A few weeks ago the gloriously green corn stalks along our lane pleased my eyes each time I went out. Then the tall tops and the very bottoms near the roots turned brown, but the green was still preeminent. Slowly and gradually, the length of the green was lessening. Now only a little green remains.
Around the corner onto the main road and down a bit, another experimental corn plot was evidently planted earlier—or perhaps it was a variety with a shorter growing period. Those few rows have been completely brown from top to bottom for a week or two. Yesterday when I drove to town, I saw that swath of corn was deleted with only the stalks remaining. (Patches on that farm are small because our neighbor’s fields are all research plots, so there is great variety. We have a standing smile that Gerald cannot keep from feeling some horror that planting weeds is sometimes one of the experiments carried on next door.)
Mary Ellen brought over all the fixings for Reubens the other evening and fixed supper for us. Brian came over a little later because he was getting his combine ready for harvest. He arrived all showered and clean shaven with crisp sport shirt on, and we teased him that we expected him to arrive in dusty work clothes. The days ahead will be long and hard, and dirty clothes are the proper prideful uniform of a successful farmer. Although slack seasons had their advantages, the excitement of those over-busy lengthy days of spring planting and fall harvest were always my favorite farm times. Now in retirement, we can only participate vicariously.
I had not realized it had been a month since I had blogged. Gerald told me the other night that he did not know what was going on here at the farm since I had not blogged in so long. I often wrote a partial blog in my head as I drove back and forth from farm to town, but once I was home, neglected duties always awaited me and I might not get to the computer. Or if I did, I was too tired to write and would end up surfing on Facebook.
I do enjoy getting bits of news, gossip, and updates from local people I seldom see in person anymore, and it is amazing to see photographs and news from far away loved ones and distant friends that I used to only hear from at Christmas. I was able to enjoy the first birthday party of my great great nephew Jace down in
the other night because of all the
posted photos. And last night I enjoyed my friend Lois’s trip to Amarillo Ireland because the beautiful photos posted out
made me almost smell the Irish air and I could definitely feel the love of her
family group traveling on this adventure together. California
I notice that private messaging on Facebook has almost replaced emails and often times phone calls. There was a time in my life when I spent most Saturday mornings phoning far-away kids or other loved ones for hour-long conversations. Now with our cell phones going with us wherever we go and sometimes with reception poor or calls inconvenient if driving or going through a store check-out line, telephone habits have changed. I still enjoy occasional hour-long talks with my brother and sister, but otherwise our house phone seems to be used mostly for recorded messages from the pharmacy, politicians, or sales people.
I have been trying to write a family history essay on my great great great grandfather Cedar Billy Martin down in
. I am getting close to finishing and admit I
will be glad when I complete this project.
This is the third time I have tried to write about him. In late 1998, I had just retired from the brief
career I had in family literacy, and I was trying to learn to use the Internet
on Gerald’s new computer. I accidentlaly became involved with distant unknown cousins
here in Tennessee
who had just discovered this ancestor. Illinois
As emails flew back and forth connecting with researchers from other states, my brother’s son offered to hook us all up by creating an e-group. So for all these years we have shared information on Cedar Billy, his siblings and children, his neighbors, and several collateral lines. Eventually I had a dozen or so notebooks about various family members. During that time, some in the e-group have died, others learned they really were not related, others gotten sick and had to drop out, others lost interest as lives got busy elsewhere, and some of us have gotten old. Emails to the group with new information has dried up, but all our exciting discoveries and all our mistaken speculations about whose siblings or children went where are still stored in the e-group’s archives. I have been reviewing those archives and my many notebooks attempting to have this essay ready for my children for Christmas. I like to imagine that 200 years from now some descendant will find out about Cedar Billy and be as excited as I was when I learned of his existence.
In the meantime, I hope to blog a little more faithfully so that you and Gerald can know what it happening here at Woodsong.