One of the most underrated resources I have, as both a parent and as a farmer, is the assistance of family. In particular, as I try to accomplish a fraction of the items on my unending to-do list, …
One of the most underrated resources I have, as both a parent and as a farmer, is the assistance of family. In particular, as I try to accomplish a fraction of the items on my unending to-do list, any time I get a little help juggling my two-year-old, that is more valuable than gold.
I’m very fortunate that my parents and grandparents. as well as those of my wife, are always happy to spend time with my son. I’m also fortunate that many of them have some kind of background in agriculture. With everything that has been going on in the past few weeks I felt it was important to give a little credit where credit was due.
In addition to selling our homestead and opening the farm in the past few weeks, there’s been no shortage of other chores and commitments. My grandfather and I recently participated in the very first barbershop concert since the national shutdown, at the Ladore retreat and conference center in Waymart, PA. It was a successful show and an honor to sing for a number of veterans, for whom the show was sponsored.
With the Wayne County Fair also in full swing though, my wife was unable to attend and watch our son too. Grandma came in for the win and held his attention for the duration of the concert. My grandfather and I performed as though for my son’s entertainment, seeing his occasional smile and expressions of recognition and glee as we sang to the crowd.
Just days later, my grandfather assisted me with picking up peaches for our farm stand. Working a full-time job, I was unable to get away to do so myself and in his typical humble fashion he was happy to help.
My grandfather is a community man, if there ever was one. My mom affectionately calls him Mr. Networker. He has always been the kind of guy to immerse himself in a conversation with you and I’d be shocked if he ever shied from an opportunity to socialize. Yet another day in the past week he accompanied me down to Lancaster where I buy vegetables to supplement our farm stand. Mr. Networker used his talents as I was purchasing produce to find and secure a forklift driver to help load everything on the trailer. As we were stacking boxes from the pallet to the vehicle, in the hot weather, a young fella next to us stopped his own loading to come and assist my grandfather.
It’s not all that often I see folks I don’t know stop to help each other like that. The way out here though, that’s exactly the kind of thing expected of a young man. I know my grandfather was thankful for the help, and I was all the more so.
It’s not that I take family for granted, I surely don’t, but it’s weeks like this, when you’re faced with back-to-back tasks, when you wonder how you would have ever gotten half of the things done without help. My family often mentions how hard-working I am, but if this week is any indicator, it’s not for lack of a good example.
They say always moving keeps you young, and my grandparents are perfect poster children for that idea. I know I’ll never stop being busy in my lifetime, but I hope as I get older I will be able to give some of that hustle and bustle to my grandchildren as they start their own futures, either as farmers like me or in whatever venture they end up pursuing.
The way out here, family is a valuable resource. What’s more, they bring a little enjoyment to even arduous tasks with little more than their company and a like-minded work ethic to validate the effort. A special thanks this week to my grandparents, Clyde and Debbie Krieder, for all they do to support all my efforts to live the way out here.