A Generous and Giving Breed

By Katie Thomas Glick and Sarah Thomas

It was a chilly December Saturday on the farm. The barn lot was covered with snow and filled with several semis, but our family didn’t own all of them.  So, why were there so many semis parked in the snow covered barn lot? While many of you were listening to Christmas music and finishing up your shopping, our family was trying to finish harvest.  Yes, just because the seasons according to the weather change does not mean they have changed for the farmer.  Only a few of those semis belonged to our family, the others belonged to different farmers. Farmers who were so generous to give up their time and help our family.  This year was a bountiful harvest (the largest in our state’s history), but it was a wet harvest. We needed more space to store the corn and soybeans we grow in our grain bins. These farmers came with their semis to load and haul away grain so our family could have room to store our grain in the bins.

Semis that belong to our fellow farmer friends that came to help us back in December.

Semis that belong to our fellow farmer friends that came to help us back in December.

That day was also a familiar scene. The barn lot was full of other farmers’ semis over five years ago, the day after our father’s funeral. Some of our farmer friends came out to the farm with their semis to help take loads to a grain elevator and give a beautiful tribute to our father. It was amazing to see our farming community come together when one of their own needed help. That’s what farmers do.  They give help when it’s needed. They are a generous breed.

Semis in the Fall

Semis lined up in our barn lot the day after our Father’s funeral, November 28, 2009, as tribute to his life and work on our family farm.

 Farmers are also dreamers and gamblers.  They dream for a perfect year that brings perfect weather that will help yield the perfect crop.  But they know that the perfect year will never come, and yet they still take that gamble.  Farmers know that there can never be a perfect year because there is always different types of circumstances that get in the way.  Whether those circumstances are the weather, a death of a local farmer or the fluctuating markets, they will continue to make that gamble and strive for the perfect harvest.  And when these circumstances begin to slow them down, others from their breed come with helping hands, and in our case, a semi too.

 They give so much of their time to their farm and their lives to the land while every season brings new challenges but new opportunities.

 Farmers live and die by seasons, and they learn to appreciate each one of them.   All four bring their positives and negatives.  Spring brings warm weather to melt the snow and warm up the ground where the farmers plant their seeds and begin again.  They pray that a late frost doesn’t coat their crops and that rain doesn’t flood and wash them away.  Farmers’ prayers in the summer include timely rain in June and July for the corn and in August for the soybeans.  And it shouldn’t include heat and dry weather that lasts weeks on end.  The harvest prayer is for safety in the fields, on the roads and at the farm.  Winter is a time to plan for the spring planting season, rest up a little and spend time with fellow farmers at meetings learning about new farm practices or how to make our farms better for our families and all those we feed.

 We aren’t saying that farmers work harder or give back more than other professions.  Well, we might be a little biased especially during some of God’s seasons like spring and fall.  What we are saying is that they appreciate the seasons and care for the earth they are given and the people they provide for.  We were fortunate to learn that lesson on our family farm and hope to share it with others.

The year our father passed was also a late harvest.  At times we watched snowflakes coat the corncobs that were left standing in the field.  But they weren’t there long thanks to the farmers who came to help with our harvest.  We are forever grateful for your friendship, commitment to agriculture and your hard working, caring hands. You are a generous and giving breed.

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Cheers to our 2014

Last Saturday I hosted a dinner party for some of my favorite people (some of them could not make it because it is the busy holiday season after all).  I love when we are all home and together.  I especially love when we share a meal and conversations around the table.  Moments like these are my favorite.  And because it is 2014 we had take a group selfie and commemorate these moments with a hashtag, #CountryCocktailParty.  The “country” part is for the location (my house is in the middle of nowhere), “cocktail” because we needed a fancy word, and “party” because it was a dinner party.

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We got dolled up for this #CountryCocktailParty.  We put on heels, did our hair, and wore lipstick.  We did it to feel “fancy.”  We didn’t do it to impress boys.  Although there was one boy in attendance.  We call him TA.  He is boyfriend to one and friend to all of us.  He is a champ for putting up with our ridiculousness, which is why I think we accept him into our group.

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20141229-151826.jpgBack to the ladies of the evening because that’s what we like to think we are for this fancy feast.  But first we toasted!  We toasted to us, the best of friends.  The best of friends that have endured saying goodbye to old jobs and accepting new ones in 2014, to moving into new apartments in new cities and for some in new states.  For some 2014 was filled with saying goodbye to old boyfriends and loved ones and hello to new family members and maybe future beaus.  Many of us took road trips together throughout the year.  Whether it was across other states or just the back roads of our beautiful flyover state. Our 2014 was filled with many things that everyone experiences, but what made our year different?  We had each other every step of the way.

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20141229-221211.jpgThis group of ladies made my 2014 significant.  They inspire me to be myself and to step into those not so comfortable zones.  They make me proud of where I come from and where I will go next.  They also make me sad at times.  Sad because we are all traveling on different roads that will lead to different endings.  But I am learning that it’s okay.  It’s okay because God has a way of always crossing our roads when we need it most.20141229-221156.jpg

To sum it up, Cheers to 2014 and to the ladies that made it possible!  I love you all and I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for us!

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Dallas by Morning

Today my best friend is spreading her wings and moving to Dallas for a summer internship.

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I am beyond proud of her for taking this opportunity and doing something that she is passionate about. I also admire her bravery for leaving her home and every thing that she knows. I wish I had the same guts to do something like this. Hopefully I learn from her and spread my own wings one day.

I will miss her tremendously, but knowing that she is doing exactly what God has planned for her has comforted me. Of course I have hounded her on all the details about where she will be living, who she will be working with and how she will be getting from place to place. My best friend needs to be safe and in good company! I worry about her too much, we both know this, but someone has to!

This isn’t the first or second time she has moved away from me. Our friendship has definitely been tested by distance. She moved to Florida in 5th grade, but then moved back in 8th grade. After high school graduation rolled around, she decided to go down south again and attend a school in Florida. Both times were hard to be away from her.

I remember each time we were united, we kept repeating, “You’re here in real life!” Every reunion was more rememberable and special than the last and we just kept adding more chapters to our story.

I am so happy and excited for this new chapter of yours Kendra! Of course I will be making an appreance in it and will come visit you. Hopefully my trip will include a George Strait concert or meeting a rich oil man, but we’ll just have to see what happens!

You are so brave and I admire the woman that you are today. I am extremely lucky and proud to call you my best friend. Safe travels Kendra Shane! Love you!

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