Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Across the Yard

The sight was familiar. We saw it several times a day. In a sense, it told us the time of day. In another way, it was a sign that all was well on the farm.

Dad crossing the yard from the barn to the house.

I have a couple of pictures of Dad making that daily walk. He sometimes took the scraps from a meal across the yard to toss over the fence to the cats, sheep and dog. I'm sure that a few unwanted critters nibbled on those scraps as well. He walked across the grass from his milk truck or coming in from the field for lunch. Sometimes he would stop at the house on the way to the grain elevator or when he was headed to Gene's or Grandad's. In the evening he would come in from a long day in the fields. Dad walked across the yard.

But that sight was not always reassuring. When Dad moved quickly across the yard, we knew that there was trouble. The worse was when he was yelling to the house on his way in. Mom seemed to always be tuned in for Dad. She would come from out of no where to meet him on his way in. No, sometimes the trips across the yard spelled trouble.

Farmers don't take days off. They work hard from dawn into the night. They see to their animals. They are vets, morticians, pediatricians. They see to their equipment. They are welders, mechanics. They are builders constructing pens, putting up fence rows, maybe even building bird houses. They are husbands and fathers working hard to provide in an often difficult life controlled by Mother Nature.

The days started and ended with Dad walking across the yard. I watched for him when I was a toddler, walked with him when I was a little kid, saw him walk across with his grandchildren and cherished those final times I visited the farm watching my Dad.

Across the yard the memories stir.

No comments: