It is amazing to me how single drops of water can band together and become a force of nature. Those single drops are a force that can change the landscape in less than a day.

It is a good lesson for me, that many people…acting with a common purpose can indeed change the world around them. We can be those drops of water that make an impact.

I have also learned that faith is a wonderful thing…keeping busy is a great way to keep your mind off what you cannot control and that it also helps accomplish something..

Bad weather always looks worse through a window.
Tom Lehrer
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/tom_lehrer_120717?src=t_bad_weather

It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it. Amelia Barr
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/amelia_barr_202842?src=t_bad_weather

Thistles and Rain

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It has been a little wet around here lately. The old saying, “When it rains…it pours” is pretty true in this part of the country lately. After waiting…for what seemed like a long time and wishing for rain…it now seems easy to come by.

I wandered around the other morning with my camera in hand as I couldn’t get in my garden (due to rain) and I couldn’t mow (also due to rain). It seemed a logical choice to go and see if I could capture some of the beauty left by the rain.

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It was fun to try get a photo of the raindrops  dripping from the flowers and leaves.

To be very honest it was also a great opportunity for a blog post as the idea well seems a bit drier than the weather for this Chicken Grandma!

Later that afternoon my husband called for me to join him behind the machine shed. There is a patch of thistles growing back there that really should be taken care of as they do tend to spread.

We discovered, however, that those thistles might be weeds, but the butterflies and bees sure seemed to be enjoying them.

Seeing those thistles in a different light made me reflect on the fact that there are definitely two sides to most things in life. Something might seem to be a weed in your field or a weed in your life….when you look closer and really have a chance to study on it…you may just find that “weed” serves a purpose you had never thought of.

It was good to realize that truth. Life has been busy and somewhat stressful lately. There have seemed to be a lot of “weeds” springing up and flourishing, where I would rather not have them.

Maybe I need to be patient….maybe I need to open my eyes, my ears and my heart to really see, hear and know what those “weeds” actually are doing in my life. Maybe I just need to let God have those “weeds” and let Him take care of them in His own time.

That is a hard lesson for me….I love to fix things and I really want to fix things now instead of later. I guess it is a good time to sit back, watch the rain, and enjoy the lessons the thistles are teaching.

 

“Some of the most beautiful things worth having in your life
come wrapped in a crown of thorns.”

Shannon L. Alder

 

 

Gardens and Patience

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It seems like the last few weeks have been a time of playing catch-up. The fields are growing and green and the lawn and weeds have also been growing profusely.

We use a push mower; so mowing our farm yard takes pretty much an entire day with my husband and I kind of tag teaming the job. For some reason we kind of have our own “zones” that we seem to be in charge of mowing.

The areas I mow….I tend to bag, so I can use the grass on my garden. I have also been spending time weeding and hoeing and trying to stay ahead of those same weeds  so those weeds don’t take over my garden.

In my last post I mentioned we had a nest of baby bunnies in our back yard…not really too far from our garden! As anyone, who gardens, knows….bunnies and gardens don’t mix at all!

My husband has come up with a wonderful solution and has been making garden panels from 10 foot pieces of lumber and chicken wire. I absolutely love those panels as they are easy to handle and work great for keeping the rabbits from eating the produce.

This has been a strange year for gardening. The winter seemed to last forever so most of my seeds and plants got in very late. We usually get our potatoes in Easter weekend…this year we were an entire month later!

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My potatoes look pretty dismal. They came up so spotty and I finally became impatient and took a spade to dig where a potato should be. I discovered that the seed potatoes were rotting in the soil!

I ended up replanting in all those spaces because having potatoes come up late is preferable to weeds taking over that space. Now it looks like I am growing orange flags…..at least this way I will know where to look for those tiny shoots once they decide to come up.

I found it hard to understand why some of those plants were doing so well and a little ways away the other ones were rotting. There is probably a life lesson there somewhere. Why do some people do wonderful in a situation and the next person does not? Sometimes the answer to those questions…garden and otherwise are not so easy to find.

I have also found that a garden is a great place to talk over life with yourself and with God. For some reason it seems like the perfect place to hold those conversations. I always kind of wonder if it is because it is quiet out in my back yard. The sounds I hear are the little wren irately scolding me, the wind in the evergreen trees and the distant sounds of tractors and equipment in the fields.

There is a slower pace in a garden. Spending time hand picking weeds from around tiny pea and bean plants forces me to slow down and persevere. Time spent in a garden gives me lots of time to ponder things.

I love the end product of my garden…but truth be told…I also love the process of getting to those canned goods. It is time well spent…it is time that is good for my soul.

May your week be filled with things that require patience and may that patience give you time to ponder. May your life also be filled with growth…lush and green…even with a few weeds tossed in!

 

Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.
— May Sarton

 

The best place to find God is in a garden.
You can dig for him there.
George Bernard Shaw

Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/george_bernard_shaw_161677?src=t_gardening

 

 

Grandma-ing

The old signs used to hang on business doorways…”Gone Fishing”.

This is my weekend to hang out a sign..only I am not fishing….I am Gone Grandma-ing. Yup a new term and a great one.

I am finding out that I am not as young as I was when my kids were this age! Good thing there are 2 grandmas to take care of one boy.

I will be back next week but for now my days are occupied with other things.

Children are a gift from the Lord;
They are a reward from Him”
Psalm 127:3

I’ll See You When I See You…

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The other day my husband was out planting soybeans in the field around the section. I had to take the pickup out there with more seed beans for him. Before I left I told him what I always say when he is out doing fieldwork and has no idea when he will be back…”I’ll see you when I see you….”

As I drove home I started thinking about that farewell saying. I thought about it in connection with the upcoming holiday of Memorial Day or Decoration Day as my Grandma always called it.

I wondered if any moms, dads, sweethearts, wives, sons, daughters and so on used those same words of farewell when sending a loved one off to the military? When they sent those loved ones off in times of war they had no idea when they would see them next, or if they would see them again this side of heaven.

A couple years back my sister and I had the privilege of going to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. We were able to visit the grave of our cousin’s son, Julian, who gave his life for this country.

Not everyone, serving in the military comes back in a flag draped casket. But many do….and my heart hurts for those families who do have to deal with that loss. I pray they know how very grateful this nation and this farm wife is to those who serve and give all.

I also hope that our military men and women know how deeply grateful we are for all who serve and protect us and our values. Their sacrifices, being away from their loved ones, going through hardships for us, humbles me and puts a lump in my throat when I think about it. They are the core of what makes this nation great.

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When my youngest son was in grade school, (many years ago) they held a day to honor the veterans in our community. The photo that was taken that day remains one of my all time favorite photos…..my son with his Grandpa who served in the medic group in the 50’s. He was stationed in Germany and is still so very proud of his service to his country.

I am grateful to the men and women who serve and allow us to not worry. Their service allows us to get up each day and go about daily tasks without fear. Their service lets me ponder on a simple farewell as I leave my husband in the freshly disked soybean field.

For those families who spend Memorial Day at the cemetery putting flowers on the grave of the one who did not come back….you are not forgotten and neither is your loved one. And for those of us who do not stand at a graveside tomorrow and shed tears while the hole in our hearts still bleeds with sorrow….let us not forget….let us remember to say thank you.

Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13 KJV

 

I’ll see you when I see you…..
Chicken Grandma