Sunday, August 30, 2015


Do you remember helping your dad or mom when you were young? I do. As I grew older it made me feel needed, taught me responsibility, and helped me be comfortable around other adults in our community.
 Asking your children what they think when they are young and helping, and then listening is one of the greatest compliments you can give them. Then when they grow up you have to ask them all the time out of necessity.
Mike, Mark, and BJ  worked for Joel and Hayley this past week getting a site ready for a new cattle building.
Brad, Alex, Kurt, and I worked on some landscaping around our home. We have a long way to go.
BJ, Mark, and Alex went to a couple of combine clinics for Deere and Cat. That's where you talk about monitor calibration, settings and adjustments, maintenance, and of course, lunch. 
We had a landlord and neighbor have a close call with heart troubles and is recuperating in ICU at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines. We are praying for you Ron, Cindy, and family.
Harold and Ruth and our Pastor and I attended a seminar on discipleship at Grace church this past Friday. To be an effective church, members need to hear about and experience relationships.
We have a produce table at our church during the garden growing season. Folks can leave their extra vegetables and pick up anything they can use.
Friday night was PCHS first home football game against neighboring PCM. I was thankful for our field because it was a wet night.
In 2009 this is son, Mike, and grandson, Cody, doing the dirtwork on the football field. Mike now coaches and Cody chases the stray footballs.
It's interesting how often folk's lives intersect in small communities like southern Iowa. We work together, celebrate together, and hurt together.
We start young working together often helping out around the farm and home.
We celebrate together not just as families but also as neighbors, landlords, customers, and friends.
And we hurt together and my last story is a sad one. I received a call last evening from a landlord that we had lost a mutual friend and neighbor.
Gary, Jay, and Jerry were working on trails, getting ready to camp and ride over the following Labor Day weekend. The 4-wheeler Jay was riding overturned going up a hill and he was killed.
 It happened on the farm we farm southwest of Lovilla. It's the same farm this cave is on that I have used on this blog before. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to Jay's wife, Wanda, and their children Justin, Jeremy, and Michelle and their families.
I have a memory about Jay. When we were small kids and at Christmas program practice at church on a Saturday morning Jay asked me to go for a ride with him in his parents car around the church parking lot. He being older than me made me feel special. We both got in trouble. In relationships folks will seldom remember what you say, however they will never forget how you made them feel. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Silver Linings

We have had our share of clouds and rainy weather this past summer. Often it is followed by some of the most beautiful days. Silver linings are the good days that come after and as a result of the cloudy days. 
Karl is doing well after being in the hospital. He is back farming, taking good care of his pigs, and enjoying his garden.
Jan's Uncle Dave came from Colorado with his daughter Erin and his grandsons. Last Sunday we had a big get together. Dave, Frank Jr., Carolyn, Jean, Gloria, and Florence are the 6 siblings still living. My mother-in-law was their oldest sister. She, Harriett, Chet, and Ed have passed away.
The grandkids are still enjoying playing together as cousins on Mondays at Grandma Jan's however school will soon be starting for the older ones.
Ethan has his arm wrapped and will get a cast after breaking his thumb riding his motorcycle. Just in time to slow down and think about school work. :(
We helped Karl again this week vaccinate 5000 pigs after coffee one morning. When I left I had to laugh at ourselves as 9 of us took 7 pickups to drive the 2 miles to get there.
We also helped BJ work his calf crop and get them ready to sell at a feeder cattle sale in September.
We have been getting harvest equipment ready to go to work. As in this picture some of us did take a break toward the end of the week for the state fair, camping, and some racing.
Dana and Scot brought us KFC for lunch Thursday and visited about the coming harvest. The crop looks good.
For the past 5 years we have helped Cargill/Eddyville transition new crop corn into their recipe making corn syrup. We start planting early maturing hybrids in early April and finish with fuller maturities. We are scheduled to start combining in 2 weeks. 
Some good friends invited us to supper for pizza and wine tasting at our local winery. Not being around wine much I wasn't sure what to expect. It was fun. I enjoyed the experience and the company. Thanks Wayne and Sue, and Dave and Barb.
PC had a scrimmage Friday evening with Knoxville. It's had to believe it's high school football season already.
Kurt raced in the Heartland Challenge Friday night. It's a 4 hour endurocross race. Karl, Malaki, BJ, and the girls were his pit crew.
Last night we enjoyed having the board and staff of PCHS over for supper and Ranger riding. It was fun riding and visiting with Clyde, our interim principal. We worked together in the late 90s when he was principal and I was on the board. 
 In Bible times there was a righteous man named Job. One day he lost all his possessions and his 10 kids and their spouses were killed in a storm. Soon after that he lost his health and his wife told him to die. His friends came over to comfort him and ended up accusing him of some wrong and calling him arrogant for maintaining his innocence. He asked God why. God had a good talk with him and ended up blessing him again with twice as much as he had before plus 10 more children. What Job told God during their conversation intrigues me. He said, "Before I had only heard about you, but now I see you with my own eyes." A silver lining. I wonder, do we just hear about God in our churches or do we actually see Him? 

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Sometimes friends help out with those out of the ordinary jobs. Kurt is putting a rope through the top pulley of our 30 foot flag pole.
Kipper likes to hang out where the action is and often runs over from Karl and Kristin's house. On his return trips back home he refuses to jump in the back of the truck and thinks he belongs in front.
Early this week vaccinated 5000 head of pigs at Karl's shed.
 On a recent visit to an elderly widow I saw this picture and remembered one just like it hanging in my grandparents house 50 years ago. Betty is 90 years old and said this pic was given to her by her parents.
One of the first jobs in getting the shop ready for company is cleaning the washroom pit. Brad and grandkids are helping out.
Our annual appreciation supper is really a friends gathering. Thanks to the girls for always serving a great meal and greeting our guests.
Business associates become friends. Dana is my boss in the seed business and spoke about what's in a bag of seed. Ray is who we sell our corn crop to and spoke about harvest and markets.
Becky and Brian had plenty of help Friday pouring concrete. It's always a rush where to put the little bit of extra concrete after the main job is complete. Becky and I got a spot ready on a broken feeding floor.
A concrete project is always a lot of work but is always worth it.
Yesterday I was mowing road ditches on a farm on old Hwy 92. I am always amazed at how narrow our highways used to be.
When I was part of the new campus project at PCHS I would mow the road ditch every year. Since the campus completion I haven't been back.
Since I like the exposer of our school along the 4 lane and since I don't like trees growing in ditches I decided to be a friend and go get that mowed.
I ended up needing a friend as a tree put a hole in the sidewall of my tire. Thanks Todd for sending your help out on a Saturday afternoon.
Friends of the unborn got together yesterday at our Capital to protest the killing and selling of baby body parts. Who would ever dream we would get to this? How long will God allow us to exist? Thanks for loaning me the picture Connie.
You always run into friends at the State Fair. Rick was grilling pork chops and took time to visit with Kurt and Jackson.
Friends encourage and let you know you are valued. Mark is visiting with Elijah before his next race. Elijah won.
Being a friend in this life shows and teaches others what God intended when He made us and is a foretaste of the fellowship we look foreword to in our next life in eternity.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Good To Great

Jim, an author, asks the question, "How will some peoples lives be better and different because you were here on this earth?" The folks in my visit this morning have helped move my life from good to great.
 Mike, Suzanne, and Cody have had an eventful summer. Football camp was held last week at PC where Mike coaches. Mike hopes to start building a pond this week weather permitting.
 Mark and Stacy have an active family. They enjoy riding and racing their dirt bikes. Mark has had a number of track hoe jobs this summer.
The grandkids have been pretty good help this summer. We did three batches of sweet corn this past week.
BJ and Cassia also have a busy family.
BJ and Cassia delivered some big hydraulic drive motors off of their tiling machine to Michigan this past week to be repaired.
The cows got what was left of the sweet corn patch.
Becky and Brian stay busy to say the least with their responsibilities and young family.
When Becky and Brian attended the Willow Creek Leadership Summit on Thursday and Friday their boys came over to help Grandpa. We went swimming on Friday afternoon.
Saturday the boys were more than willing to help Brian with a skid loader project.
Kurt, Emily, and Jackson have had a busy summer getting ready to move.
With the help of Emily's dad they totally remodeled an older farm home on their new farm.
This past Monday evening everyone pitched in and helped them move.
Karl, Kristin, and Malaki have had an eventful summer as well. Malaki is just about 4 months old.
 After catching a salmonella bug on vacation Karl spent the week in the hospital recovering.
Everyone including Malaki was happy, thankful, and relieved when he started feeling better towards the end of the week. He was able to come home on Friday.
 The PC volleyball girls had their retreat at the cabin on Thursday and Friday. It's always fun to have Cindy, Kim, and the girls come every year.
Gerald and Clarissa celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary at the cabin on Saturday with their family. They are pictured here with their 5 children.
God promises to be faithful to the 3rd and 4th generations of those who love him. This is many of Gerald and Clarissa's extended family.
Matt and Becca and their 4 kids had company over this week. Becca's sister and family came to visit from Alaska so Matt gave all the kids a tractor ride.
 I would not be who I am today without Jan. She has always allowed and encouraged me to follow my dreams and goals. She constantly overlooks my shortcomings. She is patient with my unfinished to do list. She shares me in many different directions. And O by the way, she is planning on having 300 folks over for supper this coming Wednesday evening for our annual Customer Appreciation Supper. You're welcome to come.
 I finished up the week mowing last evening. I was thankful for so many things. Life is people. It's hurting with them when they hurt. It's celebrating with them when good things happen. It's sharing and caring. Have a good week.