The Long and Winding Road

This was taken at our River Ranch. The dirt road winds around about 750 acres, up hill and down. In most places, there's an awesome view of Steptoe Butte, approximately 20 miles away. In other areas, there's a breathtaking view of the Palouse River canyon.

It's a timeless place.

From November to March, the road is closed. Even when open, the county does not maintain it. Sometimes, the ruts are big enough to swallow a car. (That's an exaggeration, but they do get huge.)

Once when I was helping the crew to move machinery, I came across a deep, water-filled rut. I thought I'd need a boat to cross it. The ground all around it was soft as well. If you think you'll get through a rut by driving a little to either side of it, you are sadly mistaken. You will get sucked into the mud, and you'll need to be hauled out by a pick-up. Sometimes, a tractor.

Sure that I would get stuck that day, I didn't want to drive through the rut. My husband instructed me to go right through the center of it. When you do that, the tires cross the hardpan dirt at the bottom, and the truth is, you won't get stuck. You'll sail through to the other side, where you want to go.

But, metaphorically speaking, sometimes the other side is not where you want to go. You want new vistas. To do that, it means finding a new way to get there. You need to take risks. Somewhere along the way you will, inevitably, get stuck. Probably, you'll get stuck over and over again.

I finished the line edits on my manuscript this morning.

It's a contemporary young adult novel, only 225 pages, and whether or not it ever gets published, I am in awe my accomplishment. It's not my first completed manuscript, or even my fifth. But it is the first one that I grappled with at a level that was completely unknown to me before. I had in mind what I wanted to accomplish, and I stuck with it. There were times where I was sure I could never make it work, and I might as well just stop writing. Hang it up. Go do some scrapbooking instead. Or take up jogging in a big way again. Run a marathon. Running a marathon would've been easier. But I stayed with it, and I am now, in terms of my writing skills, at a completely new vista for me. It's worthy of a moment's reflection. It's worthy of a few pats on my own back.         


A Farmer's Creed, and Happy Independence Day!

This isn't our barn, but I'm pretty sure it's in our area. I love its display of patriotism.

I hope you're having a wonderful 4th of July with friends and family, barbeques and fireworks. We'll be spending ours with some friends with a second-to-none backyard view of their town's firework extravaganza.

Prior to that, it's supposed to be a wonderful day, and so we're toying with the idea of flying to McCall, Idaho. We often go there on the 4th. McCall is a little tourist town, about a 2-hour flight from us, that does the 4th of July up big. Or we might fly over Grand Coulee Dam. We heard that all of the spillways are open to allow for this year's heavy mountain runoffs. We hope our friends, who built an RV-8, will join us.

When I was a young bride, I ran across the following creed hanging on my father-in-law's refrigerator. It was written for New Holland machinery and published in October, 1975. Formerly from the suburbs of Seattle, I was a city girl who didn't fully appreciate the sentiments it expresses. Over the past (almost) 37 years, I have truly grown to.
I believe a man's greatest possession is his dignity and that no calling bestows this more abundantly than farming.

I believe hard work and honest sweat are the building blocks of a person's character.

I believe that farming, despite its hardships and disappointments, is the most honest and honorable way a man can spend his days on this earth.

 I believe my children are learning values that will last a lifetime and can be learned in no other way.

I believe farming provides education for life and that no other occupation teaches so much about birth, growth and maturity in such a variety of ways.

I believe many of the best things in life are free: the splendor of a sunrise, the rapture of wide open spaces, the exhilarating sight of your land greening each spring.

 I believe true happiness comes from watching your crops ripen in the field, your children grow tall in the sun, your whole family feel the pride that springs from their shared experience.

 I believe that by my toil I am giving more to the world than I am taking from it, an honor that does not come to all men.

 I believe my life will be measured ultimately by what I have done for my fellowmen, and by this standard I fear no judgment.

 I believe when a man grows old and sums up his days, he should be able to stand tall and feel pride in the life he's lived.

 I believe in farming because it makes all this possible.
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