This is my 52nd blog. And it is my final blog.
I began writing this weekly farm blog one year ago on the advice of a marketing specialist. It was originally intended to be a marketing tool for my farm book trilogy.
But very quickly, the blog took on a life of its own. I heard the phrase “I love your blog!” every time I went to town, or to a party, or a family gathering. It warmed my heart. Truly. Thank you.
But the demands of the blog were sometimes overwhelming. It wasn’t just the hours spent writing. It was coming up with new, original ideas week after week. About three months into it, I asked myself, how many times will I be able to write about a wheat harvest and make it sound interesting?
It also became glaringly apparent to me that writing this weekly farm blog was inherently ironic. Every hour I spent in our basement writing about my love of farm life, was one less hour for me to spend enjoying the farm that I loved. I selfishly needed to know there would be an end.
So, I set a goal for myself. I would write this weekly blog for one year. Like my books, this blog represented one year of farm life. A Year on the Family Farm, set in 1965, depicted farm life from the perspective of a child. Another Year on the Family Farm, set in 1970, portrayed farm life from the perspective of an adolescent. The Return to the Family Farm, set in 2010, described re-entry into farm life from the perspective of an adult.
My blog filled a gap. The Return to the Family Farm was filled with the excitement and anticipation of a new life on the farm. That book described the “wedding day”. But what about the “marriage”? A decade later, what is daily life like out on the farm?
A Year of Farm Blogs answers that question. The “marriage” is sound. There are no regrets.
Many have encouraged me to “Keep writing!” I won’t say that I won’t ever write again. I’ve made that mistake before. That’s what I said after I finished my first book. And my second. But I really meant it after my third. Until I started writing the blog. So, at this point, I will only say that I have no current plans to write again.
So, now that the blog is finished, if you ever find yourself wondering what I’m doing out there on the farm, just re-read the old blogs. Because much of what I wrote will be repeated:
This spring, I will put back the screens for my windows that I cleaned and stored last fall, and then I will hope we don’t get a late-spring blizzard. I will plant my beets. I will snap off a fresh asparagus stalk, shake off the dew, and munch it on my way to the barn where I will collect bucketsful of hair from my shedding horses, dogs and cats. When I groom Simba, I will wear gloves. I will rejoice at the return of Fred and Ethel and watch the swallows build their nest in the loafing shed of our barn.
In the summer, I will pick schwartzbeeren, harvest and preserve my beets, and shuck our corn. Danny and I will share our farm with the many family and friends who visit. We will bale our hay and, from the shade of our porch, I will watch the harvesters cut our wheat. I will keep a watchful eye on a thunderstorm building on the horizon. On a morning walk in late summer, I will pause in the shade of our aging, giant cottonwood tree and marvel at the beauty of a freshly blooming sunflower.
In the fall, I will clear my garden, take my screens back out, and watch the milo harvesters. I will feed the wild birds and the deer and take long walks with my dogs. I will ride BJ bareback. I will find some time to piddle around and not feel guilty about it.
Next winter, I will do all the indoor things that I dreamt about during the heat of the summer but for which I had no time. I will stare in awe at the Milky Way on a clear, moonless night. We will put on our pajamas after supper and doze in our recliners in front of the TV.
And during every season, I will reflect on my childhood growing up on the farm. I will think about my ancestors and how hard they worked to turn this prairie into a home. I will travel out-of-state to visit my children and grandchildren, and cherish every moment spent together. We will play lots of pinochle. We will take a trip with my sisters and husbands, and we will laugh over stories about our brothers. I will remember my parents with gratitude. I will thank God daily that He brought us, late in life, back to our family farm.
And through it all, the sun will rise, and the sun will set.
And another year will pass.
(Each of my three books is available for purchase off my website: yearonthefarm.com
An archive of A Year of Farm Blogs can also be found on the website.)