Sunday, June 5, 2011

Memories of Memorial Day

Okay, so I'm a week late, but between a newborn, a nearly two year old, two very busy older children, and NO INTERNET for the past few days, I need some grace.

Anyway, life on the farm is at a bit of a frustrating stand still, as the heat, humidity and rain are great for the corn crop, but frustratingly terrible for some one trying to make hay...i.e., Joe.

So, we've spent a lot of time together as a family, which is great, and one of those times together was Memorial Day. Joe and I have shared many Memorial Day memories, from his childhood memories of picnicking with his family, mowing hay, and subsequently baling it. My memories include watching my dad shoot his gun in the honor guard with the American Legion, tumbling in the Memorial Day parade...either freezing or sweating, and watching Dad frantically try to mow his roadsides before Memorial Day, because "that's just what you do," but my most memorable Memorial Day was the day we lost my Grandpa Mac.

It has been seven years, but my grandpa is a topic of conversation often, as he was a cattleman. He loved Joe, was proud of me for picking someone who was "worth something" (he never minced words), and loved that Joe shared his love for livestock. Unfortunately, we lost Grandpa right before we found out we were expecting Anna, and he never got to see Joe in action as a cattle farmer.

Grandpa was a World War II vet, and the irony of the date of his death was that it occurred on the "true" Memorial Day, and although I was truly miserable and happy to deliver Jack early, he was due on this date as well, May 29th. I figured if I made it to my actual due date, it would be a fitting tribute to my grandpa.

He would have loved my kids. Anna and her quirks, her tomboyish attitude, and her love for animals; Josie and her sass would have gotten a harsh look, but her spunk would have made him proud. And, just this week, Amelia's new phrase is "Check cows, Daddy?" Grandpa would have loved this, and would have especially been touched by the picture Joe took of the two girls looking over a pasture, where Grandpa kept his cows.

Grandpa would have loved that we didn't name Jack something "weird" that we would regret, and would have probably given us a lot of advice raising this boy! Again, not a "word mincer!"

In farming, we're not out to be rich or famous. We're not out to be anything but good stewards of the land. This path that has been laid by not only my Grandpa Mac, but Joe's grandpas, my other grandfather, my dad, Joe's dad, countless uncles, aunts, grandmas, mothers, etc. We are walking along the same road, along the same fence line, in the same fields as generations before us. I am new to this world, but it is not new to my family line. I need to remember that.

A day like Memorial Day is one of those times that I am reminded of how lucky we are to be in this profession.

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