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Farms have lexicon only natives know

Thursday, April 15, 2010

By JUDITH SUTHERLAND Farm and Dairy Columnist Every farm comes with a unique little map, complete with a language known only to those who live and walk upon those acres and climb in and out of the old barns. As a kid, if my dad asked me to put something away in “the granary in […]

Easter awakens precious memories

Thursday, April 8, 2010

“Sitting under the oak tree, watching the neighborhood children enjoy the first nice, warm day makes me feel so happy to be here on this farm, surrounded by God’s beauty. There is no other place I would rather be than on this lovely land, away from the world.” – Mary Cavish, 1948 By Judith Sutherland […]

The building blocks of our youth

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The first sunny day of spring on the farm always found us kids fighting over the pedal tractors, remembering that some were old reliable while others might cause us some headaches in the operating department. We learned, even as sidewalk farmers, that there were a couple of necessary items to carry in our childhood tool boxes. […]

Good friends make for good times

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I went home from school one day, itching to tell everyone about my new friend. I was in second grade, and had spent recess playing with a tiny pixie of a girl named Kathy Somerlade. My only complaint about my new friend was that she was far too tiny to be a good teeter-totter partner. […]

‘In my day…’: Generations have tunnel vision

Thursday, March 18, 2010

We will forever see things from our own perspectives based on our generational ties.

Childhood farm chores give kids a solid foundation

Thursday, March 11, 2010

One of my favorite things to do is to chat with a member of our oldest generation about the chores they had to complete each day on the farm. It serves to remind us just how much easier life has become for all of us, and in many cases, this enormous change has come at […]

Remember when snow was a blessing?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

“The wind howled and the snow came down all night long, across this vast prairie. We will wait until daybreak to make the trek to check the fences and the farm animals. The children are already planning a day of sledding, and are gathering up extra gloves to tuck in pockets for their day of […]

Farm still holds power to those who visit

Thursday, February 25, 2010

“As the light faded from the sky, we would build an immense bonfire and settle down to eat steak and roast corn, drink boiled coffee, sing songs and tell stories as the fire roared upward and sent its sparks toward the star-lit hood of the sky. Then the cattle would gather all around us in […]

Farms offer stress relief to friends, family

Thursday, February 11, 2010

“Speak gently — it is better far to rule by love than fear; speak gently, let not harsh words mar the good we might do here. Speak gently, love does whisper low, the vows that true hearts bind; and gentle friendship’s accents flow, affection’s voice is kind. Speak gently to the young, for they will […]

Spring can’t come soon enough

Thursday, February 4, 2010

“In February a farm is like a child’s hand, opened and held palm up to show that nothing is concealed in it. Without leaves to veil the farm buildings and fields, the naked facts of a farmer’s work habits and holdings are revealed even to the casual traveler passing along the road. Did the farmer […]

I wish Grandma Ruth could run the world

Thursday, January 28, 2010

“Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” – William Butler Yeats One of the greatest life lessons taught to me came on an ordinary day, delivered in a quiet way, and has stayed with me forever. I have passed it along to many others who now stand in the same shoes which I stood […]

Count your blessings even on worst days

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Be kind by living responsibly and doing right. — Anonymous   While at work Tuesday, I suddenly had a chill and an overwhelming feeling that something was not quite right. We had a bit of a break in the busy schedule and I asked my boss if I could step out to make a phone […]

This is the year of the fainting goat

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ringing in 2010 with our house filled with exuberant friends, I couldn’t help but feel joyous and hopeful about starting a whole new decade. I have read that 2010 is the year of the tiger in Chinese lore. Here on our farm, 2010 will likely be remembered as the year of the fainting goat. Each […]

There is joy in new beginnings

Thursday, December 31, 2009

There is joy in new beginnings, no matter how many new year celebrations we might have under our belt. This, for me, has been one of the most exhilarating and joyous years of my life. So many times, we cannot put our lives in perspective until we are allowed to view it all in retrospective. […]

Remembering Christmases of the past

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The chill in the air and the lightly falling snow outside my window is a wonderful backdrop to the wonder of the blessed holiday. There is no other time of year that is quite so wondrous, so magical, so worthy of our wonder. Christmas is the most important birthday celebration of all time. No matter […]

Living longer may require some green space

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A radio report caught my ear the other day and set me to thinking. A medical study conducted somewhere in Holland concluded that people who are surrounded by even a small patch of forest, lawns or parks are consistently healthier than those who have no green space surrounding their living environments. Well, I have a […]

It would be lovely to turn back time

Thursday, December 10, 2009

“I can’t imagine there has ever been a more gratifying time or place to be alive than America in the 1950s. No country had ever known such prosperity. When the war ended, the United States had $26 billion worth of factories that hadn’t existed before the war, $140 billion in savings and war bonds just […]

Good comes from difficult, trying times

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Some events in life are so incredible that they are emblazoned on the memory like a wonderful keepsake, no souvenirs required. We just recently celebrated such a milestone moment. We were invited to attend a surprise party in honor of Sean Casey’s major league baseball career, as he is stepping down from life as a […]

Dogs can make life less complicated

Thursday, November 26, 2009

“For the simple things, I am grateful. We complicate our lives to the point of total distraction from that which is most sacred, and that distraction keeps us from experiencing deep gratitude.” – Helen Hooven Santmyer When life gets a little too complicated, I like nothing more than to hang out with my dogs. Channing […]

Life puts us where we are supposed to be

Thursday, November 19, 2009

“The bright sun filtered through the clouds, warming the fields of alfalfa that my father was mowing. Within a day or two it would be put into bales of hay, gathered from the field, stored in the hay loft and used to feed our livestock. I stood at the fence line with the lunch my […]

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