- Member for
- 1 year 8 months
It is that time of year. Time to get your Christmas card lists updated, cards printed and letters written. It is time to watch the mail each day for that once a year correspondence from loved ones and friends. It is time for Christmas letters. I look forward to getting those cards and letters. It is especially nice to hear from people we don't see very often but I also like to read the letters of people we see all the time. Some people scoff at those Christmas letters.
There are times when I am with a group of people, or even with just one, that my mind is a total blank as far as conversation goes. I cannot think of a single thing to say, which is rare for me when with friends, but happens often with strangers or mild acquaintances. If I know that I will be in groups like this, I try to come up with subjects for conversation in advance. This is can be difficult since I really don't have a lot of common interests with most of these people. I do know what to avoid. I know not to bring up politics or religion. Totally taboo discussion topics in small groups.
I often stop and wonder how we ever survived 40-50 years ago without cell phones, email, texting, Facebook and Twitter. How did we keep in touch, up to date and express our thoughts to the world? Well, we managed and I have to say that it may have been more difficult, but it was also more private and personal. In the 60s and 70s you had to rely on the telephone, snail mail (as it is called today) and face-to-face conversations in order to get messages out there. Most of the time, these conversations dwelt on the most important issues first and if time allowed more personal sharing.
In recent weeks, I have checked and rechecked the calendar to make sure that we are actually still in the early part of September. Seeing the harvest that is taking place, earlier than normal, has made it feel more like October. However, here we are in September and at this time of year we try to encourage everyone, not just those involved in farming, but also the people who share the roads, feed the hungry workers and postpone things as the busy season progresses. We really shouldn't need one special week for farm safety. It should be something we observe all year long.
The other day I heard someone say something about living in a one horse town. I haven't heard that expression for a while and it made me wonder where it ever started. I can imagine that it started back several years when horses were the primary mode of transportation. If you didn't own a horse, you simply had to walk wherever you needed to go. Therefore if a town had only one horse, it was probably pretty small and very quaint. Now if you refer to a community as a one horse town the same things come to mind. The town is probably very small and also quite laid back or quaint.
Some of you may not even know what a chicken coop is for, but those who grew up on a farm, it was an all too familiar and usually very unpleasant part of the farm yard. We had a relatively large chicken coop on my parents farm yard. On two walls there were rows and rows of boxes, open to the front, where the hens would nest and lay their eggs. Behind the coop was a large fenced in area where the chickens could go out through a small door in the wall.
When I drive through the country, I admire the beautiful weed-free fields. The rows of corn are strong and tall with hardly a weed to be found. This is the result of new technology with the round-up ready seed, fertilizer and chemicals applied. Corn fields in my youth were not quite as pretty. The rows were full of weeds until they were cultivated a few times. The plants were also surrounded with weeds, some worse than others. I remember a few very hardy weeds that just kept coming back and spreading quickly. These were the bull weeds and thistles.
HANCOCK - Grain bins and granaries just aren't what they used to be. Grain storage on farms today is usually in large bins with big leg systems attached to fill them. We didn't have these huge storage areas on the farm where I grew up. Instead we had corn cribs, granaries and small grain bins. The corn cribs held the corn that was picked and kept to dry on the cob. Some of this corn on the cob was fed to animals, but most was left to dry until the day when the corn shellers came to the farm.
Big red barns on farm places are becoming a thing of the past. Along with the barns, the disappearance of the silos that once stood proudly next to them is also taking place. The look of farm sites just doesn't seem right with out those big barns and silos. The barn on our farm was not red but it was big. The biggest portion was the hayloft where the winter supply of hay and straw was stored. It was a place that I remember for fun and hard work. I was never able to enjoy an old fashion barn dance which usually took place in the hay loft when most of the hay was gone.
The other day I stopped at the Hancock School to listen to a presentation on bullying. The students conducting the program were from the Morris Area High School and did a wonderful job of getting the message across about the consequences of bullying. These students did some skits, played a game, showed video and gave some personal testimony about how bullying affected them personally and their friends. It was an eye-opening experience and hopefully it will help in some small way. We hear a lot about bullying today, but it is not a new experience for students.