Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Things Past and Things to Come

Yesterday's green and yellow wax beans, snapped and ready for blanching and freezing
    I have been re-reading one of my favorite books, "Sylvia's Farm" by Sylvia Jorrin. (I've included my Amazon affiliate link for the book in my sidebar) It's the story of how she bought a very large old farm house with it's surrounding acres and gradually became a shepherd, with many other animals on her farm, and the lessons she learned, including the way it connected to the life her grandparents led. Like many of my favorite books, I can read it twice a year every year and come away with new insights. Today, I came across this passage:
"But there is a difference. Although I live not so very differently from the way my grandparents did then, my style is different, in form as well as content. But there is one more important thing that is different. There was family all around them. Friends. Relatives. Community. There were ties that could be broken only by death and even then continued. There were so many of us sitting around that table in those days. So many of us under those trees. I know, I know, the poverty and struggle were unfathomable, even for me, for whom my own farm is all too often on the thin edge of survival. And yet there was rich fullness of spirit in that place, that farm on Society Road near Perkins Corners in Niantic, Connecticut, that is wanting in the life we live today." 
    That made me think of the one thing most small towns are missing today - small town people. I've witnessed it, as a child here in the little town I live in, but it's more the exception than the rule these days. Everyone wants to act like a "city" person, even though they live in a tiny town.
     I witnessed it in past years in several small towns in Western Oklahoma, as an "outside observer". Real, country people, friendly, helpful, unassuming. Not rural people trying to act like city folk. Instead of that constant need to have "better, bigger, more" than your neighbor, everyone used to be more modest, and humble, and more about helping each other than competing with one another. I guess it's a thing of the past, on the whole. A loss I feel personally.

     In other news, there is a battle of wills going on in our family. I waited too long to train Ranger. He's got the hang of walking on a harness and leash without pulling, but we're butting heads on "sit". I should have started when he was a puppy, and just didn't 'get around to it', but he'll get it now. He's a very smart dog. He has a brother coming, an 8 month old registered Australian Shepherd with some dog-aggressive problems, so I have to get Ranger as compliant as possible to be able to handle them both. The Aussie's current owners just don't have time to work with him, and admittedly an active dog like an Aussie isn't a good match for an apartment complex in the city. I know how much work I'm in for, and I'm looking forward to it. Between the two of them I will have a full time job. I hope it doesn't take too long for them to get used to each other. This is him, below - his name is Gunner. Wish me luck - my life is going to the dogs and I couldn't be happier!


  1. Is that the same dog from before? Looks like a border collie. Maybe you should get some sheep? lol I found, with Marcel, that since he is so smart, he learns very quickly and happily. With lots of 'good boy's' and even a biscuit or two, he's always willing to try a thing until he gets it. Good luck. Patience is the key, and consistency. They'll give up if you aren't consistent.

    I agree with you on the first part of this post. I think what is missing is the community that the old days had. Everyone needed each other back then or they might not survive. Families lived within miles of each other, if not just down the road. Now, folks are so scattered. Our families live in MI and TX and we're in AL, with no one but ourselves. Sure, our neighbors are friendly and helpful, and our friends are just around the corner, but its just not the same as family. It also helps if those around you have like-mindedness. City folk mentality doesn't really jive with the country livin' mindset. And the 'all for one and one for me' along with the more is better just doesn't sit right with me. Gimme gimme gimme, me me me. Yech.

    Man, I sure wish we lived closer. :)

    1. I wish we lived closer, too!
      Gunner is the sweetest dog, and he loves humans, and is extremely smart. Our only problem now is his not trusting Ranger around his things, but we're hoping that works itself out. :) we're doing well so far!