|In year 37 of our marriage we are still smiling. From left: Farmer John, Annie, Farmer Linda.|
When my husband and I were married in 1974, I thought I would become the quintessential farmer's wife. That first summer of our marriage I hung laundry on the line and relished the scent of hay-sweetened air. I accompanied my husband, John (aka "Farmer John") as he did farm chores each morning. My rosy view of our future saw us as partners in work and in life.
However, it soon became apparent that our little farming operation needed a financial boost. And so I became a school secretary, then a teacher, and finally, a mother. I loved my career and I loved raising my two beautiful children; but I missed the farm. There was no longer time to ride with my husband in his old pickup as he drove into the green stillness of a spring morning to care for our cattle.
When budget cuts took the special reading program I'd run for years, I thought the end of my world had come. I suffered through a tunnel of grieving before I finally accepted the inevitable and retired from teaching this past spring. But a funny thing happened a few weeks after my official retirement; I woke up and realized that I am still living on a farm.
Farmer John welcomed me back to the passenger seat of a slightly newer pickup than the one I'd abandoned 37 years earlier. The air still smells sweet, the cattle still rush to feed on the grain we bring them each morning, and I'm loving riding down a country road with the windows rolled down and the wind blowing through my graying hair.
God is so good. We may forget a heart need or a prayer, but He doesn't forget.
I'm back on the farm.
|I snapped this photo one morning last week as we drove through a pasture. I expected to see a hobbit or a wizard pop out from behind a tree in this secret, rocky space. It felt as though no human should enter.|
|I always think John looks like he's pontificating to a congregation when he counts cattle.|
|There were just two of us in the pickup today, three drinks. Farming is thirsty work.|
|Annie loves being a farm dog. You should see her sad face when we have to leave her at home.|
|I helped to lift each one of these panels and put them into place. Very proud of myself.|
|We are having FUN.|
|This is our brand. It is an open A over a backward J. We have a neighbor who calls it an umbrella, which just doesn't sound nearly as cool.|
|I have angst about my footwear. I feel I should wear boots, like a real farmer.|
Postscript: This entry is the first post of my "new" blog, Back on the Farm. The blog was formerly titled Swansong, and chronicled the final days of my teaching career. That blog was about grief over a chapter of my life that was coming to a close, but this blog is about a new song the Lord has given me to sing. I am very grateful to Him. This quote from Jan Karon's Light From Heaven describes how I feel about this new time in my life:
“I’m reminded of something George Herbert wrote, that lovely man. ‘And now in age I bud again…’ I sense that God has set you on a wonderful new course, that you’re entering a kind of golden passage” (Light From Heaven, by Jan Karon; from her Mitford series--read 'em all if you haven't yet!).