I've found that music is extremely inspirational for me - it's one of those things that can get me through a long day or a tough time, and often expresses my feelings about almost everything. However, unlike my brother, I'm not musically gifted, so I'm just an avid listener. So bear with me once again as I share with you a song that I heard on the radio the other day that has always been one of my favorites. Daddy, this one is for you.
I remember the old flatbed Ford, painted blue, rusty, faded and dirty. It had scratchy, woven "Indian Blanket" seat covers that got the perfect kind of warm in the sunlight and a worn plastic steering wheel that always seemed to know which way to turn. Sometimes when I'm really sad, or homesick, or even upset, I just think about that old pickup and the view of the sandhills out of it's bug-gut splattered and cracked windshield. I remember how proud I felt to be in charge of that wheel. I remember the smell of alfalfa and fresh morning air. That's a memory that will stick with me for a long time, one I lean on and learned from.
Some of you may remember my letter to the President in regards to the child labor law revisions. Fortunately, the efforts of agriculturists as a whole have raised enough of a stink, shall we say, that the revisions have been repealed. I am extremely thankful for this. I've made the point numerous times that our kids are the apprentices of our industry. Without them, how will we feed the world? I have also made the point that although working with equipment at a young age is a dangerous task, it teaches responsibility (and statistics show that more kids get in random car accidents in one day that have been killed using farm equipment in ten years.)My use of farm equipment as a kid gave me confidence and the respect of my elders. I was dependable and accountable even when I was knee-high to a grasshopper and that has stayed with me into my young adulthood.
Hard work is taught in my family, but I believe it is also mostly inherited. It's an agriculture thing. They'll work if you let them. Kids are allowed to get dirty at my house.
Maybe if the government would let them learn to work - they wouldn't end up on wellfare. (No offense meant, clearly there are people that need it, but there are also a lot of people that shouldn't need it.)
Look at this little cutie! She's happy as anything to be out running around with the big kids and getting to help out! I remember I always was!
Proud to see some serious girl power here, along with an accelerated passing of knowledge to the next generation. It is a right of passage as a sandhills woman to know how to roll out an epic pie crust and wrastle a calf!
Again - please don't take our children and our way of life away from us. It only hurts everyone. Let's be thankful for the repeals and continue to advocate for our industry. People have the right to know where their food comes from, and they need to hear it from the people that it comes from!
Speak loud and speak proud. And teach your kids to drive!!
PS: Thanks to my Mom and my cousin Taryn for the pictures.