The most wonderful WEATHER time of the year in North Dakota (fall - autumn) has since passed us by and left a large, lengthy space in the calendar for winter… and with the arrival of winter comes the holiday season for us on the high plains. This will be our first Christmas without a man who LOVED this time of the year. He loved fall and winter and the daily activities that came with it. He LOVED celebrating the birth of Christ. He LOVED being with his large family this time of year.
And so I am conflicted. I miss him so incredibly much. As I miss him, I simultaneously watch our 5 year old son in all of his wonder and excitement for the season. It creates an internal tug-o-war. Fall back into the past and hang tight to the memories or be present and aware - open to making new, fond memories for and with that precious 5 year old. It certainly has been a balancing act that has proved more difficult than what it sounds.
And so maybe I share that with you in hopes of creating an understanding for how time can so quickly pass us by. Certainly, its not that I don't have lots to share of our goings on around here. Its simply that I haven't found the ever precious time for sharing. So consider this post a bit of a 'catch up with the seasons'…
A BOUNTIFUL HARVEST
Our hay production this year was amazing and the quality was very good. We are so very thankful to currently have on inventory three years worth of hay (which is a blessing and ALSO code for):
'HAY FOR SALE' - Quality tested. Gathered. Ready to Haul!
With that, a quick shout out to the 2013 haying crew - Uncle Einar Prestangen, Pete, Brad, Lyle, Steve and Kyle/Vawnita (we were a single unit).
In addition to growing and putting up lots of good hay this summer, we also had a tremendous garden to harvest. Brad was the driving force to get the garden in and maintained it on a daily basis. Sue, Kyle, Parker Filler and myself were the harvester. I was chief 'red sauce' maker with several assistants to back me up when my schedule didn't allow… lets face it. When tomatoes are ready, they are ready...
|Parker picking tomatoes before our first 'killing frost'.|
|Grandma Sue and Kyle picking in tomatoes in a rush to beat the frost.|
|Over 300 pounds of tomatoes which made over 24 gallons of 'red sauce'|
|Cooking down chokecherries and wild plums.|
|Making wild berry jellies and syrups.|
TO FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS
The tasks of bringing cows and hay home this fall were made much more enjoyable by the help and company of friends and neighbors. I will probably miss someone and feel terrible about it, but here goes…
Jerry Kelly, Kent Johnsrud, Perry Ecker, Brian Zingleman, Thane Hollenbeck, Nathan Brenna, Christine (who's last name I never did get into my memory), Phil and C'Dale Jory and Terry Filler.
|Several of the people I thanked above for all of their help this fall are bringing up the rear.|
|Bringing home the cows, heifer calves and bred heifers that will go to Pesek's or start to receive supplemental nutrition at home starting in mid-December.|
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS
|Well, the weather out here is frightful, but our Under Armor is warm and delightful... Let it Snow, let it snow, let it snow!|
|Jaden, Morgan and Kyle out sledding AND Christmas Tree hunting!|
|Sue and Lyle with their Badlands Cedar...|
I love the reflection that is brought about by the warm feeling of joy and love and the caring of others - friends, family and perfect strangers during the holiday season!
Here is wishing you and yours a down home CHRISTmas with the comfort of past memories and the opportunity and awareness to make new ones as well this year.