A Dame, Her Book, and A Campfire

I realize in this holiday weekend that with schools soon letting out in the next week or so, that many summer reading programs are going to be staring up at local libraries.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have my kid with their nose in a book then pressed against a electronic screen with their eyes glued to a video game or movie.

Ever since my children have been old enough to read we’ve swapped reading time for video time. Every minute reading = a minute of electronics. Needless to say Boy has really taken off on reading and even though he takes his video time I find he balances the two best of our three kiddos.

There is so much we can learn from reading. I once read that there are so many books available to us that even if we sat and read all day long we would never even be able to read a fourth of the books in the world in our life time. Wow!

I find myself taking books with me when we travel, on camping trips, and especially in the evenings we turn off the television and curl up to read.

My TBR (to be read) has been stacking up on me lately. One of my dear friends’ new book Surviving Jamaica is up for Pre-Order. I encourage you to check it out. It’s a Christian YA comedy that you’ll enjoy.

While you are reading this, I am lounging somewhere near a tree or by a stream enjoying nature with my family on our traditional Memorial Day camping trip. Hopefully we won’t be running into any bears, or if we do I hope they like books or roasted hot dogs over the campfire. I don’t think there are any marshmallows left to share.

Susan Lower

Where do you most often find yourself relaxing with a good book?

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Going Home Again

Yesterday, I drove past the old homestead.

The old homestead before Amish moved in

I hadn’t taken a drive in that part of the woods in years. It was strange how familiar everything was, yet not the same.

The old red abandon house was still at the Y of the road. It was empty when I was a kid. And as I drove down the hill I could see the old homestead. I remember pedaling my bike up that huge hill so I could race down it and up the lane when I was in elementary school.

As I came to the curve, I slowed. There, where the old bus shanny used to sit, now a bake sale sign was tipped over in the grass. The old farm house is there, but now a workshop/house has been built in front of it. As I took in the sight of it, an Amish gentleman raised his hand from pounding in a fence post and waved.

It was if he knew me and yet we are strangers.

If only he knew that the field he was now fencing was once a hay field. That the fields beyond red metal barn had over a hundred head of dairy cattle grazing on it’s lush grass. That the far window near the chimney stack on that old house was my window. The same window where I’d stare out across the back fields and dream of what I’d be when I grew up. Never once thinking I’d ever leave the farm, but become a part of it.

Those same back fields that I ran across barefoot when I was little, and played on the little island of land where the stream parted before the galvanized pipe that ran under the road to the neighbors field. There I played for hours on end with an imagination as big as the sky.

I drove across the one lane bridge and past another farm. The tractor was running and the TMR mixer was still hooked behind it. The Amish haven’t gotten hold of that farm yet, and it made me smile.

It’s been over twenty years since we lived on that farm, I’m still grateful for the memories it brings me every time I go down memory lane.

Farming isn’t for everyone. It’s a hard life. It’s a simple life with rewards and joys that can’t be explained.

I think of my nephews and nieces and the blessing they now have of being raised on the farm. While it isn’t the same homestead that I was raised on, the memories I am sure will be just as rich.

Coming home again, helping on the farm, seeing my kids discover new things and enjoy the freedom of the restrictions that sometimes can bear down on a kid in the city, has been priceless.

When we are young, we can’t wait to grow up. We can’t wait to leave home.

But take it from this farm girl, coming home again is a special thing.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t come home again.

They say a tree grows strongest when it has solid roots beneath it. Think of your family as roots, without them, it’s hard to survive on your own.

Where do your roots lie?