NOVEMBER 18-24 IS NATIONAL FARM-CITY WEEK

TL 11-18 THRU 24 IS NATIONAL FARM-CITY WEEK

Kansas is rich in agricultural traditions.  As you drive along our state’s highways you can’t help but notice the lovely quilt of farmland with the occasional horse, herds of cattle or sheep, and of course the state flower, the sunflower.

The farmers of Kansas provide food and other resources for the rest of the country.  It’s a proud heritage to be a farmer, but it certainly won’t make you rich.  Maybe it does make you rich, it’s just not from monetary gain.  There is a rich satisfaction in farming… knowing that you’ve done a good day’s work for your fellow-man is worth more than money.

You know when I think of a Kansas farm, I think of the Peterson Farm.  Those guys are crazy…  yep – they’re Kansans alright!

https://youtu.be/hSp9mGcaESc

When I think of Thanksgiving, it’s natural to think of harvest.  I can’t imagine living in a big city where harvest is just a concept and not a reality.  Something about having harvest as a way of life just makes me more thankful than I would be otherwise.

A WORKING FARM

It’s a silly memory, I know…  but I remember taking field trips to my 5th grade teacher’s farm around this time of year.  Maybe it had to do with this holiday – who knows?

It’s important for children to be exposed to farm life once in a while.  They need to know that they’re milk comes from a cow and eggs come from chickens.  Some of those city kids might decide they want to move to a farm one day and enjoy a slower, more structured, simple life.

The only downside to farming is the butchering of livestock.  I know some don’t have a problem with it, but I’m just a bit of a squeamish soul, I suppose.  I thought it would be fun to have a herd of sheep and sell wool.  There is a new kind of farm emerging on the horizon that sounds interesting – Alpaca farms!  Alpaca fleece is softer than cashmere and is in demand.  As an alpaca farmer you can raise the animals and not have to butcher them – just shear them.  I think I could handle that!

FARM COMFORT

One more video from the Peterson farm.  https://youtu.be/toyN81wZzLw

I hope sometime this week you will take a city kid to visit a working farm – maybe even the Peterson farm!   The only way we can encourage kids to appreciate the food they eat is to show them where it comes from – and all the work involved in making it happen.  Have a great week!  🙂

 

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

TL I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE (2)

What was happening in America on Saturday, September 18, 1909???

The largest crowd to ever watch a baseball game, up to that time, turned out in Shibe Park as 35,409 spectators watched the Philadelphia Athletics beat the visiting Detroit Tigers, 2–0, on the pitching of future Hall of Famer Charles “Chief” Bender. The A’s were second to the Tigers in the American League pennant race.

IMG_1056
SEPTEMBER 18, 1909

Guess what else happened???  My Grandpa married my Granny!  I don’t have wedding photos – I’m not even sure there are any – this plate is my precious possession to remind me of my Grandpa Frank & Granny LaVella’s wedding day.  Mama told me that it was hand painted by a family friend and neighbor.  It’s not valuable – but it sure means a lot to me.  Granny kept this plate hanging in their bedroom on the farm.

People really do get married at an older age these days.  These two crazy kids were married at 16 years of age!  I think they were married at a judge’s house, if I remember the story correctly.

They had a piece of farmland willed to them, built a little house on it and started growing wheat, horses, cattle and children – by the time it was said and done – EIGHT kids!

Grandpa Frank also drove a truck to supplement their income.  Granny did some sewing and took in washing to help out.  They didn’t have to buy stainless for the kitchen or even entertain the notion of indoor plumbing…  but they were two of the happiest people ever!  They had the same beliefs and the same dreams for their family.  They embraced faith in God above all and were faithful to each other until the end.

I get to thinking about that sometimes.  In their life, they were so firmly rooted in family and values, the fancy stuff wasn’t important.  I loved everything about staying at the farmhouse when I was little because something as simple as snuggling down in one of Granny’s quilts meant more to me than anything fancy and showy.  That squeaky bed was the best, and using homemade soap every morning and eating farm fresh eggs…  well those are memories that will never fade from my memory!

You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.  – Billy Wilder

In our day, it seems like we place so much importance on possessing the best of things and less emphasis on growing a strong family.  In the end, what difference does it make if we have a hardwood floor or linoleum?  I wouldn’t want to have an outhouse…  let’s not get nuts!

I miss that farm in Oklahoma…  I felt so safe and secure there in that squeaky bed with Granny’s quilt tucked around me.  It gives me such comfort to know that Grandpa, Granny, mom and dad are in heaven waiting for me.

Happy Anniversary in heaven, Grandpa & Granny!!!

They are with Jesus, and one day I’ll join them.  Maybe I could have that squeaky bed and one of Granny’s quilts in my mansion.  I may not need it since there is no night there and I won’t get tired.  Hmm…  I have to re-think that, don’t I?  Wink!  😉

 

 

GORGEOUS GRANDMA DAY

TL 7-23 GORGEOUS GRANDMA DAY

7-23 GRANNY LAVELLA
Today is GORGEOUS GRANDMA DAY. When I get to heaven there will be so many things to see and do, and first I want a hug from Jesus – not one of those “good to see ya” hugs that last about 2 seconds, but a really long hug! He’s been my best friend for so many years, when I finally see Him face to face, yeah, I want a hug!

The second thing I want to do is renew the relationship with my family! I didn’t know Granny LaVella very long, but I knew her well. She and Grandpa Frank lived on a farm in Northern Oklahoma. We got to visit the farm nearly every weekend and I looked forward to those visits.

I was their youngest grandchild, so I got some very special treatment. I was the miracle for my folks. They could not have children and adopted me when I was only a few days old. There are a few basic lessons I learned on the farm. Lesson number one: the chores do NOT wait. You get out there and get it done – NOW. When it’s time to milk the cow, son, you’d better get out there and do the milking. Bessie does not care if you want to sleep another half hour, and she doesn’t care if it’s cold outside – but you’d better warm those hands up or else.  Lesson number two:  don’t drink the cream off the top.  There are consequences for that action.

I miss the farm and yes, that feather bed! I’ve always said I could leave the city and go live in a small community somewhere and be fine with it. Some people think they would be bored or it would make them crazy, but not me. I would enjoy an uncomplicated life.

Grandpa Frank and Granny LaVella were the sweetest people and they were God-fearing souls who would not hurt a fly. They lived their lives and loved their God. They walked humbly but stood proud for the values they embraced. May I do the same.

LIFE ON THE FARM

TL LIFE ON THE FARM

FARM COMFORT
2014 is the year of the family farm. There are still a few of them around, but as generations die off, fewer people are interested in carrying on the traditions on the family farm. I’m thankful for the small family farms. They are the backbone of our country!

Although my family members are happy in heaven, my mind goes back to a time when they were all very much alive and well on planet earth.

I suppose it’s because Spring has arrived. The jonquils are blooming and so are my allergies! These subtle signs trigger memories of the past and I have no choice but to re-live them! They are happy memories and I treasure them so very much.

Every year around my birthday, we made a special trip to grandpa Frank & granny LaVella’s farm in Oklahoma. I looked forward to it because I always got to ride my horse, Ol’ Blue, a Palomino with the prettiest blue eyes! Granny LaVella made my favorite meals and you can be sure we ate three squares! We went back home to Wichita with some extra pounds, but preparing meals was granny’s way of showing love for her family.

There were chores to be done and conversations to be engaged in. We talked about everything in my family from the weather (farmers are great at talking about the weather) to the newest feed available for the stock, to the latest project that granny LaVella had going on. She was always doing something for somebody. She knitted little caps and crocheted booties for every baby in their community, I think!

It’s funny how the senses can take you back in time. The bed I slept in on the farm was an old metal spring bed that was probably an antique back then! Every time I moved that thing made the most unusual noise. I especially enjoyed being wrapped up in one of granny’s quilts. I always felt so safe and secure all snuggled up.

The only real problem was if I had to visit the outhouse. I made sure I didn’t drink anything before bedtime because even though I felt safe indoors, venturing out at night to an outhouse is a real experience – one I tried to avoid as much as possible.

I’m thankful to God for precious memories of childhood. I pray that I never lose them. I’m thankful that spring has finally arrived. Peace to you today! ❤

LIFE ON THE FARM

TL LIFE ON THE FARM

 

I have enjoyed writing poetry using the pen name THE PRAIRIE LADY. The name came about as a joke, really. I was chatting on facebook with my friend, Lucinda Berry Hill (author of “Coffee with Jesus”) and we were discussing the regions we come from. I mentioned that I was a Jayhawker, which means I was born and raised in Kansas. One thing led to another and suddenly I was dubbed THE PRAIRIE LADY.

They say a person should write about what they know, which makes sense because that is the writing that flows and comes most naturally. Anything you try to write with little or no knowledge under your belt will feel “forced” when it’s read. I have a college degree in KANSAS and a lifetime of experience, having lived on the prairie my whole life. I embrace the simplicity and contentment this part of America exudes. We almost pride ourselves on being in touch with nature (ask anyone who has lived through an F-5 tornado).

The nicest comment was posted on facebook shortly after I shared this poem. It said:

“Your poetry is so beautiful as well as accurate.”

I thought that was simply wonderful and appreciate that assessment of it!

My grandpa Frank and granny LaVella had a working farm. I learned everything I needed to know about life at the farm. The early bird gets the chores done earlier and gets to do other things earlier. I don’t know about getting the worm, but this bird did learn that a good stiff cup of coffee helps just before you go out to get started on farm chores. That is especially true in the wintertime. There’s an old saying:

EVERY MILE IS TWO IN WINTER
I learned that if you want something bad enough, you have to be willing to work hard and get plenty of rest at night. Believe me, on the farm you have no trouble sleeping at night. You’re so tired, when your head hits the pillow – boom – you’re out!

It is my hope to eventually publish a book of poetry one day. I’d like to call it THE PRAIRIE LADY’S BOOK OF POETRY. Well, it’s a start, but it will take more than just a title to make it a reality. It will take hard work, but don’t worry… I’m a farm girl and I know how to work hard to accomplish a goal.

There’s no room for manicured nails here… lol. 🙂