Sunday, October 25, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
If I had to describe my Dad in a single word, I guess it would have to be—Farmer.
Although, one word could never do justice to describe a life of seventy years, I think he would smile if that was how he was remembered.
He made his living in different ways, but he was a farmer from the first time he helped Daddy Ray in the fields of
A farmer isn’t what you do. It’s who you are.
Dad watched the wind as it gusted across a wheat field before the oncoming rain with the same love and awe that sailor does when he looks at the sea. He was a flatlander. He loved the wide open prairie without fence or bramble. He felt a kinship with the land and understood how to treat it with respect.
In return—the land paid him back with a bounty.
His beans were bushier.
His corn was taller.
His hogs were healthier.
Wherever he spent time—he left the land better than he found it.
But a farmer is much more that just a caretaker of the land.
He is honest and steady;
A story teller;
A soldier and patriot.
A farmer is a faithful husband and father; grandfather and uncle; brother and friend.
He is a teacher and a student;
A lover and a brawler;
A historian and a thinker.
A farmer is funny and loves to laugh.
He gets a bigger kick out of making others laugh.
He shoots a nifty left-handed jump shot from the baseline.
And poses for the Heisman Trophy after scoring a touchdown in a sandlot game.
A farmer loves his tractor.
He loves his mower even more.
A farmer is strong…
He is loyal to the Bears, Cubs and Fighting Illini. Even when they don’t deserve it.
He is at home in his pickup with a faithful dog at his side.
He loves meat and potatoes, biscuits and gravy, pickle loaf and sharp cheddar cheese.
Sometimes a farmer thinks he is John Wayne.
Other times he thinks he’s Mike Ditka or Don Rickles.
A farmer is the first kid on the block to learn to dance rock n roll.
He is the football star who gets the cheerleader.
A farmer can walk the dog and go around the world
with nothing more than a Duncan Yo-Yo.
He would never dream of hurting an animal…
…unless it was to feed his family
A farmer learns to trust the land with patience.
He sees what will be, before it exists.
He works hard without complaining.
He understands the seasons and the cycle of life.
He is not afraid.
A farmer sews.
A farmer reaps.
A farmer hopes that beyond the gates of pearl and streets of gold, there is a forty acre patch with coal black topsoil so deep, you measure it in yards. There are no weeds.There is a brand new, bright red, 1962 Farmall 560 tractor hitched to a four bottomed plow with his name on it. On the fender is an AM radio that only gets talk radio and country music without any static. He is greeted by loved ones who have waited patiently for his arrival. He has no pain.
A farmer doesn’t seek wealth.
He seeks serenity and peace.
A farmer is a good man.
A farmer is a hero.
My Dad was a farmer.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Shooting hoops behind the garage
on a cold November night
by the light of a full moon.
The clock is winding down.
Fake right—go left
The shot is up...
The Fighting Illini win the game!
...and my dog, King, wags his tail in approval.
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