Over the last two weeks I have been reading the six blogs I posted about in my last post. It got me thinking. What would be my blog posting to each of the titles? Who would be the Influential Person in Agriculture to me? What are the things I Love? I raise Food and I like to cook and grill. What were the Life Lessons I taught my daughters? I drove and rode a few Dirt Roads in my life. And a Song, to sum up Agriculture in my life.
Influential. I can’t name one person, it’s more like a composite of people. Grandpa, Dad, Uncles, Employer, Friends, 4-H Leaders and may other people. There are blogs I read today and I see them leaving a mark of influence on me. As a child I was on my uncle’s knee learning to drive the tractors. As a teen working for my Grandpa milking cows and learning to operate bigger field equipment. In my early adult years I worked for a neighbor on their dairy farm for 13 years. When my youngest daughter was in her junior year of high school she said she was going to take sheep as a 4-H project. That decision brought us a new learning curve, new people to meet and leading me and Laurel to be the sheep superintends at our county fair. I still yet today learn history of farming from my Dad thru his love of Red-Bellied Fords and Hit-and-Miss engines powering farm equipment.
Love. Enjoying a handcrafted beer on the deck on a warm summer evening. Firing up the grill and having the heat, smoke and meat marinade together and creating a shared dinner with Laurel. Bonfires with family and friends. Grandsons being toted around the farm with my tractor pulling a trailer with them riding behind. Helping Dad do projects on his farm and helping with his field work. Helping my daughters with needs in their projects on their homes. Learning new skills in photography. Working on my genealogy leaving a history of our family for my daughters and grandchildren. But most of all a love for Laurel. Spending time with her. Whether it be as simple as holding her hand, traveling with her or preparing an elegant dinner just because I love her.
Food. Being around the dairy industry growing up, beef was what was for dinner. Back in the 70’s when we lived in the Twin Cities, people were outraged by the price of beef in the store. Mom and Dad’s neighbors were talking about boycotting beef . When they would talk to Mom she would come back with the statement ” The farmer needs to eat too!” Over the last few years I have come to love grilling. Beef, Pork, Lamb and Vegetables. They are all in need of smoke and I am the guy to add the smoke. For my 50 birthday my kids threw me a bash complete with a grilled hog. The next year we celebrated Laurel’s 50 birthday with a grilled hog also. My cousin was at Laurel’s party and was so impressed with the hog he asked me if I would grill a hog for the family reunion. Now that I have said yes, he told me the only way I can get out of grilling the hog is to DIE! I guess I have a date for the next 30 years.
Life Lessons. I can’t list specific lessons, but as a look at my daughters today they must have learned many lessons from me and Laurel. All three of my daughters are in their 30’s and are married to wonderful men. It seems they each learned the lessons of hard work, family and love. They continue to love today the same things we did as a family when they were children. Gardening, travel, camping and simply gathering as a family.
Dirt Roads. I always remember the night we ate at the Blue Diamond many years ago when I was a kid. The Blue Diamond was a supper club near my Grandma and Grandpa’s. We had gone out for their Friday night fish fry. I don’t remember who was in the car other the me and Grandma and Grandpa. As we left the Blue Diamond, Grandpa turn left instead of right and we were off to find our way back to the farm on roads I didn’t know. Grandpa turned on a township road. We crossed over the railroad tracks and the road turned to gravel. Grandpa stated we had crossed into Minnesota. Everybody knows Minnesota’s roads were all gravel. About a mile down the road it turned back to asphalt. He claimed we just crossed back into Wisconsin and would be home soon. Now I was a little smarter than that. Growing up in the Twin Cities and traveling to Grandma and Grandpa’s we had to cross the St Croix River. So Grandpa’s fib didn’t hold much water because I claimed we didn’t cross the St Croix. He just laughed.
Meet Me in Montana. Ever since I heard this song from years ago, I have always love this song. It was originally preformed by Dan Seals and Marie Osmond in 1985. When I looked it up on YouTube I found a version by countrychloe. I loved her video. She did a wonderful job interpreting the song with photos in the video. It isn’t that I need to meet Laurel in Montana, but I do love meeting Laurel on top of Prickly Ash Hill each and every day sharing a life together.