Monday, May 7, 2018

This Field

When I returned home from deliveries on Friday evening my dad and brother were baling and hauling hay from the field across the highway from the dairy. I paused for a few minutes to enjoy and appreciate the beauty. More so than the current beauty, what came to my mind most was a reminder that we are getting very close to being century farm. The Carltons ( my great-grandparents) bought this property in 1919, so next year we are planning a big 100 year birthday party. The field where they were making hay was part of the original farm. I couldn't help but wonder how many miles we had traveled in that field over the years, I'm sure it's many thousand. I started thinking about my childhood memories in that field. I wondered how they compared to my dads childhood memories, and even his dads childhood memories. I made a mental list of memories and stories about that field, I'd like to share a few.

-My first tractor driving experience- My dad needed a tractor driver to drive (very slowly) through the field while they (manually) threw hay bales onto the trailer. My mom objected unless the tractor had a seat belt ( legitimate objection since I was 6 years old).

-Triplets - Most cows have one baby. Occasionally a cow will have twins. Once in 105,000 pregnancies a cow will have triplets. We had a set of those triplets in the early 90's and we had the mom and her three babies in that field when the newspaper came to do a story about them. 

-Alfalfa - in the early 1980's my dad grew alfalfa on that field. Most of the experts of the time said alfalfa couldn't be grown in the south. But we had a successful productive stand for many years.
-Broken Records- we have newspaper clippings from the 1950's - 1960's with a write up of my grandfather breaking corn production records on that land. 
-School Cloths & Shoes - My grandfather always told me a story about growing cotton. As a young boy his dad would let him and his brother pick out one acre of land to grow cotton on during the summer. When they sold the cotton in the fall, they would use that money to purchase school cloths and shoes. Those clothes and shoes would have to last until next fall. He always told me he vowed to never be a cotton farmer because of that. haha. 
- The House - My grandfather must have liked that field also. He sawed timber from the farm and milled the lumber to build a house in the corner of that field. That house reminds me of him humble and modest, but strong and solid. I'm thankful that currently my brother has the opportunity to remodel that house and will be living there with his family soon. 
I really do love that land. I love the dirt and all of its physical attributes. My true fondness however, comes from the memories, experiences, and and stories that come from living on the same dirt for 100 years.