Sunday, October 4, 2015

Leave their mark.

The men who make history,
have no time to write it.
                  Prince Klemens von Metternich


The house atop the hill was a beautiful shade of old red brick. In the field, beside, was an old abandoned, and weathered wooden grey house. Those were the first things I noticed, as we pulled into the field of recently cut second cut hay, to park the truck. Another auction, where a family had farmed for generations making history, was what I was thinking.

Since I was knitting, My Hero had jumped out of the truck and headed up the hill, towards the beautiful red brick house and into a field full of good looking and obviously well cared for machinery. I had to finish up the row on a baby hat for a granddaughter who would be growing up and living life in the city, once she arrived. These types of auctions have always had me wondering about the future of our own farm and now with another generation on the way, I think about it a bit more.


With the row knitted I stuffed the hat into my bag, pulled on a toque and coat and headed off. It was a beautiful brisk October morning. I found it hard to believe that even with the sun shining so brightly, there was not any warmth to be found. The north winds blew the leaves off the surrounding trees, reminding me that summer was indeed gone.

I walked into the field of machinery, smiling as I listened to the hum of motors running. The tractors and a big old welder all running smoothly, I knew then that this family had taken pride in their farm and machinery, treating it with respect. The machinery had worked hard for them, and they for it.


My thoughts retreated, as I turned around to see what was making all the noise of banging and rumbling behind me. A huge dual-wheeled John Deere tractor, being driven by a young man and pulling a loaded harvest wagon, was carefully trying to maneuver through the line of cars and trucks of the auction-goers parked on the side of the road. It is, after all, the soybean harvest season, and this would be farm country. I headed up to the top of the hill, towards the crowd of people and the tables lined with stories and memories.

That was when I noticed an older man sitting in a chair on the side porch. I smiled, he smiled. I could tell that this man and the woman standing beside him had a special connection to this farm by the looks on their faces. I said “Hello”. We chatted about the weather and agreed that it was a great day for an auction sale. They shared that it was their father who had passed, and I told them how sorry I was for their loss. While looking at an old beveled glass picture frame, surrounded by other old frames, I pointed at the portrait of a man and woman dressed in clothes from possibly, the early nineteen hundreds. I asked the woman, “Was this someone from your family?” She answered “Yes, but we cannot remember who”, she laughed. Thinking to myself I wondered if this could be the young couple that had originally settled this farm. Could they have lived in that tiny old abandoned house, long ago?


“This is a beautiful farm”, I said. The man and woman both smiled and said, “Yes it has been a nice place to live and farm”. They then shared some thoughts and worries. Things like, what will become of the farm, and wonder if it would even remain a farm. Wondering if young people even liked to farm these days? Would their father and his hard work be forgotten? I told them I believed that their father and their own family’s hard work could never be forgotten. I also shared with them that I knew many young farmers who would love to have a place like this to call their own.


I shared a little story with them, about my husband and I being a young couple buying a farm and making it work long ago. Even though we were not the original settlers we certainly did work hard to get it to where it was today. I shared with them that I still enjoyed listening to the stories, shared by our neighbours about who the original family was, what they were like and how hard they had always worked.  

I truly believe that farmers are never forgotten once they had been in a place long enough. I believe that they undoubtedly “Leave their mark”. Even if that farm family are not able to pass it on to their own family generations, for whatever reason, it was still not going to be forgotten.

I shared the story about my tracking down the farmer who farmed our place after we had finally settled in. He had been very excited when I told him we were going to continue to farm it, and he was more than willing to share some tips and some stories. Oh, I cherish these stories.


I then shook their hands and wished them well, knowing this family had indeed “Left their mark”.

A little girl bolted out of the side door and onto the porch, laughing. I thought about that baby hat sitting in the truck. I could not wait to share our farm and its stories with her. I have to believe that we will also “Leave our mark”.

Later


38 comments:

  1. Beautiful post . I to enjoy the story's of farm families and the history that goes with the farms . I find it sad that most of the next generation has no interest in farming these days and for the few that do I hope they can keep it alive for future generations to come . Thanks for sharing , Have a good evening !

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  2. I am sure you will.
    And your mark has spread across the world. A kind and caring mark, cherishing and celebrating the good.

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  3. I'm sure farmers to leave their mark. My husband often speaks of the deceased farmers where he once lived...
    Knitting a hat, for your baby granddaughter
    Hugs M xoxox

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  4. What a nice post! I'm sure you encouraged that family. Around here, folks often have stories about the family histories that go along with the many farms. It's amazing how far back they are remembered!

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  5. I imagine those that have to endure a farm auction for whatever reason do so with a heavy heart. It's hard work and very satisfying but not for everyone. But I like to believe that all their hard work will pass on to someone that will cherish it. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Keep the stories alive! I hope you are writing them down:)

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  7. What a lovely post! Thank you.

    Have a wonderful week ~ FlowerLady

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  8. I know my children have no interest in the farm, So I am bypassing them and concentrating on instilling a love of the land in the grands. And not being very subtle about it.

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  9. I think about this sometimes, since our children don't plan to come home to farm. (I must have missed your announcement about a granddaughter. You will love being a Grandma!)

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  10. Oh I wish someone would share the stories of our land with us! We know a few things but I wish we knew more. Love your treasure photos.

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  11. Bitter sweet... As all stories, connected with a home/farm auction, have to be...

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  12. That was some lovely Monday morning reading...

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  13. What a beautiful story. My husband's dream (and plan) is for our two children to carry on with our farm. We are not the original owners either, but we've worked very, very hard to take care of our farm and improve it, and we sure hope the kids will keep it in the family long after we've left our mark. You sure know how to make me feel like I was there at that auction, talking to those folks on the porch. Blessings!

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  14. Beautiful real story and one perfect for that book you need to write!! Just saying~~~ Have a wonderful day dear Buttons.
    Hugs, cm

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  15. No doubt you have them a little peace of mind on a difficult day full of goodbyes. Hugs...

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  16. You have already left your mark.

    The farmers gone live on. This place, this wonderful valley will always be The Tin Cup Walker place first, the original grant, and our families after. I hope for many generations to come.

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  17. It must be so difficult for a family to leave the farm, home and lifestyle they grew up with or enjoyed for many years. I'm sure they are wondering what will become of the property but as you said, you did it. You bought a farm and made your mark on the land and community over the years. And yes, there are young couples and families that want to get back to the land too for a simpler lifestyle. It's sad though that some farms won't be working ones again with cattle, or sheep or pigs and crops to feed them. They may only be hobby farms and the thought of farms not being 'farmed' is tough. People still need to eat and many farms are just dying out. Our neighbours down the road are selling out. They bought big to add on to their farm to keep 2 families going but it got too 'big' and one couple is retirement age. They still have their farm near us but the other will be sold, hopefully, and will keep on producing. Well, that's my thoughts on this. Hope you don't mind them. :) Hugs. Pam

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  18. As long as you continue to write; the stories of the farming and the lifestyle will never be lost. You are making your mark in a different way.

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  19. I like how you get sidetracked from the auction to get your story. Yes, there's been a great connection of people to the land. The farmers are out there on the land and know every inch of it.

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  20. Knitting baby things are the best! Your Mom would love that you are knitting for a new generation and that she was the one who taught you how to do this! She definitely left her mark and, of course, you are leaving yours x

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  21. You've already left your mark on hearts all across the world; certainly this one. *hugs*

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  22. I remember passing a few abandoned homesteads when I was very young, we'd be off on a drive somewhere and off in a field would be the crumbling remains of what was once a home. I always wanted to buy them and fix them up, make those ruins a house again.

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  23. You indeed will "leave your mark" on your farm, and in your community. I have no doubt that your farm stories will ensure your daughters and your soon-to-arrive granddaughter will know their proud heritage.

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  24. I dittoed everyone's comments about you leaving your mark with everyone here.

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  25. Hi Buttons - You leave your mark on so many people ... very much on my family. We are incredibly lucky to have such a kind and caring friend and neighbour. That little granddaughter will love those stories some day. What a wonderful gift to give to her. Great post!

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  26. I believe you'll leave your mark , and are already. Your written blog touches many people and the person who writes it must touch very deeply the people she interacts with in in life. Blessings to you and how exciting, a new grandbaby !

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  27. You will definitely leave your mark-you'd of enjoy growing up with my Dad, he kept a close relationship with all of the old homesteaders he knew and some he didn't, so a lot of our weekends were spent covering rutted, muddy, almost impassable roads to visit mostly widowers alone in drafty old homes, old stories filled these kitchens or abandoned sitting rooms, my Dad wrote poems about them. Lovely post Buttons...

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  28. Oh Buttons, you sure do have a knack at getting to the heart of things...I feel for the one who had to sell the parent's farm- I can imagine the sadness.
    Are you counting the days to grandma-hood? That baby will be here in the blink of an eye- I know you are excited!!

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  29. Interesting story. I wonder about farm sales and what happens next----
    I wonder about Cheri and Cam living and working on the ranch that has been in Cam's family for several generations. A beautiful place. the land and occupants so well cared for. I wonder and worry.....
    Thanks for the wonderful story.
    MB

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  30. i have learned so much about farm life, while spending time on the alpaca farm. i really love the family values they all have. such a close family, they all live and work on the farm and have a very close relationship!!!! this is a great story buttons, highlighting the impact on families!!!!

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  31. Love, Love, Love this post. I felt like I was right there with you. :)

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  32. Congratulations on granddaughter. :)
    I am sure she will love her hat from grandma :)

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  33. The way you share makes everything more beautiful, filled with a new kind of light . . .
    That grand-baby sure is blessed - yep, you leave a "mark" . . .

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  34. This story makes me sad for all those lost farms and hopes and dreams and hard work left behind. My Great Grandfather was a farmer and we used to drive by the old apple orchard still growing along the power lines that ran through what was left of the farm where my Father lived and his Father lived and all their brothers and families. I loved the stories my Father told of his life there and I know your new little granddaughter will love your stories, too. Every family needs a story-teller to pass along the history. She is a lucky little girl. xo Karen

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  35. Great story, Buttons. And I do believe you and your husband will leave a very positive mark on your community. :)

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  36. You with all your stories and hard work will leave a mark on your community and especially your family. Your grand daughter will be lucky to have such a story telling grandma.

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  37. A wonderful post...I always wonder about farmhouses that are abandoned. Always sort of breaks my heart. To know that this abandoned home was once someone's pride and joy. It just hurts almost to see them so uncared for. Hopefully, this farm will have someone take over that loves it and wants to farm.

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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