I posted this picture the other day, about a rite of passage, but I would like to elaborate a bit more. Last March we lost our barn in a fire from a spark that floated over from our Sugar House. I felt a huge sense of loss because the big red barn is the sign and symbol of the American family farmer. Family farms are declining at an alarming rate. It has always been my contention that as the farm family goes, so goes the country. The agricultural community had a large part in the development of this country. Faith, hard work, and strong families are what made this country great. These days, few young men go into farming because it can no longer support a family.
Our son always planned to farm for a living when he grew up. He spent his childhood traipsing after his dad and his Uncle Howard. He spent his days talking with the farmers in the area. He was a farmer in a little boy's body. He could tell you the make and model number of every piece of farm equipment he saw. When Sam was in middle school, it was evident that he was going to need a plan B. One after another the farmers in our area - and their wives - sought employment off the farm in order to maintain an agricultural lifestyle.
In our area only 2 farmers remain who support themselves solely from farming. Sam now operates his own collision shop. He worked out for a while, but his ethics, formed in his youth, led him to open his own business. Those same ethics have made his business a success. Owning his own business now allows Sam to farm with Harold, Howard, and his cousin Cale.
When a farmer puts "and son" on his barn, it is an official announcement of a special bond formed between a farmer and his son. On Saturday, when Harold called me out to take a picture of the barn, Sam was seeing the "and Son" for the first time. In typical Sam fashion, he said nothing, but I know what he was thinking and what he was feeling. Mom stood there in tears as the dreams of father and son were spelled out in a sign on our new barn. No, it isn't the red wooden barn that held so many memories, but it is sign and symbol of a lifestyle that farm families everywhere struggle to maintain. Congratulations, Harold and Sam!
Today is a baseline day. I thoroughly enjoyed my carb-up day yesterday.
Route: Living room watching Regis
Average heart rate: 114
Max heart rate: 134
Down 1.6 from last Monday (whoo hoo!)
Okay, so I head out for my walk with weights. It's sprinkling. Been sprinkling all morning. As soon as I hit the road it starts to rain. So I headed indoors. (No, I'm not a wimp - my walkman doesn't like water) I look ouside now that my workout is over - it's sprinkling again.
Our stockings are selling amazingly well. I'm surprised because of all the talk of a depressed economy. Our season usually starts around October 15, but this year it started mid-September. This week we are preparing for the craft show that I thought was last week. Last Monday I made a batch of the "Hunter's Green" soap. I can't wait for the guys to try it. We've gotten a few testimonials from some bow hunters and they said it works great. Tonight I want to make another batch of Harvest Home candles. I love the smell of those!
Word of the day:
Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”
He replied to him,
“Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”
Then he said to the crowd,
“Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
Then he told them a parable.
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’
But God said to him,
‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself
but is not rich in what matters to God.”
Thoughts from the cornfield:
It is so easy to look back in hindsight and snicker at some of the antics of the people around Jesus. The parable of the man who stored riches in his barn is a classic example of what our priorities need to be. The people of Jesus' time had ignorance as their excuse. What's ours?
God bless our troops!
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