Monday, August 16, 2010

Rest In Peace...

I have been in a bit of a funk for a week or so.  I have no one reason for it, but instead I think a combination of many things all piling into one another at the same time.  I am not proud of my recent state of mind, in fact if anything I have disappointed myself much more than I have anyone else.  While I have been feeling sorry for myself, my dear friend Sharon, has been saying goodbye to her father, and yesterday afternoon, he left her and her family forever.

Sharon's father turned 80 this year, and up until six months ago was an independent, productive man who lived for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  He became ill in spring and was hospitalized for several weeks, and during that time made the decision to sell his home and move into an assisted living facility.   His home was sold, his belongings divided and for awhile he did fine.  Recently he was hospitalized again, and after some testing was done, it was discovered that he had stage 4 lung cancer, and the prognosis was poor.

A wonderful father, and grandfather, passed away yesterday, and I know his family are grieving the loss of a loved one who will forever be in their hearts.  I would like to extend my heart-felt condolences to all the family, but especially to Sharon, and Al.  My love goes out to you both during this very difficult time.  
Rest in Peace, Mr. Howell... 

Another friend of ours who has been battling cancer for 2 years with surgery, chemo and radiation was just told that his cancer has returned, but in a different place than his primary.  They are not sure if or when they will do further surgery or treatment.  Gordon, my thoughts and prayers are with you and Elaine, as you continue your fight against this horrible disease.

I needed to mention these two very courageous men this morning, they both have left lasting impressions on my heart. 


So now, we will escape for a bit back to Winter Wheat...

Life returned to normal in Karl’s small home, and by the end of April 1930, the fields were dry enough to allow the men to begin cultivating and planting their crops.  At the insistence of George, Charles Bell’s property was added to the list of fields to be sewn with wheat, oats, and barley, the three main crops that were harvested each year.  George quit attending school so that he could help with the field work, and with the purchase of Karl’s new tractor from the money he had made over the winter, spring planting got underway in earnest.
Emilie now knew where the garden was located and after pacing out the garden with her small feet had immediately ordered Karl to break the adjoining portion of the yard so that she could plant a garden twice the size as the one he always planted.  Grumbling under his breath that no one woman could handle a garden of that size, he never-the-less gave in and did exactly as she wished.  He waited for her whine for help to plant the garden, and when it did not come, realized that once again he had underestimated his young housekeeper.  Not only had she managed to plant the garden with only the occasional help from Sue, she had also worked every flowerbed on the yard, and added four more before filling each with her precious seeds from the mail-order catalogue.
The final straw came when she turned his home into a brooder house for her one hundred chicken and goose eggs.  Damn the woman, but she took it upon herself to do the darndest things.  Joseph, the most wonderful German man in the county, had delivered the eggs and presented them to her as if he had laid them all his self.  The whole production, staged just for him he was sure, had been nauseating to watch but the kicker had come when he had entered the house later that day, and found all one hundred eggs resting in boxes lined with his woolen blankets, tucked safely behind the wood stove which was running as hot as it ever had during the winter, accompanied by every coal-oil lamp he owned hanging suspended from a wire hung over the boxes.  He broke in a sweat just thinking about it!
The words they had shouted at each other had escalated until once again for as many times as he could not count, they were barely speaking to each other.  It seemed that was the way it was to be between them.  One minute he tingled with anticipation just having her present in the same room, and he knew she felt it too; but then in the very next breath something would be said, and they would be back in the ring like two prizefighters.  She tore him to pieces with frustration one minute, and incredible longing the next.  She was everything he wanted, and nothing at all what he needed, but need her, he did.  He needed her like his crops needed the sun, and the rain, and the nurturing soil that held them.  He needed her like he had never needed another human before, and he felt that if he did not act upon his feelings soon, he would surely go out of his mind.   
He completed the last round of the field of wheat he was planting, and grunted as he turned the tractor towards home.  Another field done, another day   coming to a close, and still his life was in turmoil.

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