Fourth Grade Ag Day

Our youngest granddaughter, Harper, is a fourth grader at a rural school in eastern Illinois. Today her class will culminate a study unit on farming with Agriculture Day.

Local farmers will bring farm equipment to the school. Children will get to sit on hay bales (a very prickly experience, as I recall), and there may even be livestock to pet, along with other fun stuff to do. Hopefully the experience will encourage participants to think about where their food comes from and to appreciate the farmers who toil long hours in the fields to make the magic happen.

Students were asked to wear something green or agriculture-related to school today.

I’m not sure this qualifies as farm apparel, but her t-shirt is green, and she makes an adorable farmer.

She also has a sweatshirt, courtesy of her Grandma Jill who works for a seed company, to wear in case the weather turns cooler.

Harper found a mask to go along with the day’s theme:

Proof that farming can be fashionable and safety-conscious in the days of Covid-19.

Maybe we can’t all attend an Ag Day, but we can at least thank a farmer. Where would we be without them? I don’t even want to think about that.

As God is my witness…

Peace, people!

A Drop in the Bucket

A Drop in the Bucket

by Leslie Noyes

One shard’s sharp clatter

Finally hitting bottom

Way down in the well

No splash forthcoming

Water dried up years ago

Does no good to cry

Keep shoveling dirt

Keep plowing those narrow rows

Keep harvesting naught

I grew up in the Texas panhandle, one of the areas hardest hit by the Dust Bowl. Although that was before my time, I heard many a tale from my grandparents about the dark days when the dirt blew non-stop, filling every nook and cranny and clogging lungs.

Several years ago, a book club I belonged to in Illinois, read the book, The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan. It’s a rather long book filled with firsthand accounts of the Dust Bowl Days, and while I don’t usually indulge in nonfiction, I found this book fascinating.

When the book club members met to discuss The Worst Hard Time I was excited to share my perspectives. One woman, a New Yorker transplanted to Illinois, couldn’t believe that people still live in the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles. I assured her that not only did people still live there, they thrived.

I highly recommend the book. If you read it, let me know what you think.

Peace, people.

Colquitt Silos

Yesterday I posted photos of the murals in downtown Colquitt, Georgia. Those murals pale in comparison to the silo murals in this small Georgia town.

Neither Saint Helen nor I claim to be professional photographers, and our only cameras are on our iPhones. Hopefully, though, our photos will convey at least an idea of the scope and beauty of these larger than life works of art:

Every crop grown in the area surrounding Colquitt is depicted on the silos.

We stopped in at the Colquitt Chamber of Commerce before heading downtown, and the women there were full of lively conversation and helpful information. In a future post I’ll share the town’s Cotton Hall Theatre schedule. I’m hoping that Studly Doright and I can attend one of their Swamp Gravy performances in the near future.

Peace, people!

McFarland, USA: A Belated Almost Review

Coach Jim White, played by Kevin Costner, is a down on his luck football coach who finds himself at the end of the proverbial rope in McFarland, California, after losing his cool in a half time locker room incident at a school in Oregon.

McFarland is an agricultural community with a mostly Latino population. Students at the  school Coach White teaches at begin their days picking lettuce and other crops at 5:30 a.m. before going to school and then end their days picking more before going home. And they run to and from every location.

Soon after arriving in McFarland with his wife and two daughters Coach White finds himself at odds with the head football coach and has to find other ways to augment his teaching salary. That way ends up being coaching cross country, a sport dominated by well-to-do schools.

I put off seeing this film because it seemed fairly predictable: Anglo coach finds himself embroiled in culture shock, but rises to the occasion lifting the Latino boys on his team along the way. Nailed it. But the story had so much heart, and I’m a sucker for heart. The youngsters who play the young athletes are endearing and likeable, and fun to root for. 

McFarland, USA, is well worth the time, especially if there’s a kid in your life that might benefit from some good motivation. The viewers at Doright Manor highly endorse it.

Watch it!

Peace, people!