Thursday, October 17, 2013

Where fall comes to visit

October. Neff Road. Hayrides. Bradford Pumpkin Show. Corn in the corn crib. Sheep wearing warmer coats. The fruitroom lined with jars of vegetables and fruits. A season of preparation.

The tobacco in the barn is turning brown. Dad spends time in the barn cleaning up the tools and lawnmower used in the summer. The cow stable is clean. So are the sheep stalls. Even the chicken coop smells a bit better. Grain bins are full and the hay mow is near bursting with straw and hay bales. Fall arrives on Neff Road.

I know there are many of you who lived life much like that of the Loxley family. Life on a farm was constant activity. Our parents didn't go off to work. Every day we all worked. It is the way of life for those who live with the rich dark soil. Each season brought on the standard chores. Spring meant airing out and cleaning. Summer meant crops and hard work. Fall meant preparation. Winter was a time of relaxing...except for those who raised tobacco. The seasons of the the earth were the seasons of the farm.

Fall has always been a favorite season. It seemed that our house took on a new feeling. Dad cut wood and stacked it by the cellar door. The colder weather meant hot dogs roasting in the fireplace and meals in the basement. Mom got busy making fall pies such as, pumpkin, cream and apple. Seems we had more people drop in since farm work was winding down, and they knew Mom would have fresh pie. The youth group at church became a bigger part of our lives with hay rides and gatherings at our house. Kids played in the barn swinging on the rope, making memories they carry with them still today. Dad loved to pull the rope sending kids flying across the barn. Come to think of it, the fall season meant laughter and warmth.

I miss the farm this time of the year. I still think of the people who lived there. My thoughts turn to Doris and Victor Lavy and Margaret Stager who live at the Brethren Home. I am kept in the loop by my friend Janet Rhoades who keeps watch over Neff Road for me. I know that Fred and Joice Bernhard are watching over my granddad's farm. Geneva and Roy Yoder are loving my other grandfather's farm. The land is still loved by those I love. Our farm back the lane has children running and laughing giving new life to the old place. A child who once came to see Grandma Ruth now resides in the same house. A history that rotates much as the seasons. It is a season of preparation. Preparation for coming generations.

So as I relish the memories I have of those days on Neff Road, I know that many of you are remembering as well. We all have a Neff Road. A place where fall comes to visit.

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