“Only 17 percent of the U.S. population calls rural communities home, yet 44 percent of military recruits come from rural America.” (source: American Farm Bureau Federation)
I have written about our sheep dog before.
This winter was a cold one, as many farmers have shared. While that does mean that we take extra care of our animals, the combined old-age and cold-weather did a toll to the hearing and hips of our four-legged shepherd. Some may consider their pets to be part of the family, whereas we considered our dog to be much more than that – he was a part of our family business.
I’m sad to say that Nike has found a final resting place on the farm. He really enjoyed herding the sheep (and even visitors the way HE wanted them to come in the house) and taking walks down the dead end dirt road all the way through his last week. I cannot help but think how happy he must be to be at rest in his favorite place.
I’m sure everyone will describe and celebrate their father differently tomorrow. I look back and remember my father instilling a sense of independence and fearlessness in me. Through his eyes I believed I could do anything. As I look at my husband I see him instilling a sense of interdependence in our children and grandchildren. They too believe they can do anything but they have an awareness of uncontrollable conditions and an ability to be flexible that I had to learn later in life. Farming together we have learned that we all need each other because there are so many things we cannot control or change like the weather.
As we work through each day we realize this is the only time we will have this moment, this decision and this opportunity. Make the most of every moment this weekend and every day that follows because,
whether it’s tutus or tractors we all need each other.
Remember some one is always watching us. What are we teaching them?
Happy Father’s Day!
As a young child, my father was a rice farmer in Crowley, Louisiana; “The Rice Capital of America”. Now as an adult I live in Arkansas, rice producing state.
Arkansas is the nation’s largest rice growing state, producing half of the nation’s rice and nearly nine billion pounds annually. Arkansas ranks first among rice producing states.
Rice production is concentrated in the eastern half of the state. The top five rice producing counties are Arkansas, Poinsett, Cross, Lawrence and Lonoke. Arkansas rice is sodium, cholesterol and gluten free. Rice has only a trace of fat and has not trans fat or saturated fat.
If you have never lived in a small town, you can’t believe the beauty you might be missing. I grew up in and still reside in Ulysses, Kansas, a small town in Southwest Kansas. I live closer to Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico than. I do to many areas in Kansas.
We only have one town in our county and that is Ulysses. You can travel 30 minutes any direction and find another similar small town. Our towns in this area revolve around two industries, agriculture and the oil/gas industry which means we have lots of open space, you can see forever. I want to give you a little taste of what I see most mornings on the way to work. If you live in the city, you probably don’t have the unobstructed view of the horizon that makes viewing the sunrises and sunsets spectacular.
I want to share the beauty that I see living here in the dry, flatlands because if you have ever been through here, you may have missed the natural beauty that we enjoy. Our skies can be the bluest blue you have ever seen. You can see for miles with no hills or trees to block your views. At night, the stars pop out and light up the sky making it easy to pick out the Big and Little Dipper as well as allowing us to spy shooting stars.
Many travelers pass through here without ever realizing the beauty that exists in our somewhat barren landscape. There is nothing more beautiful to me than the sun rising or setting on our farm. If you are ever passing through, look around, really look around and appreciate the landscape that God bestowed on my little slice of heaven!