You know that feeling you get when you think about home? I'm not talking about your house now necessarily, I love that one and all, but I'm talking about the house you grew up in. With your mama. That one. Where you had all your best Santa Claus Christmases, and spankings, and you and you siblings made tents. That's where I've been all this week. My mama's house. So sorry I haven't blogged any. I really wanted to, and should have, but there were lots of reasons why I couldn't. The fact that I hung out with my Grandparents and Aunt a lot. The fact that my parents live way out in the country and their internet is questionable at best if the wind is not blowing and the skies are clear. The fact that I watched the new True Grit with my brothers and sister-in-law. And the fact that I had not seen my adorable, squeezie, smell-good, cutie nieces in like 7 months and I had a lot of kissin' to do. So the kids and I have been there for the past 6 days and had a great time. It took two whole days before anyone got on my nerves or I got on anyone else's. And I'm a firm believer that if your family doesn't get on each other's nerves, then you aren't much of a family to start with.
Since it had been a while since I had been home, and since it was my first time home since I started blogging, and because it is right dead in the middle of farming season, I felt moved, compelled even, to give you a peek into life at the farm. My home. The place I grew up that makes me feel all good and warm and gooey inside.
So I went out with my camera and took some pics of the stuff that you can only really appreciate if you are from the Delta or somewhere that shares it's way of life. The stuff that you can't really understand unless you know what it's like to work from sun-up until dark in 100 degree weather, worrying about too much rain or not enough rain or weeds or bugs or broken equipment or the rising cost of diesel. Stewards of land that has been in families for generations with the hope that it will remain for gerations to come so long as the market, the weather, and the grace of God continue in their favor. The place my daddy, and now my brothers like him, farm because they love it, or they have to, or it's all they've ever known. And I wanted you to see it.
This is the only bumper sticker on the back of my 85 year-old grandparents' white lincoln towncar. There is a lot of pride in a place like the Delta. It is an area and a community solely built around farming, so the feeling of accomplishment among everyone at the end of a season is deep. If you live there and are not a farm family then you are usually the farmer's banker, doctor, tractor repairman, chemical salesman, ag pilot, or accountant. It takes a lot of work from a lot of people.
Not only is there a lot of pride, but history runs deep because in today's day and time, no one just "starts" farming. Land just doesn't become available like that. People farm the land that their daddy, or granddaddy, or great-grandaddy farmed first. You don't have to look far to find families who tell stories of their parents getting off the boat from Italy and moving there with a dream. My own grandfather moved there from Arkansas when he was a very young man.
Some things are just a given, ya' know. But don't be confused. There's plenty of red stuff around here too.
Here are some of my family's soybeans. They farm rice and beans, probably triple the amount of acreage they farmed when I was born, and it takes a lot of good help and equiment to get it done. There are guys on our farm that have been there since long before I was a twinkle in my daddy's eye, but none of them really wanted to be on the internet I suspect. So instead I put some soybeans on here. See the grainbins in the background? I just love this picture for some reason.
This is Judd, the older of my two brothers on the left, and Steven his "secretary" on the right standing in a waist high rice field. They are really fun to be around and have somehow aquired the names Trigger and Nuttsy from everybody else. First person to name which movie that's from is the winner of nothing but my love for ya' baby!
This is Milkshake the shop dog. He is ferocious. Ok, maybe not ferocious exactly, but he will lick you.
Meet Uncle Bruce and cousin Jake. They are working together now, and look absolutely nothing alike. You can't even tell they are related. Ok, maybe I'm kidding about that too.
L to R - Judd, Daddy, and Austin
You know that feeling you get when you think about your daddy and brothers? The one of love and occasional annoyance and deep appreciation and fond memories? At least I hope you get that feeling when you look at your daddy and brothers because I sure do. This is a wonderful tailgate load of men in this photo, men I am lucky to call my family. They are funny and grouchy and kind and good. And they are excellent farmers. Thanks for letting me have an emotional moment today and brag on the people and places that I love.
Love ya' like hot tamales from Rosedale,
p.s. - ladies, Austin is single and I am always looking for him a lovely churched lady. So if you have any prospects in mind please contact me at your earliest convience so that I may put her through the initial, big-sister evaluation. He will be so happy. Ok, maybe not. He will probably want to beat me up for putting that on here, but hey, can't blame a big sister for trying can you?
p.p.s. - also, Aaron has been fussing at me for not having a picture of my Mama on here because she is as integral a part of the farm as anyone, but I'm feeling sort of "homey" right now. So there will probably be a whole post dedicated to her soon. She totally rocks.