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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."



With football season underway, school back in session and a snap of weather that reminds one how wonderful it is to sleep in on a Saturday morning it got me to thinking back to growing up on the farm and the coming of Fall. It is somewhat strange that I don’t really remember any real big traditions that centered around the fall season. I do know we tended to eat a lot of squash, which was about the only thing left of the garden produce.

I do remember that we did look forward to those cooler nights when the pile of twigs and branches that we spent the entire summer picking up and making a giant pile, would be set ablaze and as each of us held a stick that was whittled at one end with a hot dog stuck on it, cooking them as the fire warmed our faces. Those times were few and far between especially when my brothers started to get older and learned how to start things on fire. They tended to burn anything in sight if they could get away with it, but those special wiener roasts were one thing I won’t long forget.

Perhaps the only other thing we looked forward to was the beginning of harvest. It symbolized the end of our year, and was one of the few times when we boys could get away with staying up late. We would wait wondering what day the combine would start eating the green brown rows of stalks. Of course, we were most excited by the fact that Dad would let us ride in the wagon as he picked ear corn. Now before you get all “How dare your Dad do that…didn’t he know how unsafe that was?” remember we had grandparents that drove Plymouth Fury’s that we kids spent hours and hours in standing up on the back hump leaning over the back of the front seat as Grandma would barrel down the highway at speeds that would have made most NASCAR drivers blush. Yeah we survived riding in the Furys and we survived dodging ear corn coming out of the picker.

I don’t think it ever failed to happen that harvest always miraculously started on a Tuesday it seemed. We boys would head off to school none the wiser and come home to half the field across the road picked clean and knowing there would be three or four more days of school that week, we agonized knowing how much we would be missing. Oddly enough we never rode much in the combine, the place usually reserved for the dog, which I think mostly was because there wasn’t much room for one person in the cab let alone a young man who was extra wiggly and just wanted something to eat. Harvest although a busy time of the year seemed to be one we enjoyed the most, although looking back now I wished I would have paid a little closer attention to what was going on, because those memories grow more dim every year and as the years separate me from the farm it is hard to get those memories back again.

So when the harvest starts and you sit on the edge of your bed looking out the window and see the lights of a combine in the distance I hope maybe you will think of a young farm boy watching his Dad late at night after he should have been long asleep, and wishing he was old enough to help bring the harvest in. See you next week….remember, we’re all in this together.