Thursday, October 22, 2015

Milkshakes and auctions.

Life’s evening will take its characters from the day that preceded it.
                                    Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth


 
          
It is a blustery four degrees Celsius this early Saturday morning. I am sitting in the truck. The sun is streaming through the window, and thankfully warming my legs after returning from the outside. A shiver runs down my back.


The chocolate milkshake, with its proceeds supporting the 4H, goes down surprisingly easy despite the cold. Another auction where family members, neighbours, friends and other farmers gather and huddle around all hoping the sun warms them up under a clear blue sky, everyone knowing it will be a long day.


This auctioneer has always had a “real knack”, for making this most difficult day easier on the families. Before I had bolted to the truck with my milkshake in hand, then grabbing my knitting, I had listened to his traditional opening speech about the family. His compassion shone through, he is very good at making people relax and remember why we are really here. Everyone knows it is something that has to be done and he tries to make it as painless as possible. The crowd laughs, a joke about how many of the things came from other farm auctions is a true crowd pleaser. Farmers supporting farmers is the name of the game.


Not knowing this family, his speech is all I have. He paints a very vivid picture of a hardworking father, his wife and family, who for generations had farmed this beautiful dairy farm. Listening to him, while staring up at a gorgeous barn that had weathered many a storm over its many years, I do understand that it was not always easy. This man and his family had always supported the farming community and its young people.  Always, passing on knowledge to keep the generations going strong in this business, we call farming. A family full of love and caring, who supported and shared to improve the lives of others in need. Something, we all understand is a very important part of farming. I stood their looking at the faces of the family while they listened to the auctioneer’s speech about them, they looked strong and united.


Sitting back in the comfort of the truck, and away from the biting north wind, it was all I could do to hold back my tears. The auction thing, I know it is part of life and as they say, death, but it is never easy for the families. Memories of the auction we had for my parent’s things, race through my mind. I sip my milkshake and think about the feelings of this family. I know those feelings. “It sticks with you”, as my grandma used to say. Time does make it easier, but it never really leaves you, I think.


Pulling my knitting off the dash I knit a few more rows while I watch the auction goers. Everyone is here for different reasons, but everyone is here for the same reasons. This is what happens in life and in death. The barn stands tall like a symbol of a life well-lived and a great hope for the future.


The 4H milkshakes that can be seen clutched in the cold hands of many auction goers is proof of that. The future lies in the hands of the next generation, and we “Old timers” have a great faith and a sense of pride in knowing that they have it covered. They will have all the support and knowledge they need.





38 comments:

  1. Good morning, Buttons! Lovely thoughts and post. I have the highest regards for farmers, it is a tough life and even harder for the farmers during these times. Wonderful images of the barn and Autumn leaves. I love chocolate milkshakes. YUM! Happy Thursday, have a great weekend!

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  2. A wonderful post! Your own compassion and passion for the farming community shines through! Heartwarming on a cold day!
    I love that old barn and the old pram is fantastic!
    Blessings
    Christineandhercamera.blogspot.com

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  3. wonderful post buttons...i love that old baby carriage! have a great day!! :)

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  4. Such a somber post but a great post.... I detect a sense of hope still for the next generation of farmers. Farming depends on a lot of factor and a big one is the weather...
    This summer has been very hot and our silage hay is not as top quality as it should be as our cows milk production has kept declining and we can't meet our quota like so many farmers. We are getting older and are thinking that our farming days are slowly winding down. Maybe a few more years.

    Take care,
    Hugs,
    JB

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  5. All stunning views and lovely captures, and what a neat old buggy that is too!

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  6. Thanks for your support of 4-H, nice post.

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  7. Very pleasant post. - I've always thought it would be hard to hold an Estate Sale and I went to one once and just felt so sad about being there with the family watching people go through their parents things. - I'm sure it has to be hard. It's great that the Auctioneer here is so compassionate and does such a good job at putting people at ease. - Very nice photos of the farm.

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  8. another poignant post. and we all got to know this 'unknown' family just a little bit today.

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  9. Old timers! The generation before were Old Timers, those before them were too...so the circle goes on.

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  10. I don't know how some families do it. I have watched them sit through many a long auction with generations of items being sold.

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  11. I am not sure that there is much that is easy about farm life! Farmers and their families have a hard, though rewarding, life. It has to be difficult seeing things from a family's way of living put up for auction. xo Nellie

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  12. Great reflection of changes that must take place in farming. It's a sad change. Now the last photo had me guessing until I recognized sunglasses, then wool and finally knitting needles. Nice one.

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  13. Lovely post and photos . Farmers have always helped each other out it is the farming thing to do I remember as a kid on our farm helping other farmers out and visa versa ! Thanks for sharing , have a good weekend !

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  14. Dearest Buttons, thank you so much for your loving comment. I must get back to blogging so I can have you all in my life. I just feel such a strong need to get organized and it is taking so much time. This is a beautiful post, live changes, life moves on, and we have to do what is needed to move with it. But it is sad too, I feel for these families.

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  15. I meant to say LIFE changes.

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  16. Beautiful post and lovely images.

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  17. It is starting to get cold isn't it!
    It saddens me to think of all the family farms being eliminated. A sign of the times I guess.
    Great "snaps" B. Love the yarn in your last photo. Looks similar to the yarn I an using for my granddaughter's poncho!

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  18. I remember stockyard "sales" from when I was little, they were held in a huge paddock, not necessarily belonging to the farm, and farmers from all around the district would bring things to sell and stay to bid on things they wanted. Back then, I never once thought about the heart break of people having to sell, for whatever reason. Your words make me realise just how innocent childhood really is. I love the photo of the old baby's pram.

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  19. You are so right about our future, it is in the hands of our next generation and any way we can encourage and inspire them to be a better part of the future is good. A 4H milkshake would go down well with me too , even in almost freeing weather. Touching post.

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  20. You have me wondering if an auction was held when my widowed Uncle sold his farm and all his gear, I'd already moved far from home and hadn't consciously (at least) heard of 'farm auctions' before or after, only 'estate auctions' not farm estates either, until visiting you I had no idea they existed really...always learning something here, 'G' aka Buttons :-) Happy Weekend

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  21. You have such a gift for revealing the humanity through your stories and musings. Thank you. =)

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  22. A very poignant look at auctions and death. I know it's a part of life but there's a sadness I feel deep within when I see one of these happening.

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  23. Morning buttons. Thanks for your stories, pictures. Love that antique pram. My sister brought up her children on the farm using that type of pram.

    I can remember her waking them up and down the long farm lane.

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  24. I always end up wandering around the yard and imagining the people who lived there, sometimes I get to meet them and have a chat. It is almost always a sad experience. A saying of goodbyes, and when an eighty year old man starts crying, well, that's it for me. I'm in hook, line and sinker for some really good stories.

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  25. I'm rather glad I wasn't at home for my parents farm auction.

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  26. Beautiful thoughts and writing about the auctions that come along eventually for a farming family. It is all apart of life yes, but someone that doesn't make it easy. God gives the comfort we need to go on after the goodbyes. I remember too well this challenge when I had to sell and empty my parents home. Blessings for those farmers and the next generation going forward. Have a great weekend. Hugs, cm

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  27. Just thinking about it and I can't imagine how hard it must be to have your farm and things auctioned off. Hopefully the proceeds will help the family with whatever they need.

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  28. A really nice blog, Buttons ... I especially like the line "farmers supporting farmers." Good to see you had one of those special hats to keep you warm when you were drinking that cold milkshake too!

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  29. Your words always take me there. Thanks.

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  30. Thank you for being Who You Are, I always enjoy "our visits.' Today, i especially want to thank you for that 4H investment - (and knowing you were pleased about it.) When i was a kid, 4-H was So important to me . . yes, it is a terrific community support - but, to me . . it was a lifeline. There was a way made for this kid to do the unusual - which ended up giving me a patch of hope . . i got to train puppies, preparing them for a life of service for Guide Dogs for the Blind. It gave me companions, something to do to be part of the "Greater Good" . . and, even today i have canine companions, who do good works in the community . . . when times seem dark, it is always best to reach out and lift someone else . . . 4-H - giving an unwanted girl this opportunity and life long skill . . gave me a gift that continues to give . . . who knows how far your milkshake money blessing will reach . . so, Thanks for being Remarkable YOU. love & love, -g-

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  31. I was a 4 H kid too...head, health, heart and hands! The photo of the Pram made me wonder about the babies it held:)

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  32. Beautiful, timeless black and white images, Buttons. Fitting of your story.

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  33. I hope the auction went well for the family as I know not all of them do. Most of us don't like change especially if we feel we can do nothing about it it except accept it. I love it when you take us with you to auctions, Buttons!

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  34. The photo of the baby carriage makes me feel very old. It is the same carriage my parents used for myself and my siblings.

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  35. Thoughtful times. I'm glad that you have faith in the younger generation.

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  36. Pretty pink knitting! I love the photo of the baby carriage. I love these posts of yours. They are so much more insightful than the surface blog posts that you tend to find on the internet everywhere!

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  37. B,

    While reading your post, I'm picturing in my head the auction in it's entirety. In about 2 weeks, we will be having our own Estate Sale or Auction of items from our parents estate. The thought of a milk shake would help sooth the stomach while manning the sale/auction.

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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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