Ode to the Custom Cutter

I empathize with song of the late November squirrel… You’ve seen him, I’m sure. He rushes back and forth all day. Working, Working, Working. Scurrying tirelessly over the forest floor attempting to provide for the days ahead. Discovering all sorts of valuable food items to carry away to the storage bins for the coming of winter. The dry leaves rustle as he hurries about with his cheeks filled to the brim with acorns, Damp Clouds billow overhead with the threat of winter snow. “Hurry” everything seems to whisper “Hurry, Oh Hurry!”

It seems I can hear that same whisper.  It comes from the dry cracked ground begging  for moisture, from the pale green stalks with brown drooping husks, from the tassels that are searching the clear blue sky  for rain. That whisper is heard on dancing strobe lights as we complete one job and move to the next. It  inspires us to skip sleep and eat meals on the go. “Hurry, Oh Hurry!”


You see, harvest is here. Corn Silage Harvest, and while each year plays out a little differently- this year the lack of rain during the last little while leaves the moisture evaporating out of the crop right before our eyes.

The challenge of our job is to catch the corn at the right moisture, ensuring hours of happy munching for our bovine friends. And while it might not seem like a big deal- I envision the difference being the choice between  a Strawberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad and just plain dry Spinach. Kind of a no brainer, right?


Hurry we must.

So please understand if our tractors are loud and slow and work half the night beside your house. And, yes, I know our loads are big and we impede the flow of traffic from time to time. Sometimes it seems like there are big egos and lack of social etiquette when we miss events because “Sorry, I’m still in the field”- But if you listen closely- maybe you can hear the whisper too… “Hurry, Oh Hurry”


And soon the dust will settle and this season will be a memory of happy times spent working with the crew, of enjoying the sun (and the dirt) and beautiful creation around us,

But until then, thanks for being considerate of this job we love. And really- the contributor of your next slab of melted cheese on that juicy hamburger and  ice cream cone depend on us…


“Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as thought you were doing it for the Lord, and not merely for people” (and their hungry cows) Col 3:23


Blessings as you work heartily,


Bonus Pic:

IMG_4792 IMG_4782

When we open up the field- the only way to make the first round is by throwing the silage from the Harvester across the tractor (and operator) into the cart… Which includes a bit of a silage shower.. and some rather unusual opportunities for a selfie- (I promise I was driving responsibly)

Letter to the Bride

Wedding bells rang on Paradise Lane Yesterday. The sun shone and the corn leaves rustled gently in the breezes and the sisters shed a tear as Emily and Kerry promised to “love and cherish from this moment”.

We felt the hand of God as thunderstorms came up and went north and south of us. And like the sky lanterns we released into the evening air- thrilling, but fleeting- everything went rapidly and was soon a memory as the couple headed out Paradise Lane as Mr and Mrs…

I’m excited to have another brother and I look forward to continuing my friendship with this beautiful lady I call my “little sis”.

I wrote this poem for one of Em’s bridal showers.

With Credit to Danielle Nedick who wrote the original “Just yesterday” and apologies to Aunt Janet ( and all of you poets) for when my heart throb doesn’t have perfect rhythm and meter…


I cant’ believe this season is here

How and when did time disappear?

I’m a first grader handing out your pic to my class

“She looks like you” they say

How long ago could that’ve been?

Wasn’t that yesterday?


Childhood times were busy indeed

Exploring Paradise Mountain

with a four wheeler as our steed

Pool parties, back yard wigwams and that renovated shack

Seems like only yesterday


You made me grow up fast- I must say

At least one medical emergency each time our parents went away

But I got my first ambulance ride out of the deal- Yesterday.


PR, PA, NYC and West the voicemail “I’ve been everywhere”

Bahamas, Outer Banks, Florida and Travel “Truth or dare”

Travelling buddies- we quickly became

When I needed a co-pilot just mention your name

Excitement of yesterday


Farmers daughters truly we are

Day after Day in the field…

Trying to break the record of acres/day

Or the best soybean yield…

That WAS only yesterday


So many memories floating along

Sharing with others through the gift of song

Caroling at UVA or by the campfire-

Gifts do not stop at that

I can’t exclude the delightful writings of the masked muskrat

Quality times of yesterday


A sister is a blessing beyond compare

We’ve been accused of being a pack

But I love to know my family is my friend

We have each other’s back!

Today and Yesterday

So now here we are

Different yet still the same

I’m excited to see what God has for you

Remember to call His name


And I love KJ- gaining brothers is fun

Don’t let “girls only” comments be a deceiver

I pray your home will be a light to the world



So thank you for all the memories

I treasure each one in my heart

As time moves on new ones will form

But the old will never depart.

Love you, Em and take good care of her, Kerry!


Bonus Pics:







Team Effort

The peak of my softball career happened in middle school. Somehow the eighth grade challenged the seventh graders to a match and we stepped up to bat without hesitation. It was awesome. We played for days until the eighth graders got sick of us beating them… Or our bragging… And soon it was just a memory. But there were valuable lessons learned in those softball games. More than just an occasional cardio workout as I sprinted around the bases. Lessons of teamwork: I would do my absolute best, but I relied on my teammates to let me know how fast the ball was coming in from the outfield-cheering me on-telling me when to stop. Lessons in winning (and losing) graciously. Lessons in forgiveness: extending it to others when somebody messed up-and to myself when I made a foul play… Life lessons. Yes-those were good days! 🙂

Due to the impending wedding frenzy that’s rapidly marching towards Paradise Lane-we have been doing some deep house cleaning, and I came across a CD I hadn’t listened to in awhile. This song really got me thinking:

 I need the prayers of those I love,

While trav’ling o’er life’s rugged way,

That I may true and faithful be,

And live for Jesus every day.

I want my friends to pray for me,

To bear my tempted soul above,

And intercede with God for me;

I need the prayers of those I love.

I need the prayers of those I love,

To help me in each trying hour,

To bear my tempted soul to Him,

That He may keep me by His pow’r.

I want my friends to pray for me,

To hold me up on wings of faith,

That I may walk the narrow way,

Kept by our Father’s glorious grace

I’ve been reading Paul’s writings and I’m challenged by his encouragement on prayer. “I thank God making mention of you in my prayers” “come boldly to the throne of grace” ” finally, brethren,pray for us…”
Isn’t that what the Christian life is all about? Teamwork to the finish line. We need to be active in cheering our teammates on. We need to know we have a support team.

The reality is that life hurts. There are disappointments and challenges and pain we would eliminate if we had half a chance. But it’s not nearly so hard when somebody cares enough to notice. To say ” how are you dealing with this?” “I care and am praying for you”.

I have a few encouragers in my life that bless me frequently. Just a quick note or text or whatever and changes it my day. People, that I can count on to cheer for me, whether I make an impressive hit or barely get on first base. Friends, who have sound advice over how fast to run or when to stop… Who understand that regardless of how long or intense the game-that I will need encouragement until I cross that home plate…

I need the prayers of those I love.

I want to be a better/more up building team player.



Bonus Pics:


I discovered this back a dirt road- a local farmer planted rows and rows of sunflowers and zenias… Country living at its finest. This blessed my day!


Nap time for Mr Tree Frog. His camouflage is quite versatile..


My parents posing like the famous “American Gothic” painting with a paddle my dad salvaged from the sea… I love this…


“A valuable thing in life to learn is: which bridge to cross; which bridge to burn…”