Sunday, December 8, 2013
It was 2am. I had told Mark I would be in the field to help him around 3. I wondered if BJ was still out. He had headed for a job on the county line around 8pm.
After getting up I took some Tylenol for my horrible toothache and decided to sit a bit on the porch until the medication kicked in.
It was just a few minutes later when BJ came on the 2-way and asked if anyone had a copy. His voice sounded like he was in trouble. After immediately jumping up and responding he asked if I would pick him up. I asked if he was burnt. He said yes, in his eyes. I can count on one hand how many times I felt what I was feeling. Helpless, weak, and scared. He was working on a bottom and had no cell service. I grabbed 3 bottles of water and jumped into the closest vehicle, Jan's pickup. The drive was about 20 miles.
Of the 100 plus tanks BJ applied this fall he wore his goggles on every hookup. However on this occasion he had just gone back to make sure no knives were plugged.
He thought there may be a knife in question so he ran a wire up the tube from the bottom to check for dirt. No problems. He still wasn't 100% sure it was working so he pulled the hose off. No problems. When he ran his wire down from the top of the tube NH3 literally squirted 6 feet high and straight into his eyes.
He knew he had to find water fast and he couldn't see. He remembered his water bottle was beside his tractor seat so he felt his way to the cab and flushed out his eyes. He also folded up his rig and tried to find his way out of the field because he needed cell phone service and was sure no one would be on the 2-way in the middle of the night. He tried anyway.
At the ER they had these contact lenses with tubes attached to them. They flushed his eyes for 2 hours. In between flushes they would measure the ph in his eyes. BJ asked if we could pray together. Cassia, Becky, Mike, Karl, and I stood around his bed, held hands, and asked God to please spare his sight.
Iowa City was requesting BJ be there by 8am so they loaded him up and let Cassia ride along.
After flushing his eyes for another 4 hours in Iowa City the ph levels stabilized and the process of determining the damage started.
He has 100% of his cornea burnt in one eye and 70% burnt in the other. The cornea is the outer layer of our eyeball. The cornea does have the ability to heal with proper blood flow and no infection.
Late on Thursday they sent BJ home with 7 or 8 different medications to be taken or applied every 2 hours. The clarity of his eyesight comes and goes. Cassia is doing a marvelous job of taking care of him. They go back to Iowa City on Monday. The doctors said they would be seeing a lot of each other before this is over.
Below Gideon loves his Daddy and wants him to feel better. Accidents remind us how much we actually care about each other.
I'm also thankful how our team covered for each other. Thursday Ryan covered my responsibilities. Brad, Kurt, Alex, and others loaded BJ's calves and delivered them to a special feeder calf sale to be sold on Friday. Mark and his boys dug in tile intakes for BJ on Friday and Saturday so Mike could continue building terraces. I'm also so very thankful for friends that offered their well-wishes, thoughts, prayers, and help.
Thank you God that BJ can see. Thank you he has a chance for a full recovery. Thank you for a toothache that got me up but kept me in the house long enough to hear and help.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
As the sun came up this past Thursday morning it promised to be a truly gorgeous Thanksgiving Day. Holidays always feel like Sundays so it felt funny to go out and run dozer first thing.
We do have a church service on Thanksgiving morning. Folks emailed in pictures of what they were thankful for and those were shown on the screens before church. Good job of putting that together Kristin. I also love music and enjoyed the praise team.
Jan likes to go out and collect fall and winter greenery and decorations and put them together in an arrangement.
John and Gideon are attempting to restack some firewood. They had it all neatly stacked the day before and it fell over.
There was too much frost to do fieldwork this week but the dozers are going strong. Below the boys are building terraces for Joel who is also helping with his dozer.
BJ is also busy tiling. He says after the first foot it is still dry as a bone.
Thanksgiving is generational as we celebrate our blessings and our family was blessed to have four generations getting together.
The guys were planning on target practicing in the afternoon.
However Jan said I was hoping you guys would help me put up Christmas lights first.
Someone thought maybe Jan got that idea from Miss Kay on an episode of Duck Dynasty when she told her boys they couldn't go hunting until they helped her.
The gals helped Jan get decorations up on the inside of the cabin while the guys were working outside.
So often we take for granted what we are thankful for. Thanksgiving helps us slow down, count our blessings, and share with others what we are thankful for. Finally it's not just what we say about our blessings but how we use them that is the true measure of our thanksgiving.
We know we can ask God for help when bad things happen. We need to remember to tell Him thank you when good things happen and not just privately by ourselves but also together as family and community. Saying thank you is an action we have a responsibility as parents to pass along to the next generations.
I'm a little late posting this morning. I just added this picture. I got up to do my blog this morning and had no internet. No internet, no blog. I did what I usually do when I'm clueless. I replugged it in. Nothing. I pounded on it. Nothing. As I was standing there wondering what to do I prayed, "I know this is minor details in the big scheme of life God but I was wondering if you could help me". I don't deserve His help. I replugged and pounded again and all the green lights came on. Many folks think these little things are just a coincident. I don't. I was so happy it started working and as I hurried off to write this blog I just about forgot to say Thank you.
Have a good week and don't forget to say Thank you.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
Two men were working. The first was busy digging holes. The second was busy filling filling in those same holes. Finally an observer's curiosity got the best of him and he asked one of the men what they were trying to accomplish. The worker replied that they usually worked as a three man team however the tree planter hadn't showed up. Ever had days like that?
We all enjoyed a relaxing day last Sunday as we all got together for a noon meal after church. The guys see each other throughout the week so it's extra special when the girls and the kids are around to visit with and tease.
We pray and ask God to help us fix our countries problems. Sometimes we expect immediate results. God is timeless. Sometimes he answers our prayers by sending us the next generation. Some examples. David wanted God to have a temple. His son Solomon built it. Moses led the people of Israel for 40 years to the promised land. His young helper Joshua actually led them in. Our 6th president, John Quincy Adams, hated slavery and worked his tail off to get rid of it. It wasn't until after he died that his young helper grew up, became president after many losses, and abolished slavery. His young helpers name was Abe Lincoln.
After lunch last Sunday the guys shot clay pidgeons. It was fun although I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn.
Since it was wet this week I thought I would stop and visit my 90 year old father-in-law. He likes to tell stories about the old days. I have most of them memorized from all the retells however he told me one on this visit that I hadn't heard before. I wished I could have been there.
He told me the Blackwood Brothers showed up to sing at Cedar School when he was a young man. He said they were driving a brand new Mercury and he emphasised the brand new part. He continued his story by telling me that the singing group forgot their trunk key and all their music was in the trunk. The group then asked my father-in-law(a young man) if he thought he could get their trunk open for them. He assured them he could get it open but it would be the hard way as he put it. He went in the school and came out with a crowbar. He concluded his story by telling me, "I got it open for them and I want you to know it wasn't pretty." I can only imagine.
Our young peoples group sponsored a waffle supper at church to raise money for a mission trip. The gentleman in charge kept 12 waffle irons going by himself.
Six of us showed up to coffee time at Marv and Jean, our landlords. We had a good time eating apple cake and apple bread. Every winter they help Wycliff Bible Translators.
Sometimes you wonder what we do when we're not in the field. Well three semi loads of seed showed up Saturday morning. Below Ryan is signing the paper work while the drivers, Larry, Nathan, and Justin are getting ready to head back home to Holland, Iowa.
Last Friday evening was the fall music program at our local christian school. Once again the kids and their teachers did a great job of communicating their theme, the fruits of the spirit.
Last evening Jan and I had supper with Harold and Betty and the pastor and associate pastor and their wives of their church. It was an event held in Des Moines. The theme was our countries need for revival. Bob's new book, If 7:14, was introduced and David, an historian, talked about our countries past revivals.
This afternoon we are looking forward to watching The Christmas Candle with friends. It's a film about modern day miracles and the people that don't believe in them. Do miracles happen today?
In Joshua 3:5 young Joshua tells God's people, "Get ready because tomorrow the Lord is going to do incredible things among you." Miracles are God showing up in our everyday lives. We have to recognize opportunities. We have to be ready. We have to believe that God can use us.
When was the last time you took a risk and did something that had a good possibility of failure. Miracles won't happen if we never step out of our comfort zone. God does show up sooner and later. Are you ready?
Sunday, November 17, 2013
The definition of expression is the process of making known one's thoughts or feelings. We express our thoughts by how we act, the tone of our voice, what we don't say, what we do say, and what we write.
Our corn stalks going back to corn next year are just about all turned under. Thanks Ryan, Josh, Brian, and Brad for keeping this rig going.
We use an in-line ripper to shatter the compaction layers in the soil. It's a good year to rip since the ground is dry. Ripping also allows the winter freezes to penetrate the fields and help make the soils mellow. Thanks for the long hours and keeping the hoses repaired Andy.
We are hauling honey at Karl and Kristin's. It's the last shed we have to empty. Thanks Alex for being such a steady applicator after your day job.
Anhydrous has been popular this fall since it's $100/ton cheaper than last year and falling. Mark, BJ, and Kurt are all putting in long days pulling custom smoke for different crop retailers. Karl also ran a fourth toolbar some this week. Anhydrous ammonia is a nitrogen source for next years crop.
Mike continues to keep his dozer busy this fall mostly building new terraces.
Spreading lime is always on the job list but generally gets pushed back due to more pressing issues. We hire someone to dump the needed tons at the edge of the field and then load it with a skidloader on Grandpa Gene's old lime bed.
Selling seed corn used to be a winter job. Every year the seed companies move the incentive deadlines earlier. We have received seven loads of seed already for next years crop. Thanks Ryan and Pablo for running forklift.
It's time to get the combines cleaned up before the weather gets too cold. Pablo does an awesome job when he's not working at Cargill.
Jan and I enjoyed spending some time with Rick this past week. Rick has accepted a CEO position with a christian film company. He expressed how he hopes to use his given notoriety to promote values through christian films.
The first film being promoted by Echolight Studios is the Max Lucado story, The Christmas Candle. It is an excellent film and is showing this coming weekend at two locations in Des Moines as well as other locations around the country. Having seen the premiere screening last Monday evening I highly recommend you go see it if you are able.
A neat form of expression is a thank you note. They are always valued by the folks receiving them. As we get closer to Thanksgiving is there someone that has gone the extra mile for you? A short note would make their day.
A not so neat form of expression is repeating rumors and gossip. So often today folks hear things and automatically think it's the gospel truth when in fact it isn't. Before repeating something ask oneself, is this bit of information intended to build someone up or tear them down.
An individual we work for owns this billboard sign on the edge of his farm. He shared he would like to put up a short Biblical expression that would make people think and asked me for suggestions. Great idea. Got any thoughts?
So as we go about our activities while we're down here on planet earth we are never sure what's coming ahead of us. At the same time as we look back we can see our Creator had a plan. As we interact and express with each other I think we will be the most effective if our goal is to be happy, humble, and helpful. Have a good week.
"And what does the Lord require of you? Act justly, show mercy, and walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8