Monday, April 16, 2012

Grossly Overstated

I love NPR (National Public Radio). It is thought provoking and enlightening. It makes me laugh and makes the world closer to me.

The country was full of farmers until machinery changed the face of small farming.This morning I was listening to a program about how machines began to replace workers in the sixties. A tomato picker was developed once tomatoes could be produced that were uniform in size. The picker replaced "the picker". The conversation went on talking about how grossly overworked the field workers had been. Grossly overworked.

As I have said, we raised tobacco. It was hard, back-breaking work, but it is what we did as farm families. We worked hard. It was the way of it then.

I guess I was a little offended of the term 'grossly'. These radio people didn't live back the lane. It was a rough life that sometimes was made worse depending on the weather. However, that said, it was a wonderful life. Sometimes my sisters and I talk of the different life my mother might have wished for, but in truth, my mother was very happy woman. She loved working beside my dad. She loved the freedom of the farm. She did her work always with a song on her lips as did my dad. They loved the community that shared the same struggles and successes. The only thing gross about that life was hulling manure.

Larger machinery made life for the small farmer difficult. Either he borrowed on the farm to buy more land and machinery to keep up with the changing time or he retired. I thank God that my father was a man who retired in his own time and then lived a wonderful life of contentment with the woman he loved.

Life was good back the lane on Neff Road.

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