Our Job-Like Week

I grew up on a farm. My dad moved to the farm when he was just a very young boy and grew up there as well. He purchased the farm from his step dad and made his living there. My parents raised us four kids on the same land dad was raised on. When dad had hip replacements and had to sell the dairy cattle, he bought beef cows to occupy his time. Old farmers never retire. Ever. They just keep working, tinkering with this and pottering with that. And farming.

The farm was more than a place to grow up. We worked it, too. It was home, of course, and more. There's no way to describe a farm to those who aren't farmers. It's owning your own business, and relying on it solely to support your family. It's a love of the land. It's learning about life lessons first hand. It's experience gained through doing. Farmers are just a different kind of people. Awesome people that are well grounded. They see tough times, and move on because they just know that's the way life is. Your best producing cow dies. Your tractor broke down during hay season. But you get through it, because life doesn't stop for you to reassess things and mourn. Farmers are practical and to-the-point, but incredibly caring and generous. The farming community is a singular whole, made of individual parts that come together in a united front.

The farming community cares for each other like the family that they are. It's what I grew up with, and it's what I know. And yet, it never ceases to amaze me when the outpouring of love and support are showered on us.

This evening my parent's barn burned down. There are so many words, and yet none at all. Devastation and shock swirl around us, but there is immense relief in knowing that no livestock was in the barn, nor was anyone injured. The loss is still staggering, and yet in the tradition that I was raised, all I can think is that it's just a barn. There are people who lose their homes. I have nothing to complain about, and so much to be grateful for.

It's been a trying week for our family. Sam's dad is still hospitalized in DC, hours from home, but we've finally got good news on his situation and he's gaining mobility from the stroke. Both sides of our family have been hit so hard this week. Our kids are reeling. We're emotionally exhausted. And yet, life will go on because it always does.


JEllen said...

Oh my. I have a pit in my stomach just looking at these photos. I can't possibly imagine what your family must be feeling. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Gina said...

Karen - I am so sorry this happened, but I am glad to hear that no one was hurt :(