Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another.

~ Erma Bombeck


It’s a Jeep Thing

Jeep This green Jeep CJ7 was part of my father’s wish list.  Along with a plane, guns, a bobcat, and the farm.  Somewhere on the wish list was Mom and his two daughters, but for my ego’s sake, I’m not going to prioritize.  Never a doubt that he loved each of us, but we still weren’t allowed to play with the “equipment.”  Yep, these were NOT toys, they were practical, necessary pieces of equipment – that he spent hours playing with.

This week the Jeep left our family after 20 years, Dad bought it in 1994 and restored it to the beautiful “equipment” that it is today. It will now begin it’s next life with a new family.  As I watched it loaded up and pulled away I tried to focus on the joy Dad would have that someone else loved the hard work he put into his baby.  But I couldn’t help feel a piece of Dad was on that trailer leaving the farm.

4 generationsHowever it is JUST a piece of beautiful metal, not my Dad.  I’m certain Dad’s spirit is  managing the lives of the people he loved as much as he is allowed, not focusing on material things.  And like his Dad and Grandmother, they loved family, the farm, and  took pride in what they had, but treasured those they loved.  Like the family legacy of the farm, it is up to the new owners to carry on the Jeep’s legacy; hopefully, they will be up to the snuff.  I am certain Dad would love to join them at their first Jamboree, maybe his spirit will make a special appearance.  After all, it’s a Jeep thing – others just don’t understand and I have a sneaking suspicion God might get the Jeep thing.

Let’s Talk Weather

Thanks to Mom I got a short break from the harsh Northwest Ohio winter to visit her in New Port Richey FL. Auntie Neighbor was nice enough to take care of the critters. And I celebrated my one year anniversary at work so I had earned paid vacation time.

imageWhile in Florida everyone wanted to know about the weather “back North.” I shared the joys of winter. The beauty of hauling 10-20 gallons of water every day in frigid temperatures to the barn. Trudging the horse through 4′ drifts to the pasture so he could get a little exercise even if it was only for a few hours. And braving those elements to move snow further back with the Bobcat.

imageFriends at home were thrilled to share the news of the daily forecast and thanks to smart phones, the Florida locals were often quick to let me know just what I was missing. Every day I was informed of the weather. It is everyone’s favorite topic of conversation. We went to The Ringling – saw fabulous artwork, a wonderful flea market, spent quality time with Aunt Phyllis, and of course, ATE phenomenal food. But the topic of conversation almost always ended up being about the weather.

imageI found it humorous how those in “good” weather enjoy discussing how miserable the weather is elsewhere. Those of us dealing with “bad” weather are obsessed with the challenges. I love the winter because it provides a break. Things have to be done slower, a little bit of hypernation, it’s like wiping the slate. And apparently, even on vacation, it gives everyone something to talk about.