One of my favorite photographs, displayed where I can see it often, is a candid shot of my dad with John McNaull. They stand talking and laughing amid the backdrop of antique tractors, a passion they shared.
There is no other relationship quite like those of teacher-student, and the shadow of some of those connections follow the student for a very long walk in to adulthood.
As we watch our world changing, environmental landscapes shaved away, plowed under and concrete poured over, all for the sake of development and sprawl, we displace so much that deserves preservation.
Cats of every color and every possible temperament have long been a part of just about any farm I have ever set foot on, and most can agree that they are good to have around if they are capable hunters.
In the past couple of weeks, I have had the good fortune to sit and chat with some good people about how farm life and the land itself molds us in to who we are.
Yesterday was one of those gray, dreary days that make us long for sunshine and blue skies. Winter’s crop, so far, has been fresh mud on top of old mud.
We rarely think of ourselves as having interesting stories, as we just live it out, day by day, often bored with the humdrum beat of making a living while creating a life. There is something about the enormity of this season, though, that prompts us to look back, to take stock of where we’ve been.
I was talking with a lady not long ago who told me she remembered her very first trip to the dentist. It was 1936, and she had a terrible toothache, which was made worse each morning and evening when she had to milk by hand the family’s three cows.
Clovis Webb had left his tractor and hay baler overnight in a rented field on the old Monroe County Poor Farm, which is no longer used for the poor. The Soil Conservation Service share-rented the hayfield to Clovis. The field was fenced, but the night he left his tractor there vandals cut the fence and […]
My paternal grandfather and his brother Sam told some great stories about the ‘kid wagon’ that came through the old country neighborhood to carry the children to the one-room schoolhouse.
The notebook we kept in the dairy barn was a way of communicating with one another from one milking to the next, but it makes me laugh out loud to read some of the zany things we shared.
When I step out on my back porch and hear nothing at all, see the harvest moon shining brightly in the sky, I know that we are blessed. Quiet, calm, safe, serene: there is no doubt in my mind that the world would be a much better place if more people came home to this peacefulness at the end of each day
It has been said that you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. Well, you also can’t choose your co-workers, which can cause a fellow all sorts of angst.
To say man is of the earth and that his well-being, even his very survival, depends on an occasional return to it is not enough. It is important to try to find out why this is true. Some people, those most distantly removed from farm living, accomplish the necessary return by going to parks, visiting […]
If we lived in an ideal world, it wouldn’t require written laws and rules. But there are those who attain land and animals and do not sense their own laws within them. In Ohio, this turned into tragedy.
Sometimes life is full of amazing little surprises, though it takes a bit of looking to find the best ones. For those of you who have read my column for many years, you might recall that my family endured a house fire in the winter of 2000.
It will soon be two years ago that my husband was injured in a car accident when a woman ran a stop sign and turned his full-size truck completely around in the road, fracturing a vertebrae in his mid-back.
Each day we wander the Vermont woods for an hour or two. I love the leave-taking, the sound of the goats’ bells. Herding is a way of doing something while doing nothing; it asks only for one’s presence, awake, watching animals and earth. Wind rakes the trees. Clouds float shadows through the grass. – By […]
After my recent Farm and Dairy column in which I dreamed of joining Diane, Peggy, Kathy and Janet as the fifth singing Lennon Sister, I received more comments and compliments than I’ve had in a very long time.
I was in the early grades when we started studying the states, and I was offended that the brightly colored symbols on the state of Ohio carried crops and general livestock, but dairy wasn’t given top billing. Since we lived our lives around milking times every day of the year, I somehow thought that defined […]