Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Burt County Courthouse-- Tekamah, NE

Midwest Producer
May 22nd Edition

For most of the state, the end of planting is upon us. It draws to a close the next chapter in our agricultural history. In these parts it will be recorded as a spring with excellent soil tilth, but low soil temperatures. The failure of the daytime temperatures to rise to near eighty degrees have made it possible for low temps to fall well below what was expected. The soil temperature had trouble getting into the mid fifties through this the middle part of May.
But none the less we can go to town and answer the question everyone asks of farmers. “Did you get planted?” “Yes we did” will be the reply followed by “for the first time at least.” Letting the questioner know that this wasn’t the first crop you’ve put in the ground and you’re well aware that things can go wrong.
One of the rewards of farming is having jobs you can finish and then go on to something new and different. It may not be new because you’ve not done it before but at least it’s different than what you’ve been doing for the past two or three weeks. You get to pause, reflect, rearrange the priority list and then proceed.
It’s also the time of year that farm families start to think about diversions. The graduations with all of those parties and then there is golf, boating, baseball, softball, vacations, and trying to get in a trip or two to visit family.
Our family, in the past has usually gathered for a picnic to refresh the stories of our family history on Memorial Day and to remember family members who have left this world. Sometimes the gathering gets cut short when we must pause just long enough to have a grilled hot dog and go back to the fields to plant. I think it is good to remember all family members on Memorial Day as we go to the cemeteries to decorate graves. These loved ones are, after all, what made us what we are.
All good memories indeed but still the real reason for Memorial Day is to honor our fallen soldiers and to thank those who are still living, for saying “Yes I will serve.”
I hope you will take a few minutes and search the internet for information and the history of Memorial Day. It has uncertain beginnings and may have started as a collection of efforts from different parts of our country. You might find it very interesting reading as I did.
All of our communities are blessed with very brave men and women living among us who have served our country. Many of them came under live fire while serving and some, most certainly are fighting some demons because of that service. There are those who gave their all who are commemorated by plaques at courthouses across this great land of ours. Without all of these individuals living and dead, America doesn’t survive. It’s hard for me not to get pretty emotional when watching a military honor guard pay tribute to a comrade during a funeral or at the countless Memorial Day services to be held.
Without much trouble you’ll be able to find a Veterans Memorial Service where you can go to honor those who have made this country what it is.


Lanny said...

This was a lovely post! We've been struggling with soil temperature but on a much smaller scale of course.

Ralph said...

Well said.I have read this three times and each time I lean back in the chair and say, "WOW".
Great, great post.

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

never gave soil temperature much thought, but then I'm a city kid, still now I feel just that wee bit more knowledgable about farming. I found your post not only thought provoking but well written, and yes I will be thinking alot about our kin that have served---my brother was a Marine and served in WWII.

Rachel said...

Great post Cliff. I'm glad you got planted and maybe you won't have to repeat the process this year!

Nice picture of the courthouse. We can't forget the ones who have fought and the ones who have died for our freedom.

JunieRose2005 said...

GREAT post, Cliff!



Jim said...

Hi Cliff, I knew you would have your crops in by now. Thank goodness there isn't reason so far for replanting.
How did I know you'd planted? You showed us your crooked rows earlier.

I am glad you did the hot dog thing for MDay. Mrs. Jim cooked four dozen hot dogs and six briskets. She was in charge of her family reunion picnic in Alexandria, Louisiana. That involved taking up a collection the year before and doing the meat.
Others brought chicken or covered dishes. My favorite was chicken and dumplings.

Hope you guys are all doing okay,

Paul Nichols said...

Great stuff. Good job.

LZ Blogger said...

Cliff ~ Somehow I knew that you would know about the real meaning of Memorial Day. I still remember the buddies I lost in Nam and I always keep their families in mind every Memorial Day. ~ jb///

Miki said...

I still love your town on holidays!
I love the flags lined up in front of the courthouse, it is such a piece of Americana, old fashioned and yet, so very progressive. In the world that we live, it is so important to keep those values alive, to instill the "small town" into our kids. I long for those days! I love it that you let folks know that there is a real reason behind Memorial Day, that there isn't just an excuse made by governments to have a BBQ and a day off. THe reasoning behind it is what made our country what it is today, the self sacrificing of a few for the good of all! Keep up the great work on this blog, I certainly enjoy your musings.

Lucy Stern said...

Great remarks, Cliff... We must know our history in order not to repeat it....

Jamie Dawn said...

I'm glad to hear your crop is planted and you are moving ahead with new adventures... maybe some mosquito swatting and naval gazing?

So many heroes have given their lives for our great nation. It is very emotional to think of the sacrifices that have been made on our behalf.