I had every intention of posting a picture today of the finished Christmas tree. That would require a finished tree. It's a very good thing the Kids aren't coming up to celebrate our Christmas until January, and maybe I should try to talk them into waiting until July. I don't know why this is turning into the project from hell. Right now, I can't decide whether this is a learning experience that will speed up the construction of the tree for downstairs or perhaps I should just seal off the downstairs and forget that whole thing. Whatever made me think that downsizing the tree would ease the stress of the holidays in the first place? It must be the same "whatever" that made me feel I must cram every ornament and decoration that was on the big tree onto this smaller tree. All I know is that every "do" is needing a "re-do." To be continued....
Some time back, Kathy V. commented that the farming gene sometimes skips a generation. My dad was a sharecropper's son, and his sole involvement with the land after leaving Texas was to cut the grass, full stop. My mother always had a large, beautiful rose garden, and she enjoyed helping me later with my vegetable gardens, but she certainly was not an "animal person" and really didn't care for even dogs or cats.
Reflecting in the barn yesterday, I started remembering stories my mother had told about her childhood; spending summers at the farms of uncles and aunts in Chenoa, Illinois, and Sheboygan, Wisconsin. She told of the women cooking all morning for the threshing crews; how the tables would groan with food for those hard-working men, and how the men would lie on the grass with a handkerchief over their face for a short nap before heading back to the fields. The midday meal was called "dinner," and the evening meal was "supper." (When did that change to lunch and dinner?) She told of riding the big draft horses on Sunday when the horses weren't at work pulling the harvesting equipment, and sitting on a burlap sack because no saddle would fit. Mother always laughed when she said the horse, as she was riding down a country lane, would turn up every long drive along the way, paying no attention to its rider, and she got to know the few neighbors very well. When I was five, Mother and I took a train from California to visit her cousin Clayton on his farm in Illinois. I was in heaven. Clayton had chickens and pigs and, to my child's eyes, the most enormous red cows I'd ever seen. I spent every waking moment following Clayton as he tended his farm, and will never forget standing in his vegetable garden as he'd take out his pocket knife and peel a crisp turnip fresh from the ground, or my first taste of a sun-warmed tomato. Another cousin, Elmer, had just been discharged from the marines after VE Day in World War II, and joined the reunion. (I have to admit to locking the men at one time or another in the two-hole outhouse. To a five-year-old, that was pretty funny.)
Perhaps it's true that I inherited that gene. I know for sure that I'm where I'm supposed to be.