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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



Spring has shown up this week at the farm. For many of us, it is a time to get out and do some physical activity after months of being sequestered indoors, wandering through the yard, picking up sticks and limbs and trash, raking off the garden and getting the lawn in shape. Most of us will take time this Easter weekend to gather with family for Sunday dinner.

On Dad’s side of the family we celebrated a week early. There’s nothing like an entire day spent with a houseful of excited little children scattered with older folks who need a nap to make you wish just a little that it was still winter.

After a huge meal and seconds and thirds before hitting up the plethora of desserts it was time to take a walk around the farm followed by the project of the day hauling the new 500 lb. corn furnace from the back of the pickup into the basement of the house. There isn’t anything that is more fun that watching as my brothers and I along with an uncle and Mom’s significant other stand around trying to decide just exactly how we’d get this project done without putting any of us in traction. Needless to say each one of us had our own opinions of how this should be done.

After dragging it out of the back of the pickup and looking at the size of the furnace as compared to the size of the doorway to the basement, I suggested the easiest route would be just to load it back into the pickup and take it to my basement which is a straight shot. No one but me seemed to think that this was a good plan and I was overruled quickly.

The most important part of a project like this is to be in the proper position when the move takes place. Anyone who has moved a large appliance down a flight of stairs will agree with me here. Being wiser than my younger siblings, but not nearly as wise as my uncle who stood clear away from the whole mess, I chose to be at the top of the stairs to help lower the appliance dolly. My younger brother who probably has lost most of his brain cells from his extra curricular activities as a youngster chose the bottom. One can only guess what happened as my short arms couldn’t stretch any more and I had to release the cart, sending its huge load quickly down the stairs. My brother is good at this though and took one for the team by stopping the furnace with his body before it hit the deep freezer. It’s O.K. though, he’s done having children.

After all that work, it was time to relax and looking around the room, I began to think about past Easters. What I realized was although the faces have changed over the years, the tradition is still there. As the people I remember from my youth have passed on, more children take their place and I grow older with each year. No longer am I in the fourth generation at these gatherings, and sooner than I wish, I suspect I’ll be moving into the second generation. But beyond the melancholy feeling of that aging and change in our family, there is hope, for I know that there will be more who will take the place of those generations now gone, and for many, many years to come they will gather as well to enjoy Easter dinner with the family.

Take time this weekend to look at your own family and remember those who used to sit at your table. And while you are at it, take time to express to those still at your table, just how much they mean to you.

See you next week…Remember, we’re all in this together.