Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Delta Dawn When the Light Comes On: Week 32

"The earth yields crops by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. When grain is ripe, the farmer puts in his sickle. Harvest has come." Mark 4:28, 29. All seed is time sensitive. Harvest starts as seed comes out of the barn and is placed into good, fertile soil. "As a rancher/farmer, my most important crop is my children!"

North Park (Walden) Colorado has 3 seasons: Before Hayin', Durin' Hayin' and After Hayin'. Surrounded by the Continental Divide on three sides, Spring may hesitate until noon and vanish before sunset; freeze may arrive the first day of summer, snow during the July rodeo or provide drifts for ice cream the first day of school. And, there is nothing quite like a full moon hanging over the Medicine Bow Range in August or the Northern Lights dancing and glowing in September.

Once the Spring thaw happened, our men would busy themselves with sickle sharpening, overhauling tractor motors and welding machinery for strength. We women butchered some of the 300 chickens we had fed since March, and filled the freezer with them. We molded pounds of butter and baked fruit pies. We baked bread fresh when needed, and chocolate cake, daily. Hayin' Day off was July Fourth. We'd close down and go fishing, even if hay lay on the ground. 

After Hayin' was unique family time because we didn't gather to brand calves, bale hay or herd cattle to or from summer pasture. Aunt Mary ordered 12 turkey eggs from Montgomery Wards, hatched, and grew them up to present them to our families at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Getting to church with this varied "busyness" was nearly impossible, so I read the Bible daily, played and sang hymns. I wrote to about 10 pen pals. Mother was aghast it cost 30 cents for postage! 

We were rich, but we didn't always have ready cash. We raised meat, or hunted it, and caught fish. A 2½ month growing season limited vegetables to lettuce and radishes. Truck farmers from "The Valley" (Fort Collins, Rocky Ford, Palisade. CO) brought tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, melons and peaches. Canning season set in! Vital vitamin C for Hayin', After Hayin' – school – and Before Hayin'! 

Young people may think this cruel and unusual punishment, but such seeds of life created, within us, an entrepreneurial spirit. Duty and conviction matured us. A value system, a work ethic. Character. Social graces set us above our peers. We put in the sickle with faith and fervor, exceling at all we attempted.

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven; a time to plant, and a time to harvest what is planted." Ecclesiastes 3:1-2. "I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me!" Psalm 13:6

Next Week: Money Talks


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