Harvest Traditions and Family Heritage In Juniper Canyon

The smell of the wheat is in the air tonight…that smell speaks to my heart and soul:) It is a smell you never forget…much like a cattle truck pulling up to the barn or corrals to load out cattle or deliver cattle…I can hear the trucks as I write…familiar sounds…smells…memories that bring comfort as…

Times past speak softly to me of heritage and family…traditions and hard work.

My heart can hear the sounds of my families history…the sounds of the horses pulling the combine…with the men it took to run it…dry dusty hot days for man and animal alike.

Before the farmer had a truck to haul the wheat into the elevator he had men who would sew the sacks of wheat shut…can you imagine harvesting thousands of acres and having to put the kernels into gunny sacks and then sew them shut…then you loaded your wagon and went to the elevator to unload the sacks of wheat…often driving your team of horses with the wagon several miles to reach the elevator.

My Dad remembered having to take the wagon loaded with sacks of wheat to Vansycle Elevator which is 8 miles away…16 miles round trip…he said it would take the day to take one wagon and the horses or mules would be exhausted when you reached home…all of Grandpa’s horses and mules were very well cared for and loved…they had to do their job but they were cared for. Dad used to come here to the barn (our barn is older than our house) and ride some of the work horses bareback…he spoke often of the various ones he remembered…Grandpa kept around 80 head.

Today we have semi trucks with double trailers hauling wheat out of Juniper Canyon…night and day.

Heading on down the road to the Columbia River…

Where the kernels of Juniper Wheat are loaded onto a barge…and they begin the journey to feed the world:)

Self leveling combines…hillside machines…can you see how the combine is leaning a bit…it is leveling itself.

This photo is better so that you can see how the combine keeps itself level rather than leaning…I heard that most farmers do not buy the combines with the automatic levelers anymore due to the price…

Wild Bill is showing how the leveler works as he is touching the spout. I could not imagine not having the machine level as we have some really steep hillsides!

Here is an older picture of the land when we farmed it…sorry this is a scanned image before digital…the house complex is our home and the green fields are the wheat crop of that year…see the road over in the dirt?

That is WB’s air strip for his plane…looks cool sitting in the wheat…actually it is on the strip.

Tucker is hiding in the grass…she follows me everywhere keeping an eye on me:)

Soon farm families will once again put in long days to bring the wheat crop in…as has been done for over a 150 years.

150 years of country strong…we dig deep when it comes to toughing it out.

And if the going gets tough…the tough get tougher:)

No matter how hard!

Harvest is a time of hard-working families working together for the same reason…the goal to get the crop in…harvest is like gathering cattle with my Dad in the mountains…we shared our work effort together to round-up the cows and that is what makes memories and heritage!

It is the working together and sacrificing…and harvest time is a sacrifice…husbands leave the house before sun up and come home when it is dark…often putting in 18 plus hour days in the heat of harvest.

I grew up driving wheat truck through my high school years with my other cousins…then after WB and I married, my Mom taught me (no this picture is not of Mom and me…more like my Grandma and Great Grandmother) the tradition of cooking a large lunch for our men and the crew. While it was a lot of work to cook a huge meal by 1:00 each day it was my family…I came to enjoy hearing about what had happened in the field and then all the joking and funny times too…I felt very much part of the harvest crew and was always sad when they finished the fields around our ranch moving on to the fields around my Aunt and Uncles homes.

Food was in abundance when the crew came in for their hour lunch break…we had home cooked meals with meat, potatoes, gravy, salad, vegetables and desert…and home made ice tea…no not sun tea or tea made by a tea maker…real deal tea!

Here is the recipe:

Get a small sauce pan and fill with cold water…buy Lipton Black Tea…loose leaves….put 2-3 heaping tablespoons in the pan and boil…then cool it and strain out the leaves…dump the tea water into a gallon jug and fill with ice-cold water and ice and you have real ice tea…all the good caffeine and antioxidents…and so refreshing!

Harvest skies and harvest heritage…have a good night wherever you are! HRC has her eye on the land…will post new pictures as soon as harvest begins….stay tuned…I keep hearing the song Country Strong going through my head…in fact I am going to go listen to it now!

Country Strong

I know you see me, like some wide-eyed dreamer
That just rolled in, off a dusty Midwest bus
Yeah on the outside, Hallowed fragile
But on the inside something you can’t crush

I’m Country Strong, hard to break
Like the ground, I grew upon
You may fool me, and I’ll fall 
But I won’t stay down long 
‘cause I’m Country Strong

I have weathered, colder winters
And longer summers, without a drop of rain 
Push me in a corner and I’ll come out fightin’
I may lose but I’ll always keep my face

‘Cause I’m Country Strong, hard to break
Like the ground, I grew upon,
You may fool me, and I’ll fall 
But I won’t stay down long, 
‘cause I’m Country Strong

77 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Montemac
    Jul 26, 2016 @ 05:36:36

    Zane Grey, in his 1919 novel, The Desert of Wheat, speaks of a reaper being drawn by 24 horses. I found your site with the photo of a reaper being drawn by 20 horses.
    Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Aug 02, 2016 @ 02:57:01

      Thank you for stopping by my blog:) I’m glad that you enjoyed this post! Often when I walk out into our fields, I can close my eyes and almost hear the voices of long ago working the ground with teams of horses whether planting or harvesting. Our land here has been in our family over a 100 years now, my Norwegian Grandfather homesteaded it when he came to America as a young man. His first trip over, he was 13 years old and by himself…can you imagine!

      Like

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  2. sagescenery
    Aug 25, 2013 @ 14:07:55

    Ooops! Sorry, my last comment was meant for seasonsgirl!! Sent it off too quickly!!

    Like

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  3. sagescenery
    Aug 23, 2013 @ 21:07:27

    Yes, you are truly blessed! I see God’s Hand in all your photos of your land and your life! God Bless you and your family…I loved all your “now and then” photos and explanations! Great post!

    Like

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Aug 24, 2013 @ 12:04:32

      Thank you so much:) We are deep in our faith and we love the Lord. God got us through some of the hard times in life that we have experienced with His love and knowing He was there. When I went through BC the day of my biopsy before we left for the procedure, my daily reading in my bible was Psalm: 30:2-3. When I read that I knew that no matter what I was going to be ok and God covered me:) Wishing yo a beautiful weekend! God Bless you too:)

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      • sagescenery
        Aug 24, 2013 @ 17:32:19

        Amen!! That’s why I love my family so much…we’re a prayin’ family! Grew up together in church…my uncle was our pastor…today I have cousins preaching all over…believing for salvation and healing!! And we all pray for each other!

        That’s a great scripture to hold on to, for sure. Have you read “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young? August 20th’s devotional starts out with I AM A GOD WHO HEALS. Amen! And Amen!!

        Like

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Aug 25, 2013 @ 10:55:51

        Amen Amen I agree:) I am reading Jesus CEO by Sarah Young right now….I like her thoughts and challenges to us. Wishing yo a blessed and peaceful sunny Sunday:)

        Like

      • sagescenery
        Aug 25, 2013 @ 14:01:56

        Great! My Sunday was blessed and peaceful, but after a sunny afternoon, it’s rainy, thundering, and lightning right now! Alas, our rainy season in FL is lasting a little too long for everyone here! Ha! God Bless!!

        Like

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Aug 25, 2013 @ 19:12:11

        We are having a thunder and lightening storm too…and a little bit of rain….send your rain this way as we need it.We had a blessed Sunday too:) Did you ever read the book God Has The Night Shift? It is so true..praying you will have a good night and sleep well and remember God has the night shift:)

        Like

      • sagescenery
        Aug 26, 2013 @ 09:11:24

        You can have all our rain! Ha! We love sunny days around here!! Ha!

        No, I haven’t read that book…I’ll download it on my Kindle…sounds great!! God Bless!!

        Like

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Aug 26, 2013 @ 13:16:00

        🙂

        Like

      • sagescenery
        Aug 25, 2013 @ 14:05:27

        P. S. Sending you this link to Holley Gerth’s blog post today:
        http://holleygerth.com/when-god-changes-your-plans-an-infertility-update/
        …and my comment to her:
        Holley,
        I read this post this morning as we were getting ready to celebrate my son’s 23rd Birthday…We had done the 10-year “infertility roller-coaster” years ago to have him…I had him when I was 41…He’s the light of our lives…and our gift from God!
        There was a point where we came to the same moment you and your husband came to…we we were only going to be able to afford one more round of in-vitro…and my very blunt Mom said to me, “Maybe it’s not God’s will for you to have a child!”
        That shocked me…and I stopped in my tracks thinking about it!! Then, I knew I believed that it WAS God’s will for me to have a child!
        We had a miscarriage before my son, lost the other two embryos that were transferred with him, and had a miscarriage after him!!
        Though I wanted all those babies we lost, I know I’ll see them in Heave! Now I direct a Drama Team at church, and I’m “Drama Mama” to so many kids, teens, and young adults!! God is so good!!
        We each need to ask God the hard questions as you did…and His answers are the BEST for our lives! May God richly bless you always!!

        Like

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Aug 25, 2013 @ 19:21:14

        Like you I am a Mama to many of God’s children and I count that a huge blessing. All shapes and sizes but all so very special. My heart goes out to you and to Holly for having to go through so much, I believe that God honored your faith for your baby and here he is 23 years later:) I will believe the same for Holly that God has heard her heart and He will figure this out as He always does if we can just let go and trust Him…God is such an awesome and Holly God…nothing is too difficult for Him:)

        Like

      • sagescenery
        Aug 26, 2013 @ 09:20:02

        You’re right-on about the “letting go and trusting” part!! After our first miscarriage, I immersed myself in my teaching career, until I felt I could “let go & let God” work the miracle!! So many years of trying to make it happen by ourselves….

        Funny, also, that in all those years, I told God I didn’t want a boy,,,had two brothers (“been there, done that!)…I wanted a girl!! When I knew I was having a boy,..I finally felt peace from God! He sent joy into my life with my son!!

        Like

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Aug 26, 2013 @ 13:24:33

        My parents went through this as I came along later…and I’m an only child. From what Mom shared with me it was a very difficult time for them and finally she carried a little boy until 7 months, and began to hemorrhage in the night one hot August night…with gravel roads back in the late 1940’s out here it took time to get her to the hospital. my brother lived three days as his lungs were not strong enough…Mom almost died from blood loss and thankfully God stepped in and saved her life. I came along four years later when Mom was 35 and Dad was 39. My heart goes out to you as I felt how tough it was for my folks…sometimes being an only you pick up stuff easier in regards to emotions and feelings…perceptions and gut feelings or discernment. Sending you a big hug from God:) and me too!

        Like

      • sagescenery
        Aug 26, 2013 @ 15:26:07

        I’m sure you were very loved and wanted, since they went through such heartache before you were born…I know I appreciate every moment with our son because of all we went through!! God gives us opportunities in life to appreciate the important things and people He gives us! I’m going to take every opportunity to do just that!! Amen!

        Like

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Aug 26, 2013 @ 15:43:09

        Yes and I miss them both so very much….but I know I will see them again one day too. Still I miss the times of talking with Mom over a cup of coffee or riding horseback with Dad moving cows….they were awesome parents and they loved me lots, I was lucky and very blessed:)

        Like

      • sagescenery
        Aug 27, 2013 @ 03:10:56

        Good relationships are such gifts from God! Memories are special and should be cherished! Amen!

        My cousins who I grew up around, don’t live close by…we call & e-mail all the time, but I, too, would love to sit, have a cup of coffee, and chat about the goodness of the Lord!!

        Like

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Aug 27, 2013 @ 03:53:30

        Anymore family seems to be so spread out as when I grew up, family was closer and we all saw each other on birthdays and holidays.Now my cousins are all over and I hardly ever see any of them. I’m glad I have good memories of those years to cherish of a simpler time in life:)

        Like

      • sagescenery
        Aug 27, 2013 @ 17:47:13

        So true, we have family everywhere, too! We used to have family reunions each year in NJ, when my son was young, but now we can’t seem to find a place central enough for everyone to get there easily!

        Like

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Aug 27, 2013 @ 22:32:21

        I think that life and time has sped up…it seems that everyone is busy with their lives…and yes it is hard to find a central place for all the family to meet and have a reunion. I am so happy that your son got to participate in the reunions as he will carry the family memories forever in his heart and will share them with his children as well.I miss being part of my extended family…I miss the good family memories that I yet carry in my heart. I am blessed that I was able to be the right age to take it all in…and to appreciate my family and each and every person…I miss that.

        Like

      • sagescenery
        Aug 28, 2013 @ 09:08:43

        We’re in the same situation here in FL…I don’t get to see our family in NJ much, because we’re retired and airfare being what it is..we usually vacation in FL, rather than fly somewhere…

        I’m used to big family get-togethers also…and here, since my Mom went to be with Jesus, 2 years ago… it’s usually the 3 of us…

        But, God has given us great church families and friends, and blessed us to reach out with the Gospel in such fun ways with our Drama Team, Kids Church, etc., that we look at that as our family now!!

        Perhaps my son will have a big family, or inherit one from whoever he marries!! I’ve been praying since before he was born…for God’s perfect will! Amen!!

        Like

      • sagescenery
        Sep 01, 2013 @ 19:24:47

        It’s hot here,too!! After church, I decided to go to the park by the river and take photos…and I was dripping with sweat by the time I was done!! Well worth it, though! Ha!

        My Mom passed away two years ago, and one month later, I heard her call my name one morning…in a young beautiful voice, not her 90 year-old voice, so I knew she was well, and with Jesus!!

        My family’s all saved, so I don’t question where they’re going…that gives me such peace…and it’s so encouraging to talk to them and receive their spiritual guidance!!

        Whenever we go through stuff…God finds a way to use it to help others in His Kingdom…glad you were able to help others in your grief class!! God Bless!

        Like

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Sep 02, 2013 @ 13:31:32

        ((((Hugs)))) I could not fathom how I would feel if I did not know my parents were saved….I am so thankful to God for giving me the blessing of knowing that they are for sure with Him. Yes I do believe we will be young again…and very blessed:)

        Like

      • sagescenery
        Sep 02, 2013 @ 14:08:10

        Ahhh…Our Hope of Glory!

        Just as important to me…when I came back to the Lord, more than 20 years ago now…after wandering around under my own power for a period of time…is the immense peace that knowing Jesus brings into our hearts, minds, and lives! I can’t live without it!

        Joy on earth…Hope of Heaven…it doesn’t get better than that!! Amen!

        Like

  4. reocochran
    Aug 04, 2013 @ 17:41:18

    I was lucky to have a babysitter who lived on a farm, enjoyed the way we gave baby bottles to the goats and baby lambs. I liked the number of kitties in the barn and playing hide and seek in the fields and yard, too. You awaken memories and you have a wonderful post with lovely photos, too. Thanks again for this gift you give your readers.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Aug 04, 2013 @ 21:39:02

      🙂 My heart smiles in bringing back good memories to you and also to any other blogger who checks in and reads…I strive to write in a way to give life to the reader…and they will also find a good memory to hopefully remember, like you have:)

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  5. philosophermouseofthehedge
    Jul 12, 2012 @ 17:45:24

    Now that’s how you make tea – we had one pan that was only used for tea when I was growing up. The big meal was at noon, dinner. Supper, the lighter meal was at night. For my grandfather, mules worked the fields, horses pulled the surrey to church and town. He always had a fine pair of horses, but the mules were the smart ones according to him.
    On the land, you can hear all those who came before
    Love your posts

    Like

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 12, 2012 @ 23:46:54

      Yes we had one put too and I love tea made that way…so pure and good:) YOur grandfather was a wise man….and yes if we listen we can hear the land and the history…sounds weird but when I pick up a handful of soil, it touches my heart as I can feel the love of my family and those that went before me to leave me the legacy and the history of the lives that fought and worked hard to bless their future generations with all they had…because they loved us and wanted us to remember them….and to love the land:)

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  6. rlcarson
    Jul 11, 2012 @ 21:15:51

    Hullo,
    I have just awarded you the Sunshine Blog award! Congratulations!! For info on what to do, visit my site: http://randpphotoalbums.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/sunshine-award/
    Renee.

    Like

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  7. The View Out Here
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 17:37:30

    Wow…that would test ya wouldn’t it? I always hear…”Steer the tractor with the hill (down hill) if you get into trouble.” Luckily, I’ve not had to rely on those teachings… yet. Love the idea of a bean bag chair. The combine here has a “buddy seat” but I bet the bean bag chair is far more comfortable!
    ~d.
    p.s. Lovely pic’s as always!

    Like

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  8. The View Out Here
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 09:42:16

    In all the years I lived out that way I never knew those things were self-leveling! Awesome. Wish the hay cutters were!!
    Nother great post!
    ~d.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 10, 2012 @ 12:52:24

      Yeah it is amazing to see them level themselves and we you ride in one it does it automatically…unless it breaks and I have seen that happen a few times..when I rode with Wild Bill he had a bean bag chair cushion on the floor so that I sat on that with my back to the big glass in front….very comfy except when I saw the back wheels of the combine come off the ground going down a very steep hill! It happens a lot and the operator uses the header to keep from having a big wreck. I can not imagine not having one without a leveler! The times I saw one break all of a sudden lean hard, and you hope the bulker is not too full! If it was a steep hill sometimes we had to get the cat tractor and pull them up…never saw one roll or tumble…the hubby had one break on him here in one of our fields and luckily he was quick acting and gradually turned the machine to just go down hill.

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  9. Tuxedo Sophisticated Cat
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 15:20:57

    What a wonderful story and photos. You have a unique history. I love hearing about it.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 15:51:22

      Thank you:) I feel very blessed to live here. Growing up here I had the best of both worlds with working the cattle with my Dad and also being able to work with my Uncles during harvest

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  10. onespoiledcat
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 13:32:50

    What a fabulous post! I felt like I was living through all those experiences – the photos accompanying the “story” were so perfect…..it’s not an easy life but it’s rewarding I know. It must be nice to have such grand memories and history! Thanks for sharing with us…..it’s a REAL joy!

    Pam (and Sam)

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  11. Heather @ SugarDish(Me)
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 11:26:09

    That plate looks like Chad’s lunch. I would really like him to share his metabolism. I always love the old photos you incorporate here. Your home and story has such a sense of history. It’s really beautiful.
    I never understood the need for a tea maker. And I think sun tea is slightly dangerous. Before beach diet mania took over my kitchen, home brewed sweet tea, slow-steeped on the stove, with plenty of sugar added to the warm liquid before pouring it over a big glass of ice was a staple in my kitchen. Love it.

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  12. David Pasillas
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 09:43:23

    A few of those pics were really great. I like the fields and rolling hills.

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  13. speeddemon2
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 07:51:14

    I remember the first time I was in the Columbia River Valley. I was riding a Harley Softail from Louisville, KY to the Washington Coast following Lewis and Clark’s journey. This was in late July and I still remember how awed I was by the fields of wheat rolling on mile after mile. Thanks for this post which allowed me to return there for a few moments to recall the beauty of the scene and my friends who were with me that day.

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  14. jesusknowsmyname
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 07:12:36

    My mother would tell stories of when the threshers would come through, the huge meals the women would cook for the field hands, how her brother would take water out to the horses, mules and men. Those people worked so hard, and you could see the years reflected in the lines on their faces and their strong hands.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 09:50:34

      I would have loved seeing what it was like to farm the land a 100 years ago…when I drove wheat truck it was much different than what it is today…we had pull combines then…four of them and four Cat tractors that pulled the heavy machines…at the time we also had two machines that were what you see today only ours did not have cabs on them or A/C. I did not have a CB radio let alone a radio at all…and I did not have A/C either. It took two months to harvest our land where as today it takes 3 to 4 weeks…harvest has changed allot with equipment but it is still the coming together for farm families to get the job done.

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      • jesusknowsmyname
        Jul 10, 2012 @ 13:42:51

        And even yet today, many farm families still do not have enclosed AC tractor cabs. It was just about 15 years ago my husband was using his Dad’s old Farmall to pull a plow, hayrake, etc. He sat on a hard metal seat and the steering wheel was hard metal too.

        Like

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Jul 10, 2012 @ 14:41:23

        That is doing it the hard way and how we all used to farm…I remember my uncles and Dad plowing on the Caterpillar tractors with no cab…all you could see was the whites of their eyes when they came in from the field…we finally had one Caterpillar tractor with air when I was in high school and my younger cousin was in it pulling one of the old pull combines…every time I would swing up to get a load of wheat in my truck I would look over at him and he would smirk that I was roasting in the heat while he stayed cool in the tractor…about half way through harvest that year on one of my loads I looked over at him again and he had both cab doors wide open…the air had quit and now he was hotter than me due to the cab! It was truly funny:)

        Like

  15. campfireshadows
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 07:05:44

    No one could ever doubt that you, your man and all the rest of the folk who work the land or husband the stock are country strong. Up until my generation, my family had worked the land on ranches and farms in Blaine county and others in Idaho. I shake my head in wonder when I hear their stories of what life was like for them back then.

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 09, 2012 @ 09:45:08

      Thank you for your heart felt words…every person who works the land whether it be wheat farming or raising cattle….lives a life filled with hard work. I was very blessed to grow up in both areas…we pretty much worked 24/7 as there was always something to do:) If WB said to me today that he wanted to get into raising cattle again I would be thrilled even though I know winters stink and hours are long…still the lifestyle is a blessed one:) I was thinking about my Grandpa and his brothers working the land here…lots of sage to deal with and can not imagine how hard it was to convert the ground to farm ground with a one man plow and how long it took…wowsie:)

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      • campfireshadows
        Jul 09, 2012 @ 10:26:49

        Sometimes I look at old farmsteads and stare in wonder. Just how much blood , sweat and tears did it take to clear that land and all done by hand!
        We truly have a wonderful history of our ancestors and their struggle to tame the land we now take for granted. Oh what short memories we have…what a shame that today we call anybody for almost any reason, a hero. No, I will point to those who settled the land as our true hero’s. You my friend and your family are part of that.

        Like

      • Hot Rod Cowgirl
        Jul 09, 2012 @ 13:42:38

        Thank you so much and I agree when I think back what this land here looked like before it was cleared…and the work mt Grandfather had to do to clear it…makes me feel very proud of him and his integrity and hard work…he gave his future family a legacy that was and is an incredible gift and blessing. I did not get to meet my Grandfather but I have always felt that I know him…living in the house he built for his Mother and farming the same soil that he farmed…I feel God blessed:) Our ancestors for sure are our heros!

        Like

      • campfireshadows
        Jul 09, 2012 @ 16:17:37

        🙂

        Like

  16. bentehaarstad
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 06:56:03

    Nice post about the golden times of harvesting (and some hard work).

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  17. Charming Trinity
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 04:23:35

    Beautiful, beautiful photos!

    I would frame the first one….

    Like

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  18. ameliaclaire92
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 04:15:29

    Love love love the photos. 🙂

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  19. Solveig
    Jul 09, 2012 @ 01:43:23

    I love the photos!

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  20. Where God Takes Me
    Jul 08, 2012 @ 19:33:19

    What a wonderful life of tradition, family and community!

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    • Hot Rod Cowgirl
      Jul 08, 2012 @ 20:38:03

      It has been a good life…I am very traditional, family and community…after loosing both my parents in the late 90’s God spoke to me about choosing where I live as this is where He wants me to be…made perfect sense to me…at the time I had a job in town 20 miles from the ranch and I was not involved out here where I belonged…the community relationships and family heritage relationships were the important ones…ever since then I have tried to connect more and reach out more out here in farm country…go figure:) Truly I am very blessed by God here and He has been very good to me.

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