Broken down

On my way back from a wheat field day yesterday for work, I took a little side trip through the countryside looking for a pretty setting with some wheat fields in it to photograph.

I first swung through Offerle and down the street my great-grandparents used to live on. I thought their house was at the end of the street, but my mind was mistaken. I found the house, and while it still looks a little bit the same, it wasn’t. The porch was closed in and the beautiful gardens and flowerbeds were gone. The huge side yard was gone. Made me sad to see. Least it was still there and I have all of my wonderful childhood memories spending time there with my cousins and family. I wondered what the inside looked like, but drove on, saddened by the change.

South of Offerle I saw a lot of green wheat fields, and just kept driving the back roads. I took a few pics here and there, but the main thing I noticed was all the old farmsteads. Some of the houses were gone and the outbuildings remained. Others were missing the barns and other buildings but an old, falling down house still stood. Occasionally I would run up on a new place, all mowed and proper with a new(er) house and new barns and farm buildings.

I like old houses. They have character and craftsmanship. The builders cared about what they were doing and made the homes to last. I live in a new home, a modular we set in 2010. It was a model home, so it had some wear in it to begin with, but it doesn’t have the character of a home built 50 years ago.

If I was rich, I’d buy one of the old broken down farm houses I seen on my drive yesterday and fix it up. It would be a total money pit, but it would be fun. At least to me anyway.

Here’s a few photos from yesterdays drive.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Parents and children

I ran across an article about saving the family farm and ranch for future generations in an agricultural publication located on the west coast, the Capital Press, through Twitter a couple of months ago. A few of the quotes stuck in my head from the story and I wrote them down because I have become rather forgetful. The sticky note I scribbled them on found its way to the top of the pile this morning and my brain started moving at warp speed.

The quotes:

“Parents don’t owe their children anything, but parents who provide for their children give a real blessing.”

“Remember, ranches can be replaced, families cannot.”

These two quotes struck home with me at the time because of my own family’s history and the recent loss of my father-in-law. It’s hard for me to imagine not having the place where my parents currently live. It was hard enough when we lost my grandparents in 1989 and the family turmoil that came after the funeral and the splitting up of possessions and land. Granted I was only 10 years old at the time, but I had two eyes and ears and could see what my parents were going through. Now as an adult I see my husband dealing with his own family and what his dad left behind on the farm.

Before we had children, Spencer always talked about having something our kids could have when they were old enough. He wanted something tangible, as in land. I agree, but I also want our children to get an education and be able to choose to come back to the farm and enjoy it. I don’t want them to get burned out working like a dog helping Spencer and I make a place where they can some day take over. Not that hard work won’t be in their future, because it will. Kids need to know the value of a hard days work.

I owe my parents a lot – both monetary and emotionally. They were the best parents a girl could ask for. We didn’t have much, but what we sure as heck appreciated. Mom and dad worked hard trying to make a living farming and taught us a lot of things growing up and I still learn from them even now as an adult.

I admit I was spoiled. I always had a pickup to drive, a horse to ride and an entry fee for the barrel race or rodeo. In college I never had a job, and had parents who continued to push me to excel academically. And I did.

Now that Shaun is nearly a year old, the future is creeping slowly up on us. I think to myself, what are we going to be able to give him when he turns 18? What about when he goes off to college? Spencer claims his kid will work and not have it “easy” like I did. Picking my battles, I refrained from saying, “Taking 18 hours a semester at a university was WORK.”

I thank Mom and Dad for all you did for me growing up and even though there’s no longer any “farm” to pass along to us girls, you still gave way me more than any tangible item could have.

The Orebaugh family Christmas 2011.

Same old, same old

The older I have gotten, the more I like a pattern. However, I also welcome change as it can get old doing the same thing over and over.

My job often requires travel and flying by the seat of my pants. You know where you are going, but have no set schedule, just a list of things to get done. In the office, the schedule is pretty much the same day in and day out for me, as there are deadlines each day that have to be met in order to get the paper out the door on Friday.

Wednesday I got into the office late after being gone for two days to help put on a Canola meeting in Enid, Okla. I had a company vehicle full of stuff from the meeting that needed returned to the office while the rest of my co-workers went on to another meeting in Nashville, Tenn., the Commodity Classic. (See our coverage here.) I decided when I arrived at the office in the dark all the stuff could just remain in the car and I would unload it in the morning.

Apparently, leaving the vehicle in the closest space to the back door managed to throw off the parking lot dynamics that morning before I made it in.  It’s amazing how a little change in the environment will disrupt some lives. My initial reaction was not a very nice one, but I bit my tongue.. We have the same sort of reaction whenever we close a door in the editorial department and disrupt the flow of traffic through the office. A couple more steps might just cause war to break out.

I try awfully hard to get along and understand the other side of the story, but sometimes all you can do is shake your head and go on. People don’t change very easily and disruption causes hate and distention in the ranks, but goodness be a little flexible sometimes!

However, I have no worries that someone is going to kipe my parking place. Maybe it’s because it’s the farthest away from the building.

My parking place:

I had to share this photo too because my pickup is CLEAN!