We do some farming on the side, but before you get images of dairy cows and produce, you should know that our crop is timber. The Mister manages his family's wood lot and does forestry type things that I don't fully understand, but certainly know more about today than when I married him.
It's been a mild winter so far, my favorite kind of winter. Still, it's cold. The kind of cold that makes me wonder what kind of people once built and lived in the old stone houses that dot the countryside. Houses constructed hundreds of years ago, without insulation and modern heating. Were those hearty souls perpetually huddled around a fire? I read once that most of the human existence has been a struggle for warmth, and I believe it.
From the quiet comfort of the car I don't mind seeing picturesque patches of snow dotting the ground and smoke emanating from historic chimneys. I appreciate the beauty of candles glowing in every window after dusk and bare branches against a gray sky. It's the history that gives a PA winter its warmth.
Come along with me...
I couldn't resist trying to capture these sunbeams shining through the clouds. There's something magical about sunbeams illuminating a landscape, like a spotlight from God.
We visited a furniture store, and on the way out I noticed this Amish school house. All was quiet, though I'm sure class was in session.
This friendly horse wanted to say hello. I always think I can tell a well-loved horse by how friendly it is to strangers.
The farm show in Harrisburg was enormous and packed with people. It resembled more of a state fair than an agriculture trade show. Square dancing, fair food, souvenirs for sale, and plenty of animals. Before I knew it, we were surrounded by show cows and immersed in a world of animal pageantry I never imagined.
"Look at that chicken. It has long curly feathers." An exploded down pillow with a beak eyed me with suspicion.
"It must be a mess when it gets dirty."
"Dirty? It probably gets professionally groomed."
|Someone had a good time at the farm show getting their hands on animals.|
The Keystone show in York was, The Mister informed me, for serious farmers. There was no fooling around. No square dancers, nor show chickens. It was vendors hawking their wares and having deep discussions on water treatment systems for cattle and cover crops. The Mister got serious about trailer equipment and wood pulp machinery, while I collected free pens and ate expensive mediocre french fries for lunch. Since there were no animals, I watched other stroller-pushing farm-type moms. After spending the morning surrounded by the latest in crop harvesting technology, it wasn't long before we were driving back to a place where the newest cutting edge combines sat parked in barns next to two hundred year old homes filled with ancient traditions and agricultural legacies underscored by quiet, hard working people.
I had been thinking about 1 Thessalonians 4:11; And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
Live quietly, mind your own business and work with your hands. A timeless farming ethic for us all, to be used by everyone no matter what our occupation. I find it soothing that we are offered this undemanding and realistic goal for our lives. What a great thought to start the new year.