Monday, October 31, 2005

You Know You May Have...

a redneck family when you ask, "anyone have a knife?", and both your wife and daughter pull out pocket knives.
And to top it off, today I asked Marilyn if this was her Swiss Army Knife and she said "Well, it's what I've been carrying but I've lost that slender silver one I had, I loved that knife".
All this in a voice that used to be reserved for me when I'd been gone to a meeting over night. I'm glad there's still some'passion' left in her life.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Visitor From The East!

This summer, fellow blogger Jerry (on left) stopped for a visit and to meet us. We had lunch and did a lot of visiting. It's strange how growing up on a farm seems to put one in a fraternity of sorts. Here, I'm passing the time honored, ceremonial 'cornknife' to our visitor from the east. It signifies interstate friendship between farmers.... Okay,, we made the cornknife thing up, but it sounded good at the time. Thanks for the visit Jerry.
If you haven't been reading Jerry, give it a try. He does a wide variety of topics. Good Stuff!!

Friday, October 28, 2005


Sunday was a beautiful, brisk, fall day here in Nebraska. One of those days that keeps us from moving away. We had visitors from Lincoln that turned it into an even better day. (Story continues Below)

This was a great day for ol Dad. The boys came home from the city to help harvest. It's turned into kind of an annual event that helps them to clear their minds and I just kind of help and smile and try to let this day burn, permanently into my memory. One of those things you don't ever want to forget. In this pic, Dan is holding the camera and got a shot of himself, his brother Tom and Dad. It was kind of chilly that day. As you can tell.

Tom on the left running the combine and Dan on the right pulling the grain cart. Man, I love this. It's like old times. No instructions needed. They just jump on and go.

The bin is full as well as the semi. Time to quit. Here the jubilant, victorious team smiles for the camera. We have been to battle and won.

And then I had a great idea. "Lets make a "farmer" calendar and get rich, who's first?" Dan went first and no one would follow. He wanted to be Mr October. We need eleven more farmers or he'll have to be Mr Jan thru Dec. Day is done.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Smart Chicken for Sunday Dinner!

Doesn't this beg a question.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Pastoral Setting

One of my favorite places on the farm. I sometimes stop my pick-up here and... (as my Dad used to say), "sometimes I like to just sit and think,,,but most times I just sit".

Monday, October 24, 2005

View's From The Combine

A view thru a dusty window. No the windshield wiper isn't broken. It's designed that way.

Looking from the combine toward the bin. My brother has taken the grain cart (orange wagon) over to the bin to unload it into the auger.

My oldest brother is driving the grain cart beside the combine. We unload the combine "on the go", so as to speed harvest. My brother is retired and has moved back to Tekamah. It's been a smooth harvest. At times I've had three brothers woking with me at the same time.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I took this photo at the party yesterday. This may explain why our Tom doesn't make it home to the farm much anymore.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

I've Always Wished...

that I had a house and yard to take care of. Just a house and yard. I could be so very organized. I'd love to walk out of my house and see little projects to do. Like mowing. Trimming. Gardening. Get the mail. Paint a room.
I'd do a project and then run up to the club and play 9 holes before 9:00 A.M. Get back home and mow the lawn by noon.
The reason I bring this up is because I'm going to do something today, mid October, harvest time, that my Dad would never have done. All of my machinery is sitting idle today while we go to Lincoln to a customer appreciation party. Our boys and my daughter in-law are inviting all of their customers and friends to what has become an annual event. This will be the 2nd annual Morrow Collision Center's Customer Apprecitation Party. Nebraska game on the wall, food and drinks including Cliff's smoked salmon. Ya'll come.
Last year we helped by cooking 50 pounds of meat and then making sandwiches as we carved off thin slices. The food was great but what I enjoyed was talking to the people. I'd ask, "are you customers or friends of my boys"? The answer was always the same. "Both". That told me the kids know some stuff about running a business, if their customers feel that way.
The point,,, although I've got a lawn that needs mowed, a house that I need to help clean, I also need to finish picking 40 acres of corn, run a stalk cutter over 500 acres of corn stalks, rip the rest of the bean ground, disc the 500 acres of cornstalk ground, pay bills, deposit some checks, clean two large farm buildings, paint the garage, build two large horse pens, .....
On second thought, my Dad would have done this. He liked to say, "Well, if this is the last day we have to do this,,, I guess it doesn't need to be done".
Work can wait. Party time.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


They've begun adding Great Americans to Mt Rushmore. Now known as Mt Ralphmore.
Ralph is as close as I get to knowing a VIP.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tonights Episode: What's That Smell

Screen Play by Cliff

Marilyn= M

Door bursts open. Grandma enters with gleeful four year old. (should be dressed in pink and all smiles)
girl-Hi Gampa
C-Hi (from office-he is anxiously awaiting loving greeting from wife)
M- What stinks in here.
C-I don't know.
girl-Gampa, can I have a piece of paper to paint on?
C-Sure, here ya go.
M-(exits out door and re-enters a short time later) What stinks in here.
C-(thinking he should now defend himself because of the accusatory tone of the last statement) Well it's NOT me. i don't think ( his voice trails off)
M-(Puts groceries away and speaks) Something really stinks in here!
C-(almost a shout)WELL IT'S NOT ME!
C-Maybe it's the broccoli we had for lunch, where's the pan you cooked it in?
M-It's not the broccoli we had for lunch. That's gone. Something really stinks.
A short time later.
M-Found it.
C-What was it, the broccoli?
M-Yeah, from three days ago, it was still in the microwave.
C-At least it wasn't me.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Farmer Speak

I've been hauling corn out of the field to the local grain elevator. We get out of our trucks while we're waiting and talk to other farmers. It was pointed out to me today, that a farmer I've know all my life uses the word roont. I shall use in a sentence for you.
"My kids borrowed my chainsaw and when I got it back it wouldn't work. It was roont."
Roont': render useless. 2. to make something of value into something of no value. 3.insolvent. 4.broken. derivitive from 'upity speech' meaning ruined.
Just so's ya know.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thanks To All

I'm back from my meetings and convention, and expect my rear to assume it's original shape soon. After all that has happened in the past week, I'd like to occupy my recliner and stare at the wall for the rest of the day but the combine is running and I feel like the tractor's in 'road gear' and someone has pushed me off the hayrack. I'd better hit the ground running or I'll be in trouble.
One thought from the convention. I heard an extra Beatitude a few years back that would apply.....Blessed is he who has nothing to say, and doesn't say it.
Thanks so much for all of your thoughts and prayers, the Morrow's truly appreciate all that was said. You folks are the best.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Life Goes On

My brother and I were going thru the motions of picking corn yesterday. I kept looking at my watch and thinking about what the rest of my family was doing down in Florida right now. They were all gathering for my nephew Steve's funeral. Then finally, I looked at my watch for the last time, 6:00. 7:00 Florida time. It must be over. They are all back at Steve's and beginning to say painful good bye's. We kept picking until past dark. I started to feel some relief for the end of the 'formal' activities down there. Now time for reflection, laughing, crying, pain and on and on.
When we came in from the field I heard "Dan called". We've been keeping their baby so they could attend the funeral. Marilyn relayed to me that there were over 700 people at the funeral. That doesn't surprise me. They are so very active and highly thought of in their church, community, and the business community.
Dan said Steve's high school aged daughter stood up front and spoke for ten minutes about her father. Never a crack in her voice, complete poise, conveying her thoughts and memories concisely. That doesn't surprise me, it's the way she was raised.
I won't worry about the two kids. Feel sorry for them for losing a great father much to soon, yes. But I won't worry about them. They have a very strong parent left and the foundation for a successful life has already been laid. I don't believe it will crumble or cave. The kids come from good stock on both sides. They will be fine. But I'm still sorry for the thought process they still have to go through.
My point,,, read Dan's blog about family and take it to heart. Dan is still in his twenties but has a good grasp on what life is all about.
I'll head to my County Board meeting now, and then on to the state convention. Dan's will be back to get their precious child this morning. I must try to get my brain home from Florida and engaged in my own life. I know that's impossible but I will try to concentrate when I must. In times like these, I like to say I've slipped into neutral. Well I've put it back in low and will start the climb.
Life goes on.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I'd had the most aggravating of all rounds of golf. It was our family reunion, a few years ago, and I abruptly announced that I was going to the driving range. "Cliff, mind if I go with you?" "That's fine", I said to my nephew. He was only seven years my junior, and an incredibly good golfer. We went to the range and in the first five minutes we were there, changed the way I golf forever. He took 8 strokes off of my game that have stayed off since that day. Funny thing is I kind of forced him into helping me. I'm sure he didn't think it was his place to give advice to an uncle. You see he is a very humble, very successful, very likeable man. Best of all a great father. He, along with his siblings, and for that matter, all of his cousins are good solid people with great senses of humor. He and his family have helped many less fortunate in his church and community . I know this, but not from anyone in his family. They've been taught to just do it and keep quiet. His company and his employees have spent many days working to help the poor recover from hurricanes. Any parent would be proud to call him 'son'. He is Marty's older brother.
He was killed in a one car wreck thursday night. He leaves a lovely family, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and countless personal friends, feeling a deep personal loss.
I hesitated to blog this. I know Marty will have such a hard time, and will be absent for a time from his blog. But I wanted everyone to know that I thought the world of his brother. I'll talk of him often. His whole family will. That's the way the Morrow's do it. Storytelling in our family, always includes the living and those gone before. I guess it's a good way of letting people know we haven't forgotten. We won't forget. Even if you've left us, you're still going to make a difference.
I've had some trouble making sense of all of this. Until last night. The seven year old grandson who lives here on this same farm said, "God just needed another good angel".
I'm going with that.
Farewell Nephew. See you on the other side. I'll bring my clubs.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Reason Dogs Are Friendly!

"I've never told you this", my brother related, "but I think you might have a cancer sniffing dog". "You know, there really are dogs that can smell if there's something wrong with you". I nodded. Ed has survived a bout with the Big C
He said "last year, before I got sick, I would come out here, early in the morning, and service the combine". "If I laid down underneath of the machine, the dog would always get right in my face". "She'd never done that before, it was like she was trying to smell my breath and it bothered her". "I wonder if she knew I had cancer?"
We faced each other for a moment and Ed searched my face to see if I was agreeing with the possibility of a 'gifted' dog.
I thought for a moment and then the analytical part of my mind took over. I said "well, she also likes to carry dead skunks around".
"Remind me not to bring stuff like that up to you again....." his voice trailed off.
"Where'd you put the grease gun?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Mother In-law

Some people think I pick on my Mother In-law. I'm not. I'm always trying to catch up. I've been on the road with a truck and called her to look up a phone number for me. She said "well this number is so easy,,,even you can remember it".
We were returning from a family get together about two hours from home. At the half hour mark, I pulled into a McDonalds Drive Thru to get Iced Tea. From the backseat she said, "I wouldn't think you'd be hungry after the load you took on back at the dinner".
Last spring my bride took her mother to Ash Falls. They are unearthing many skeletons of pre-historic animals. I said "so, you went to Ash Falls"... before I could finish she said "no, they didn't try to keep me for a display, wiseguy".
I stood up to speak at her 80th birthday celebration, a couple of years ago, and said, "We went out to Denver and moved my Mother In-Law out here to be with us, in the same town". "That was ten years ago, and 95% of the time since then,,, it's been a good idea".
I was chastised for being mean. I don't think so.
Yesterday, Marilyn took her Mom out for a birthday fling. A casual conversation yielded this touching admission from a Mother to her Daughter..."You guys have done such a nice job with raising your family. I'm really proud of you....... I even like Cliff".
Your honor, the defense rests.



Sunday, October 02, 2005

This view from the porch was taken by Marilyn as I headed up the lane with the combine. I'd been down to the shop to fix a breakdown. You'll notice the corn has turned brown but the trees in the background are still green.