I am sad this morning as I sit and drink my hot tea and honey. Fall is upon us and the front door is open to allow the cool morning air to come into the house. The porch rail is lined with the ripening tomatoes that I can see through the old screen door. In the distance I see a flock of black birds in the old mulberry tree along the fence line. Seed pods hang on the red trumpet vine swollen and waiting to be picked and the marigolds out by the clothes line, although still blooming, bear seed heads awaiting harvest to be dried for next year. The field corn hangs heavy on the stalk ready to sustain my hens over the long cold winter months. The pigs are no longer cute little pink piglets but rather huge two hundred pound hogs and will soon become nice little packages of pork chops, bacon and ham in my freezer. I will render the fat to make lard for making my laundry soap and the extra pig will be sold to the neighbor. I had to go purchase more jars yesterday to finish my canning season and indeed God has blessed us again here on the farm.
With all these blessings I am sad to learn of the death of a neighbor. Only 55 years old who lost his life to alcoholism. He had already lost his wife of a lifetime not to death but to divorce. Alienated from his community for the most part he died with only his beloved drink for solace. A once vibrant and extremely attractive man I cherish the memories of his love of my girls when they were little. I laugh thinking of our yearly trek to his door with his awaited standing order of girl scout cookies. He loved those things and if I had some I would give him a pack " to go". So again we bid farewell to a neighbor and friend and wish Godspeed on your new journey.
I ask for your prayers today for my dear friend of more than 25 years, we shall call her Jane, who is fighting breast cancer. Going through chemo now she faces surgery next week and any extra prayers would so be appreciated. With her oldest son in Afghanistan and two young sons at home she and her family could sure use some blessings right now.
Today is also the estate farm sale of a dear neighboring farm couple. The farm is pictured above. Elderly and in poor health they are selling their belongings today and moving to a retirement community. They have lived on this farm for almost 60 years. Raised all their children here and farmed this land. Their children have all moved away to the city for better jobs. The land has been bought by a large farming corporation that owns thousands of acres. The house and barn in these cases is usually left to rot then hauled away. They don't want the buildings but just to plant every square inch they can. I am sad because today is the death of another small family farm. I fear for a world where there is no room for these little farms and no children to play in the fields and chickens to run in the yard. No farm wife tending her garden. Will we lose this way of life forever?
I will leave you with the poem below and wish you all a good and safe weekend.
Ye sons of earth prepare the plough,
Break up your fallow ground!
The Sower is gone forth to sow,
and scatter blessings round.
The seed that finds a stony soil,
Shoots forth a hasty blade;
But ill repays the sowers toil,
Soon withered, scorched, and dead.
The thorny ground is sure to baulk
All hopes of harvest there;
We find a tall and sickly stalk,
But not the fruitful ear.
The beaten path and highway-side
Receive the trust in vain;
The watchful birds the spoil divide,
And pick up all the grain.
But where the lord of grace and pow'r
Has blessed the happy field;
How plenteous is the golden store
The deep wrought furrows yield!
Father of mercies, we have need
Of they preparing grace;
Let the same hand that gives the seed ,
Provide a fruitful place!
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter