Saturday, July 3, 2010

from the road less traveled

My brother, Jared (Jarry), farms the land that my Grandpa Herbert and my dad both farmed. That is where we (myself, Jarry and Jan) grew up. That is where my dad and his sister, Donna, came from. That is where my niece and nephew, Nora and Spencer, grew up. It is a big part of our family history, so I'm very glad that Jarry decided to live there and brought his wife, Mary, to make it their home. Farming changes with time, as new methods are found to improve the processes and the land. Jarry uses no till farming and incorporates wildlife habitat preservation. One great project, among many, is this pond that he created on his land. It is home to deer and ducks and birds and other critters.
To get back to it without depleting my dad's energy (who tells me "My legs just aren't what they used to be", from the man who climbed mountains and now is 84) we drove through former pasture land on this "road"--
Don't worry if you don't see the "road", I didn't see much of it either and so I'm glad Dan was driving! The grass is tall and thick now because there is no livestock. The huge old cottonwood trees grow along what we know as the dredge ditch and were big when I was little. There used to be an old wooden bridge over the ditch, where trolls used to live, I'm pretty sure. This was a great picnic spot that we could get to on our little bikes without too much trouble, and the cows grazing there hardly ever bothered us.
My parents' memories of their work and lives here are wonderful, full of ups and downs. I remember learning to drive the old blue pickup ('47 Ford?) as I helped my dad make fence back along this pasture when I was finally big enough to reach the pedals. I could practice using the clutch as we moved from post to post. My job was to hand him the staples as he needed to pound them in to hold the barbed wire to the posts. It felt like very important work. No way did I want to be responsible for letting our cattle get into the neighbors' fields.

I have been collecting some quotes that ring true with me, so I thought I would include some with my posts. I get a quote-of-the-day message from Real Simple by signing up for that newsletter, and when they make sense to me I save them. Here's one I like:
"Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well." Robert Louis Stevenson


MissesStitches said...

Great post, Pam. A+

Daniel said...

Agreed. A+

Brita said...

You made me cry... I loved this!

Pam said...

Really wasn't going for tears--guess I'm not the only one that thinks this is a special place!