Today was mowing day - # 2; I’m
not an early riser, so today’s surprise mower, a tall, thin,
long-haired young man arrived before I’d had my first cup of coffee.
(No I didn’t know anyone was coming.) I’d
learned that my miracle mower of last time was the oldest son of the
man whose father (some would say family patriarch) leases our hay
(if that is what it is called in farming terms) and has for three
years from my dad. Today's mower is the youngest
son. Their family patriarch and my father were longtime friends and
fellow Presbyterians. The young men are being taught to “be
neighborly.” That is one of the greatest things
about returning to live in a stable community. Families
live here and know one another for several generations, and often
each younger generation goes to school together, creating a very
strong sense of community. I am now the
grandparent generation and my father and his friends were the
great-grandparents, or if they started having children early, maybe
even the “great-great’s. Also, I might add,
there are few if any secrets. When describing
someone, everyone knows who they dated in school, even if it was 50
or 80 years ago, who they married, who they wished they had married,
what the parents thought of whom they didn’t marry, etc.
I’ve heard the same story about one lady who just moved back
to town, from several sources, all containing that kind of
My admiration for farm boys is different than when I
lived here on the farm at age 16. Probably I
don’t need to describe what I admired about them then, but I will
anyway. They were muscular, tan, good looking,
cute (there is a difference), had twinkling eyes and wonderful
teeth, even when they chewed tobacco. I never
thought much about how such features developed. One classmate was
without doubt the finest looking young man, as they say in the
country, “in this neck of the woods.”
Sadly though, I never saw any farm boys when I lived
with my dad and stepmother on the farm, other than at school.
My dad was very strict. If I was allowed
to go to an evening event, there appeared to be a magical switch on
the cattle guard – which turned on the front porch light as I was
being brought home. My dad always stood on the
front porch with his hands on his hips, waiting to see me in.
He took his job of being the father of a teenage girl very
seriously. I now wonder how many hours he sat in
the dark awaiting my return, so he could turn on the light at just
the right time.
Ok, I’ve digressed enough so back to why I admire
farm boys today. It is because they work hard on
the farm with their fathers and grandfathers.
Kids in towns and cities frequently do not have the same
opportunities to develop such strong work and family support ethics.
The ones that I know who do are the children of folks who own
restaurants or other businesses where children are encouraged to
start work in the family business early. Farming is such a family
business. I am fairly certain most farm boys don’t appreciate their
opportunities to acquire these traits, but from my standpoint it is
a gift they are given.
I think my guardian angel is the one who helped me
return here to the farm, to my roots. Daily I am given reasons to be
thankful for what I might not experience elsewhere… Also, I am
provided challenges that make me stronger.
No plumber yet, but one may be coming on Monday;