Saturday, December 31, 2005

Good-bye 2005

Another year is drawing to a close. It's a time for looking back, a time for moving forward.
2005 has been a year our world has seen natural disasters and wars in the mid-east. It's been a time for saying good-bye to old friends, a time of watching our children grow up and a time for watching us grow older.
While we're all a little older and I hope a little wiser, we're also a little wearier. No longer do Keith and I spring form our beds and start our days at a fast pace. It takes us longer to do even the simplest of things and we're getting more selective of what those things are.
So as 2005 draws to a close so does another chapter of our lives. No one knows what 2006 holds for any of us. We can only pray it will bring world peace and that our troops will soon be back on American soil with their loved ones. God Bless us all.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Going Home

All our lives we have heard, "You can never go home again". Earlier this week we were to find out if this was true.
My parents, Keith the children and I had been invited to my Aunt and Uncles for lunch. On the way to Lebo, Kansas we found the main highway was closed for repairs and we would have to take a detour through the country to reach our destination.
After a wonderful lunch (My Aunt is a terrific cook!) we spent the afternoon visiting about old times. When it came time to go home we decided to take a different detour and go by the farm where I was raised.
It's been forty-three years since I have seen the old farmstead. In 1963 the John Redmond Reservoir was built in Coffey County. This reservoir covered a lot of farm land, including the farm my parents farmed. So it was with a heavy heart we had to say good-bye to the home we love and move over thirty miles away to another farm.~~This time one we owned!
The trip this week was like a trip down memory lane. Gone was the old farm house. All that was left was an old cedar tree (Which Daddy was quick to remind us Mom had backed into years ago!) and brush and water kept us from getting to close to that.
It's funny how the mind of a child is different than that of an adult. The road that lead from one farm to another suddenly seemed to much shorter than I remember it! One thing I knew I wasn't wrong about was the road was straight and now it was curved. Dad explained the "curve" had been added when the water had washed the other road out.
We took a leisure drive through the town of Ottumwa. Some people would now call it a ghost town but a better word would be a place in the road.~~There's no sign of a town anywhere! I did recognize two homes and the old boxcar an older friend of ours used to live in was still there all though all but rotted away. As we drove along Mom and Dad pointed out pieces of land where old neighbors had once lived and farmed. It was a bittersweet time to remember one neighbor who had just passed away three weeks ago a the age of ninety, as he had been OUR neighbor too on Old Crow Farm. It was also sad to think there are only two farmers (Counting my dad) who are still living from our area.
Of course Daddy and I had to argue about where the old "Western Christian University" had stood. I remember it being across from the old general store and he says it was located in what is now a pasture. I've been checking the Internet but still haven't found the answer. Thankfully another Ottumwa resident will be able to settle this one!
Yes, it's true you can "never go home again", especially when that "home" is now under water. You can however go back to where you once lived with those you love and share the stories of your youth.
So, while good farm land and the old family farm are covered with water, the memories of a Farmer's Daughter will live on.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Once Again....

It's that time of year again.~~~Time to put up the Christmas tree and dig out the ornaments. Now the key word here is "dig". If I was an organized person (Anyone who knows me knows I'm far from it!) we wouldn't be in this mess every year.
Ok, it's all my fault and I'm the first to admit it. The minute Christmas is over I'm so anxious to get that tree down I lose all common sense. I start yelling at Keith to get it out of the house and back to the storage shed. That's how I lose track of where everything is!
One reason I hate putting up a tree each year is because we live in a little tiny house. This mean in order to put up a tree we have to take some of the furniture out of the living room. Not a fun thing to do when the temperatures are dropping daily!
This year I decided I'd had enough. I was going to solve the large Christmas tree problem once and for all. A trip to town brought home a skinny little tree that even had it's own lights. (One less thing for me to find each year!!) For over a week it proudly stood with it's little lights twinkling and not so much as one ornament on it!
Lucky for us my dear friend Sher in New York (Check out her wonderful Blog: ) must have known the situation. Last week we received this BIG box from her and dear husband and in it was several items for our tree. (Bless you dear friend!!) When Keith saw those ornaments scattered around the tree trying to fill it up he decided to take matters into his own hands.~~He braved the cold and dug through the storage shed until he found the ornament box!
So, once again Old Crow Farm has a decorated Christmas tree. In my heart though, I know by December of 2006 you'll hear me once again saying, "Now where did we put those ornaments last year?"

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


It was the day the two little ones and I had been waiting for.~~Last night the weatherman predicted that by morning we would have the first major snowfall of the year. Now not just and inch or two but anywhere from five to eight inches! Unheard of in our area!!!
So, this morning we all ran for the picture window in the living room. Flipping on the yard light the squeals started!..Snow was coming down! While not the big fluffy flakes we love, snow is still snow!!!
It's been coming down all morning. So far about three inches are gracing "Old Crow Farm" and they say it's to keep up through tonight! Wahoo!!!
Jeni and Drew still had school so that meant Keith and I had the day to ourselves. The first order of the day was to get the fireplace going. Once it was blazing we could do some fun things. Earlier this morning I saw where one of the farmgals from MaryJane's Farm site ( had posted a recipe for Soft Molasses Cookies. They sounded so good I just had to try them out! I'm glad I did because not only are they wonderful but the smell of spices is now filling the house!
Since it's bitter cold here, Keith and I have decided to use the oven to fix most of our supper. We've decided to have Stuffed green peppers, small red potatoes with Olive Oil and herbs, cauliflower in cheese sauce and fresh buttermilk biscuits. Gee, why can't everyday be a snow day????

True Friends

It was just a simple Christmas card. A Christmas tree with fireplace on the front and a verse wishing us Happiness throughout the coming year. What was so special was the note inside. A note I look forward to each year. The chance to catch up on the news of a very dear friend, her family and other friends that we don't get to see on a monthly basis. This year the card was different.
Several weeks ago I read a joke about friendship. While not word for word, it went something like this: "A friend is someone who will bail you out of jail. A 'true friend' is someone who is sitting there beside you saying, "But didn't we have fun?". For over thirty-four years I have had two such 'true friends', Mary and Carolyn.
No, we haven't been in jail together but that's about the only thing we haven't shared! Our friendship has truly stood the test of time and there have been more joys and sorrows than I care to think about. We've shared recipes, raised our children with each others help, held one another as two of us buried our sons, prayed as Mary fought cancer twenty-six years ago and gave words of comfort as all three of us lost our husbands. Like the Three Musketeers it was always, "All for One, One For All".
In October of 2004 more tragedy was to hit us . Our precious Mary was once again diagnosed with cancer. In January of 2005 she went Home to be with the Lord. In those three and half months Carolyn and I shared many phone calls, visits and tears. Once again we were pressed to the breaking point and once again we were there to hold on to one another.
When Carolyn's card arrived this week it was a bittersweet time. While thrilled to read her family is well and she's going to be a grandmother again it was also a sad time. Once again it brought back memories of our Mary and how much we both miss her. In Carolyn's note she talked of finding a poem Mary had sent her years ago. In my note back I'll be telling her how Mary's old letters keep coming up in the oddest places...An old magazine or book. Almost like she's saying, "Don't forget what I had to say...It's important!" Like we could ever forget her! Both of us are so Blessed to have had her in our lives for thirty-four short years and she'll always be with us.
As you write your Christmas notes this year, I pray everyone of them his going to 'true friends'. Those that would be sitting right there in jail beside you.

About Me

These stories are dedicated to the loving memories of my childhood on the family farm and to my life on our farm. May my children always know how Blessed I've been.