Made a short trip to Oklahoma to see my parents - then on to Weatherford to see my youngest son.
The wheat is getting ripe but my Dad didn't plant much this year. My brother will help him out again. Not really enough for me to go down to help.
My brother and I were raised in this environment of farming. Working the ground. Planting the seeds. Harvesting the wheat. It's a crap shoot at best. I've been told all my life (not by my Baptist Father - but others) the biggest gamblers you will ever meet are wheat farmers. I agree.
Being the girl, once I was an adult I married and went another direction. My brother, though has always lived close to my Dad and Mom and it falls on him to help every harvest season. My Dad is "tight" - to put it mildly and my brother does this work for "free" - If helping parents is something you expect compensation for. - Other than the whole feeding and raising for 18 years! : ) - Then once I moved back in the area, I helped several summers. Not sure it relieved my brother any - but I did my best.
The thing is, loving the land isn't as simple as it sounds. There are many layers in loving the land. True, sincere loving the land comes from sweating and bleeding in that soil. It comes from taking a chance year after year. It comes from listening to the storms rolling in and praying your crop is safe. It comes from repairing and sweating - and again bleeding over the old equipment.
Being proud of my Dad and his constant risk taken year after year is one of the ways my brother and I love that land. We help, but we don't have the love of it that causes us to take that yearly gamble with all we have. We love that our Dad has given us a heritage of "land." But when we (and I really mean my brother more than me) but when we sweat and bleed in this soil, it's because we love our Dad and all that he stands for. We respect the land, we respect our Dad's work on that land. But to give all I have to take a chance on a living isn't in me.
I greatly admire people who truly sincerely have this love.
I am proud of my Dad and all he stands for as a wheat farmer. He truly LOVES the land, not just ownership. Not just being an overseer. Not just having his name on a deed but he actually loves that land.
I'm proud of my brother and all he stands for as the son of a wheat farmer. He loves Dad and therefore, respects his land and all it stands for.
There are many layers of "Loving the Land." I don't want to take for granted all that my forefathers did for me in "loving the land" - inside their layer. - Or my Dad's layer. - or the layer my brother and I live in. It's all important. It's all a part of living off the land. Living on the land.
It is a gamble.
It is also a heritage.