I think there's a farmer living inside me trying to get out

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I think the more I live out here in The Field the more I am getting in touch with my inner farmer. I mean, I'm not that far removed from the generations of grandparents who farmed and worked hard to make a living from the land. But these days I am learning lots about crops and cattle and turkeys. I am surprised that I kinda like it.

Dad & Siblings going to school

So today I went with a friend to check on his cattle which are being cared for at a feed lot, which is kind of like daycare for cows, but lasts for months.

The cow daycare is run by a mennonite couple and their 20 something son, and just meeting them started to awaken memories in me.

Friesen Farm. Chortitz Sk.Their large linoleum covered dining area held the center of their home, a long plastic covered table. Most of the kitchen chairs were stacked in the corner, beside the low wide bookcase holding a well worn book collection. The cuckoo clock tick tocking away, and the westminster clock chiming the quarter hour. A german calendar hanging on the wall with the Dezember page up, and some butcher wrapped meat thawing in a bowl on the counter. All amazingly similar to my memories at my grandparents place.

Grandma & Grandpa GerbrandtThe thing that caught me the most was the smell. It was a mix of fresh baked bread and wood polish and farm smell. Not a bad smell, but a wonderfully graceful odor, if a smell can be graceful. It was just like I had experienced so many times before, at my grandparents and great-grandparents farm houses. It was mesmerizing in a way that took my breath away. I had been there a thousand times before, even though it was my first time. 

The spirit of these people was comforting and gracious, same spirit as those who made up my childhood farm experiences, my grandparents. People of faith who knew how to pray and work hard and trust God to provide for them. 

H. Thiessens and the kidsMy trip to the cattle daycare was like a trip down memory lane, with a reminder of where I came from. There are qualities of their lives that I want in my life too, and that spirit is the quality I want the most. Thankfully I don't need to become a farmer to have it, because the spirit of graciousness and love is the spirit of Jesus. 

It's quite simple really. I just need to remember where I came from, and where I'm going.


  1. Well, I always say I should have married a farmer... maybe that's the inner farmer's wife in ME! Church in a field or farm in a field... we'd still be good together.

  2. Apparently you nearly did, Laura.

    I'm more of a woodsman, myself.

  3. Well, the way you describe that old Mennonite place and and the photos puts me in mind of Elvin's folks way of life and all the Mennonite people we hung out with when we lived at Elkridge. Good memories. Great people.

  4. I think it's wonderful that, in a time where you're feeling devoid of rooted friendships and many things familiar, an experience like that took you way back to a place where you obviously have sacred memories of your heritage. Heritage is so incredibly important, and I realize that every time my extended family meets. It is the very blood that runs through our veins, and even though sometimes our common points come easier with friends, blood lines and history run deep, and there's something comforting in that. A few years ago I stood in our home town cemetery with my immediate family and a few close cousins during a reunion. The power of our heritage represented by those graves and the memories we discussed practically moved me to sobs; unlike me to be moved that strongly on a warm sunny day unrelated to a funeral.

    I'm still envious of your "field" home. You and the crops will grow side by side.

  5. Yes, but the most important question is.......did you get to eat faspa every two hours?

  6. We had faspa every morning at 10:00 A. M. and every afternoon at 3:00 P. M. You know, coffee,bread and jam and a dainty of some sort. Like I say, good times.

  7. Yup, exactly.
    And it was all made at home.

  8. By the way, I meant to say, Elkhorn, not Elkridge. Elkhorn is out near Nipawin way. Sorry.


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