Today on the 4th day of reflection of what I am thankful for... my mind drifts to the farms of Wisconsin. This past August, I had the good fortune of spending time with my son and granddaughter and their family in Rural America where the smell of earth is different after the rain in Texas. My children and I were born city slickers from the heart of Chicago, close to downtown. I remember the smells of Wisconsin whenever my father packed up the car and took us on those long drives up north. I did the same - venturing out to Wisconsin with my children too. This entry is for the Debbie Reynolds 10 Days of Thanksgiving contest.
While driving to my son's home from the Milwaukee Airport I passed this farmland and snapped this photograph. As a kid, I never thought about life on a farm or the challenges they face but as a home owner/Real Estate Agent, I think differently now than I did back then. I can't imagine what it would be like to wake up early every day to farm the land and care for the animals. Every day must be an exercise in survival. Farmers face hard times, confronted by bad weather, falling prices, insects, and rodents that destroy their crops, heavy machinery, equipment failures, mortgages, repayment of money loans, pledging property to the creditor, and forget about painting - they weather through it all! Mending fences must be a top priority. If they don't produce the crops nobody eats.
Yet, here I am a city slicker at heart, always shopping at the grocery store where I buy fresh produce and canned goods. I don't think much about where these products come from except today I think harder about where they originated from and are they healthy enough to eat? Gosh, it must be a heavy burden on the Farmer. So many abandoned farms in rural America... I wonder, does a Farmer ever retire and make ends meet? Nature can play a cruel hand as tornadoes rip through their open lands. Poor animals. They must suffer too, just like people with diseases, arthritis, difficult pregnancies, getting caught in places they shouldn't be. All these things I think about today that I didn't think about before. The sweat and toil of the land - farmers don't sit behind a desk in air conditioned offices. Today, I am very thankful for agriculture, especially the farmers who remain in America.