Saturday, November 07, 2009

Nice Day

Today was one of those really nice days that you kind of take at your own pace with no real expectations. We got up at our usual time as our alarm clocks (Mya and Noah) don't recognize the difference between week and weekend days. Anyway, I got the church bulletins together--my one major church responsibility. We had planned to go out to visit dad in the nursing home and mom on the farm. It is a shorter drive from our new home, which really is nice. We stopped for lunch at a Burger King about half way there. Then we continued on to pick up my neice, Jenny, from her other grandma's home and then went to the nursing home. Dad was as he has been and will be, not really recognizing any of us but still chattering on about things. I have to listen really closely as he mumbles now and speaks softly. Basically, we listen, try to converse and hope that somehow, this time, we will break through the Parkinson's/Ahlziemers and see the old dad but not this time. The visit is a laborious hour. We did take him outside to get a bit of fresh air but it was chilly for him. The kids played on the lawn while we "chatted". My sister, Colette and her new husband, Steve, stopped by along with Steve's two girls and Colette's son Alex. When dad said he was tired, we decided it was time to head out to the farm. We were greeted at the door by CJ, mom's little dog who takes her guarding job very seriously. After enjoying a snack together, we headed out to pick up corn ears from the recently harvested fields. It was a gloriously sunny day, probably 65 out. The breeze made it feel just a bit chilly, especially in the shaded areas. Mya, Jenny and I walked in the field with a bucket, searching for "gold"--corn ears that we can use to feed the squirrels. It was great. As we walked, I could smell the corn stalks. My nephew, Jordan, was chopping the stalks with a John Deere tractor pulling a chopper. If you are not a farm kid, this may be an unfamiliar smell to you but if, like me, you grew up in the country, you may remember that particular smell. For me, it brought back many a memory of harvest on the farm. One memory that came flooding back to me was of a cold fall day, I must have been about 6 or 7. Our whole family, all six kids, were out in the field of corn stalks, dressed warmly as the weather was pretty cold. We were walking and picking up ears of corn and tossing them on to a hay rack. In those days, the corn ears were picked by a 2 row picker, put into a wagon, hauled up to the farm and stored until the kernels were shelled off the cobs for use as feed or taken to the local elevator to be sold. There was much waste so ears of corn were fairly plentiful. Farming has become much more sophisticated. Nary an ear falls to the ground these days. We could only find them on the corners where the huge combine had knocked down the stalks when turning the corners. It was especially heart warming for me to turn around and watch Mya pick soybeans from some remaining stems in the neighboring field. She found them to be not only fun to pick but tasty to eat--not something I enjoy but she did. As we walked the rows, enjoying one another's company, I got a strong sense that this would be one of those days that she would one day remember fondly, just as I remembered gathering corn ears on a cold November day, probably 40 years ago. I thought how wonderful it is to help a child have roots, connections to those they love, and warm fuzzies as they see familiar childhood sites.

3 viewers thoughts.:

hollym. said...

OH, Verna!! Thank you!!
I loved your post. I didn't grow up on a farm, but there was a field close by that the farmer let us go in and glean the left over cobs and soybeans. Popcorn some years that we would pop on the cob at a campfire in our back yard. I remember those days well and with great fondness (and a few tears since my Dad used do this with us and is now in Heaven). Anyway, thanks for sharing these memories and your special day. You don't know how I needed it...Wish I could have been there with you guys. I think I'm going to try to find a field tommorrow after church just to mosey in!

Kim K. said...

What a beautifully written post. Have a wonderful week and enjoy making more memories with your sweet family.

Faith, Hope, and Love said...

Okay...that brought the tears and I'm out of kleenex in my sewing room so I'm using my sleeve so that I can see to type.

I didn't know your dad had alzheimers. I think that is one of the saddest diseases for any family to have to live with. I'm sorry Verna.

I'm glad that it was followed with such memorable joy in the corn field. Isn't it amazing how fast a smell can take us back to places so long ago?

It was 75 degrees here in St. Louis. Very unusual for November...but very welcomed.

Thank you for sharing your sweet story. I always wonder what my children will remember most.