Owning a piece of the same homestead that my ancestors settled makes me a steward of this earth. Like my parents and grandparents, there are days when I am sweaty and exhausted from good honest work in the soil; there are days when I sit in my cushioned chair on the deck admiring the clouds. I am fortunate to have ”one foot in the city” and “one foot on the farm.”
Day finds me I a reflective state, musing about the impact my own mother had on
my life.She died about fifteen years
ago leaving a forever impression on my life and heart.
was my mother’s caregiver the last two years of her life and although I often
found this difficult, I also find my experience is one now to be shared with
many friends who are dealing with their own parents.It is often so painful to deal with our loved
ones’ declining mental or physical health, let alone the increasing loss of their
independence.It is likely a strain on
finances, a drain on available time, and a weight on the heart.
listened to a brief interview this morning with the contemporary Christian
singer, Amy Grant as she shared thoughts which led to her new album; This is How Mercy Looks From Here.She described a time in her own life when
she, too, cared for her parents.She was
dealing with many problems as they aged and suffered from dementia. Overwhelmed
and frustrated, she shared her feelings with a close friend, who thoughtfully
A Moment of Peace
a deep breath.Don’t you see?This is the last great lesson your parents
will teach you.”
came to my eyes as I listened.From her
own life, Amy Grant had learned to reframe an experience to see its value.I could only empathize as I reflected on
those difficult years with my own mother.It was indeed her last great lesson for me.
is a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I have lunched with one son and chatted
with the other.I am a happy mother, pleased
with the men who are my sons.I continue
to live my life loving them and hope I leave them richer as a result.Is there any greater joy than motherhood? Are
we not always teaching?
The interview with Amy Grant may be heard at www.NPR.org, May 12, 2013 Weekend Edition, For Amy Grant, Beauty and Tragedy Give Way
As a daughter of a Kansas wheat farmer, I have many memories
of crop disasters and appreciate the hardships faced by these families. In those years, we didn’t have crop insurance
and if the wheat died, it was a tough year.I specifically remember years when hard hail took the wheat down at the
peak of the growing period.In my mind
is an image of my Dad standing at the edge of an eighty acre field, crying
after a total loss.
Well, Kansas weather has made the news this year
with unpredictable dryness, wetness, wind, cold, and untimely snow and
sleet.We are experiencing the third
year of drought.Our wheat was happily
growing with several inches of good rain and snow, but recently we have had
three weeks of freezing temperature.For
those unfamiliar with wheat farming, wheat can be killed if the temperature
goes too low at a time when the wheat grain stalk is maturing.
This week, experts hit the road in Kansas to
diagnose how severe the crop loss was.I
found the photos and explanations very helpful in understanding their findings.
Ag experts were in the fields looking for damage from two problems:continuing drought as measured by the
moisture available in the subsoil and 2) damage to the plant stems from
The measures taken seem fairly straight forward, if
tedious.They walk into fields all over
the state and take random samples. They
test potential yield by counting the number of wheat stalks per foot and also
pulling up plants to determine the depth of the plant roots, indicating soil
Gonna lose it
Plant damage from freezing was determined by
examining the plant for damage.I have provided
photos to illustrate what happens when a plant freezes.
I haven’t heard the report of my own crop yet, but
if it was damaged, it would have been from the freeze this week.My county had abundant rain and the wheat was
looking healthy.Besides hoping for an
income from the crop this year, I’d like to feel a little success as a
farmer.As we say here, it sure seems
like it’s been a long dry spell for farmers.