Kyle brought one of his USMC buddies along home with him. Chris, is from upstate NY and needed a ride home. Kyle brought him as far as Elverson where Chris was picked up by his grandmother and aunt. Upon arriving here I was talking to Chris and lamenting that he had another 5 hour ride ahead of him (after just riding 8 hrs) in order to get home. Without batting an eye he said,
"doesn't matter, I'm going home" ! !
While thinking about this idea of "coming home" I was reminded of a book I read quite a few years ago. You Can Go Home Again was written by Gene Logsdon of Ohio. He is one of my favorite agrarian writers and mentors. I love how he mixes the philosophical, the practical and the humorous into a very enjoyable read. This book is the story of Gene's life. He grew up on a small, family farm in central Ohio during the Depression. He never wanted to do anything but be a farmer but somehow he listened to what others thought he should do and be instead of listening to his heart. The book tells his story of how he grew up on the farm as a child, left the farm as a young person and how he finally "came home" to the farm as an adult. He relates the up's and down's, the joys and heartaches, the confusion and angst of someone who was like a fish-out-of-water without his beloved farm and how after many years managed to find his way back home to the farm. His story is a reminder of two wonderful ideas that are often lost on most of us who have bought into the 21st century line of thinking.
1. Home (especially the country/rural home) is a wonderful place to be. But most everyone who grows up in the country or a small town is told that there are more "opportunities" to be had in the city. What that means is that it is "easier" to make "more money" the more you are willing to imbed yourself in the industrial culture of the suburbs and the city. And of course we all know that making "more money" is more desirable than making less money. Right? But rarely do we hear (or think about) about the natural consequence of leaving home. . . living hundreds/thousands of miles from those we love and cherish. While it is not wrong to have "more opportunities" it bothers me that our culture places more importance on "more financial opportunities" than it does on keeping families together geographically.
2. One's vocation should be an outgrowth of what one loves to do, not just a way to "pay the bills" or "make as much money" as possible. Again, our culture places money at the center of the vocation question. How much can I make?
What is the benefit package? What about insurance? What about the 401K? These questions usually take precedent over "what do I love to do"? How has God "wired" me? What am I passionate about?
Everybody knows that you can't make much money farming, especially if you farm on a small scale so farming is not thought of as a viable or noble vocation. (And because one might get dirt under their fingernails or manure on their boots). So folks who are drawn to farming are thought of as strange and marginalized by the dominate culture.
Maybe you are feeling drawn to "coming home" geographically (moving closer to family) or vocationally (working at a job that you love). Either way, I'd like to encourage that "home coming". Both of these are wonderful things to pray and work toward. Both of these are "big moves" and don't happen easily. Usually the stepping stones on the path to "coming home" are to pray, work (taking one small steps at a time) and wait. And then when you have done that, do it again, and again and again and. . . It may be a long hard journey, but "coming home" is always worth whatever effort it takes to get there.
HOGS GO TO THE BUTCHER
1. Stay calm. Of course this is easier said than done. Loading hogs can be one of those jobs that can bring out the worst in you (at least it has in me). It is also a job that can provide many hilarious moments that would probably win the grand prize for America's Funniest Home Videos.
2. Be patient. (Another easier said than done). Don't push or try to drive the animals. Let them move at their own pace.
3. Make sure they have secure footing going up the ramp onto the trailer. If they don't feel like they have secure footing nothing else matters. The're not moving! Doesn't matter how much you push, prod, or bait them. And don't even think about trying to man-handle them. You'll lose that battle every time !
Only two of the three I raised are ready for the butcher. The other one is still to small so I'll keep him another few months.
Thanks again for stopping by ! !
Agrarian blessings to all,