Saturday was a great day, and much needed. I helped my dad outside on the farm all day, and took some pretty inspirational pictures.
When I'm roaming around my parent's place, I often find myself inspired, yet sad. I always think of the history there. How all of my uncles and my own father grew up there, how my grandfather was born in our TV room; I really appreciate all of the history there. And then, I think of how more and more small family farms are either run out because they simply can't keep up financially, or they are bought out because some new industrial development would like their land. In the two block radius of my parent's house, my Dad recalled how there used to be about 20 dairy farms, and now there are only five. Three of the houses he remembered as a kid are no longer there, having been bought out and then torn down. The landscape is also completely different. We can see brand new houses being built on a far hill, the local gravel company has completely blasted out a hill for rock, and destroyed a farm in the process. There is a ridiculously large ethanol plant going up about a mile away, and the towering silos can be seen from our place. What used to be a view of the horizon as we drive up the hill has now become a view of cement and steel. The roads are paved (though our little section is still gravel, thank goodness!). I remember riding my bike around the entire block and having 3/4 of it being a gravel road. Now, there is only a small gravel section, which makes the rest of it easy riding.
How I long for those simple days again. No cement and steel, gravel roads, hills and farms where there are now holes and rubble, open fields.....I wish farmers and farming could still be as successful as it once was. What happens when we run all of the farmers out?
It's crazy to think the simple days that I long for are significantly different than the simple days my Dad longs for. I love my Dad.