A child’s life is impressionable. My father shared stories about his early years before he passed away. When he talked about the Great Depression I imagined his life as a young boy; working hard on the family farm along side his older brothers and sisters who shouldered the heaviest part of the work. He tempered his description with references of, “we had no want because we lived on a farm”. Hardships were about life and death
matters. His “best friend” was his older teenage brother who died of a childhood illness. He was never the same after this. Innocent childhood joy was robbed overnight. I can “hear” my Grandfather calling him before dawn, “Get up! It’s time to milk the Cows”. He explained, “There was no time to mourn. The chores had to be completed. My brother had died! I was heartbroken and called to work in his place.”
Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the bounty from the harvest; gathering family and friends to share our blessings and thank God. There are times and seasons of life that have passed long before our birth; stories shared from one generation to the next. My father’s story he passed to me about my Grandfather planted a “seed” in my life that I share with you today. The photo below is my Grandfather’s farmhouse along side his photo
My Grandfather’s (son of a Norwegian Immigrant) Apple Orchard suffered during a hard winter. Snow was high and drifted through, allowing the tender bark to be exposed to vermin that “girdled” rings around each tree. The whole orchard died. My father remembered this horrible “Little House on the Prairie” tale and then I knew why he always planted trees and fruit trees for the rest of his life. I was glad he shared this because it was a window into his tender heart. I understood that he cared about providing for the next generation to follow him. Recently, a parcel of land was sold that was in our family for over a generation. The trees were like virgin timber. My mother sold the land to an Equestrian facility that hoped to preserve it while providing bridle paths for horses. I am thankful the trees were spared from clear cutting.
Do you see “the rest of the story line” here? Land is the most precious thing we are caretakers of while on the earth. Let us be thankful and plant trees for the next generation. I am a member of the Arbor Day Foundation http://www.arborday.org They will welcome you and provide the knowledge, the trees to plant, as well as commemorative trees in honor of your friends and family.
On a happy note, I am sharing a short anecdote about my daily life that starts before dawn. My “internal” clock usually wakes me at 5:20am. All the animals are used to my routines…especially my 31 year old parrot. I take my red plastic treat bucket to the counter and quarter an Apple, slicing a sliver off for the Parrot while removing the seeds, portioning apple chunks for the horses. Barn clothes are kept in the garage and my hike to the barn is complete when I hear whinnies and nickering sounds. No animal including humans enjoy apples as much as horses do.
I am truly grateful to live in the United States of America. I never take the abundant supply of fresh fruit in our grocery stores for granted. My local grocery store named Bashas http://www.bashas.com is very generous to the community. Their produce department bags up less than perfect Apples and sells them on a rack in the back of the store at a substantial discount. They are never wasteful and support local food banks, schools and not for profit organizations. An Apple a day can go a long way!
Thank you for reading about my life. My best friend who is no longer living always said I should write a book and call it, “It’s the Little Things in Life” that are important. He always shared his stories combined with a little Yiddish and Spanish mixed in with English. I am truly blessed beyond understanding! May it be so for you my dear readers!
Karen Jo Waterford