August 15, 2014

Mile Marker #12 ~ Remembering The Seasons

[I read recently on Ann Voscamp's blog where she referred to her husband as the Farmer and I remembered saying in these months since I have been without my love that he was 'at heart' a farmer.] He was.

My Farmer 

- 2012 -

September 11, 1937 - August 18, 2013

My forever Smile
I now wear the watch 
and the wedding band-
The cane still hangs on the head of our bed.
The Rocking Chair is empty~

I think I should add farmer to his 'life credits.'  Yes he was born with the heart for Farming. In another time, another century he would have been one of those quiet, strong, steady, resilient pioneers we read about.
The Branson, Mo. trip/Dogwood Canyons

The Texas Years

We couldn't afford to buy a farm so he found a way.  We bought a farm with almost 200 acres with a contract for deed arrangement.   During the Texas years he bought from a local rancher  on 'a hand shake' the livestock he needed to get started [about $10,000.] That was late 20th century not pioneer days. 

Just Soaking It All In- Dogwood Canyons /Mo.

 We sat on the front porch of our 100 year old dog trot farmhouse and watched hundreds of bales of hay get soaked as the rain poured down. While he watched he learned about timing the cutting, raking and baling just right [with an eye on the weather report] to avoid such an economic loss. He was reminded that he was not in control of the weather. He didn't  complain. He just sat there, watched and he planned for the next cutting ..sat there and enjoyed the rain. 
As time passed I came to believe that real farmers had to be close to the Lord because they are in every way so clearly at His mercy and dependent upon him for direction, protection and provision.  This is demonstrated in a Farmer's life in living color.

The 100 yr old+ Dog trot Farmhouse/ Texas

He restored  a very old farm tractor, paid for with a barter...swapping square bales of hay for what the owner considered a worthless old tractor that had not been used in decades.  Piece by piece he restored it-even matching the original paint colors. Later he sold it and was able to purchase the new  farm equipment he really needed for the work at hand. He used what he had.

Scenic photos taken along the way to, near Branson,Mo., nearby
Dogwood Canyons and
 the drive back home after our first trip to
  Iowa to see Our daughter Deanna and her family. 

We couldn't afford to buy horses & he found a way without money...a lease arrangement with a lady who was horse poor and we ended up with 4  beautiful Arabian mares and their 4  foals.

My Farmer loved the animals but he refused to make pets of them  realizing  his human limitations when it came to handling livestock weighing 1500 -2,000 pounds.  He knew he could not force them to do anything. So he used logic, reason, common sense ...his brain, not brute force. 
He loved animals enough to let them go when he had to...choosing to put down livestock that was not going to survive and in unbearable pain.  It looked easy for him. It was not. It was just what had to be done..the most humane choice.

Headed Home w random stops and photos along the way

He enjoyed hunting the wild game that could be harvested for the freezer.  He enjoyed the HUNT but he was never fanatical about either the time or priority of the hunting in his life.

He could  go out during deer hunting season with his gun on his shoulder spending hours in the woods and come home without anything to show for the time. That didn't mean it was wasted time.  He often said he enjoyed just being outdoors as much as hunting. If that had been today  he would have been taking pictures.

After last chemo January 2013/ Christmas lights still up
[Did I mention that he was an avid reader  and never tired of it. He made our jellies, jams, pickles, homemade butter, buttermilk and even homemade bread for a time.]

My farmer, hunter, sportsman appreciated God's Creation. Life was about balance and so much about Creation.  

God's Creation was not wasted on My Farmer. He Got It!

 God gave me a Farmer for life..and even granted the years for indulging in what he was born for..a Farming season.

Then we had the last.... That season I call Home Wrapped Around Us...our last home together closer to our children. We started with a blank slate and together created our own 'Home & Gardens' we loved and soaked in so joyously...making it our own with a southern front porch, a rear deck {designed & constructed by him} and year after year new plants, flowers and trees and fruit + a few vegetables and herbs.

Home Wrapped Around Us

We had a perfect SEVEN YEARS to do that. "Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above..." 
He even had the time his last months to finish one huge thing on my to do list, the 'wisteria arbor' and then with just a few months left he planted a few more knock out roses strategically placed..for me.... no announcement, no show and tell...he just did it. 

Snapshots during our Brundidge years all reminders in some way of my Silver Fox

My Farmer was a real man, a gentleman & a God fearing man. He was an observer who constantly gathered information but never to use to impress others.  

He did not know how special he was and had no idea the void he would leave behind would be so  huge. He never thought himself that important. He was...and will continue to be as I {try to} do what he asked: "Move on with life." 

 His last big project-for me he started very soon after the cancer diagnosis. The
last things he did with this one were: hung a little surprise -red wind chimes;
then suggested that the mini clear [Christmas] lights would be a great touch woven 
in through the greenery. In days it was done by family members.

 ..The Beach was not his thing- but mine..
So, we went - for me.

 to be CONTINUED>   

jwh/the farmer's wife

{ post script: Your fruit trees produced the best ever this year. Now I hope I can get the Peanut trees to multiply for those who have asked for one for their yards }

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