. . .a Farmer's Lament

"Just me and my 'dirt tombs' . . ."

FARMING WAS ONCE A GOOD AND NOBLE JOB PERFORMED BY ONE MAN AND HIS TEAM OF MULES.
FARMING WAS ONCE A GOOD AND NOBLE JOB PERFORMED BY ONE MAN AND HIS TEAM OF MULES.

MORE FARMING SCENES

FARMER MARKETS LIKE THIS ONE IN FORMER TIMES IN DALLAS, TEXAS, IS WHERE FARMERS OF THAT AREA WENT TO SELL THEIR GOODS IN ORDER TO HAVE MONEY FOR THE NEEDS OF LIFE.
FARMER MARKETS LIKE THIS ONE IN FORMER TIMES IN DALLAS, TEXAS, IS WHERE FARMERS OF THAT AREA WENT TO SELL THEIR GOODS IN ORDER TO HAVE MONEY FOR THE NEEDS OF LIFE.
A FARMER IS A LONELY MAN. HE HAS TO FIGURE OUT, BY FAITH IN HIS MAKER, JUST WHEN TO PLANT, PLOW AND WHEN TO HARVEST. NOT A JOB FOR THE "AVERAGE JOE."
A FARMER IS A LONELY MAN. HE HAS TO FIGURE OUT, BY FAITH IN HIS MAKER, JUST WHEN TO PLANT, PLOW AND WHEN TO HARVEST. NOT A JOB FOR THE "AVERAGE JOE."
A TEAM OF MULES, TO SOME EARLY FARMERS, WOULD BE ANY GAS-POWERED TRACTOR ANY DAY.
A TEAM OF MULES, TO SOME EARLY FARMERS, WOULD BE ANY GAS-POWERED TRACTOR ANY DAY.
AN ANTIQUE TRACTOR SITS SILENT AFTER GIVING ITS OWNER ITS LIFE FOR SEVERAL CROPS, AND US, MANY THANKSGIVING MEALS WITH OUR FAMILIES.
AN ANTIQUE TRACTOR SITS SILENT AFTER GIVING ITS OWNER ITS LIFE FOR SEVERAL CROPS, AND US, MANY THANKSGIVING MEALS WITH OUR FAMILIES.
LEST WE, THE FED, FORGET THE MEN AND OXEN WHO CARVED OUT OUR LANDS TO BECOME OUR FARMERS.
LEST WE, THE FED, FORGET THE MEN AND OXEN WHO CARVED OUT OUR LANDS TO BECOME OUR FARMERS.
SPEADING FERTILIZER TO MAKE THAT YEAR'S GROUND FERTILE ENOUGH FOR THAT FALL'S HARVEST.
SPEADING FERTILIZER TO MAKE THAT YEAR'S GROUND FERTILE ENOUGH FOR THAT FALL'S HARVEST.

"Just who am I," you ask . . .

My name's not important. So that's why I don't introduce myself to you, and besides, what would it matter anyway? You'd just nod, smile, maybe shake my dirty hand, and agree with most anything I had to say. Then take your curious-minded family and head on down the road. I can't say as I blame you. Not much to see here in these "dirt tombs," that I call my fields. Just me, Jesus, and my tractor. Oh, the wife's been gone for about fifteen years. She got purely fed-up with not having anything fit for company, and just left one day. Good thing we didn't have any kids. I have enough to answer for.

I'm doing now what my father did and his father before him did. And that ain't fancy. That's called farming. Time was, pardon me while I get a drink of this spring water, thanks. That was good. Now where was I? Oh yeah . . .farming used to be a job of importance. A job that folks looked up to and paid the man behind the mule some respect. Don't ask me what happened. I don't know. All I do know is that I wish I had a sensible reason why I still do this meaningless job. Meaningless. That's all it is. Just me, Jesus, and my tractor. And no reflection on Jesus, sometimes I think He's not that interested in what I do either.

And who would? Having to get up, no matter the weather, rain, shine, hail, or scorching sun, to just plant, with what faith I have left, that the seeds I put into this worn-out piece of ground, will come up green in the fall. A few times they didn't. I guess those were the times that "Maggie," my wife of 22 years, had suffered enough.

She left in the dead of night and I didn't see her scratched-out note on a piece of brown Piggly Wiggly grocery bag, setting on the eating table, until I had my coffee on that dark January morning. I swore when I looked out my dingy kitchen window panes, that I saw Death himself standing under my big Oak tree yonder in the front yard. And he was glaring through the fog at me just waiting for me to fire-up my tractor in that run-down barn so he could run me through with that sharp sickle he carries with him.

Why does life have to be so hard sometimes? Take me for example. I come from a Christian home with a Christian mama, and my papa, well he tried to do right, but he did love a "taste" home homemade liquor now and then. But when I got to be a man and left home for the Army, I had a feeling when I got on that train that foggy morning in town to head to some Army base for training, that life wouldn't treat me the same when I did get back to my private life. Mama cried when I waved goodbye. Papa just looked like he had rather not know me at the time. He never did tell me he loved me. Not at all. His dad was like that too. No heart.

Crops come. Crops go. So that applies to friends too. And a few neighbors who just gave up and left the rest of us who was married to the dirt in order to get up each day the Good Lord give us and live. Mostly, the neighbors who'd been toughened by life and the dust storms it brings, stayed around. I see them at times plowing their miserable fields that are like mine, over-the-limit and give way too much to people's stomach's already. But we keep on. Getting up at daylight. Working like a fool 'til dark. Wishing the Good Lord would call us home. We all know that somewhere a little child is hungry. And it's up to us, or used to be up to us, to feed him. So he can live and get strong. Maybe take over a big company someday. Just because a few people and myself got up those extra mornings before the rooster. Went a few more hours without any supper. And drew a mournful sigh that only the Good Lord heard, when the day (longer than Hades' time clock) was finally over.

Not long go my government did something that not even my preacher can figure out. A government man rolled up on my friend, "Johnny Brewster's" property and took out a clipboard with a lot of papers-a blowing back and forth in the Kansas wind, and talked "Johnny" into not growing any crops. At all. And the government man said another senseless thing, that he would pay "Johnny" to just let his ground be. Never heard of our Washington men and women acting so desperate for us farmers to not provide them and others in the world with food to eat. But . . .if you, my friend, can figure out the brains of the government people, then you are not cut out to be standing here with me in this hot sun talking about a thankless job done by a bunch of faceless people to help a world of nameless masses with one more meal to eat, you need to be in Washington, doing something good for a good and noble job. Farming. And men other than me, who have lost more than a few crops, but their dignity at not being able to work in their own dirt to make something good. Not for another star in their personal heaven, but for the wisdom of truth that they have made someone else's belly a little less hungry.

Thanks for bring the spring water out to me. If you ain't got anymore questions, then I got to get back to this last few acres of corn. Somebody's bound to need it when times get worse.

"would have swore I saw Death himself looking at me through the dingy kitchen window panes . . ."

"Farming is a thankless job done by a bunch of faceless men for a bunch of nameless people."

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Comments 10 comments

Theeyeballkid profile image

Theeyeballkid 4 years ago

Great hub Kenneth, thanks for highlighting the plight of the farmer.

Over here in the UK we have the same sick regulations that pay landowners subsidies for not growing certain crops and letting their land go idle. It disgusts me that these laws exist, when there are more than a billion people in the world dont get enough to eat.


hoteltravel profile image

hoteltravel 4 years ago from Thailand

Strange are the ways of men, especially those in power. These laws make one wonder about 'for the people' part about democracy. Individual farming is dying worldwide.

Kenneth, you have beautifully highlighted the plight of a hapless small-scale farmer. You have proved once again that you can go beyond humor and handle serious issues. Let me tell you once more that I enjoy your style of writing. Voted all the way up and awesome.


Sueswan 4 years ago

HI Kenneth,

We owe farmers so much. Our produce does not appear in our grocery stores out of thin air.

You know that I am a lover of your writing but this one really shows what a talented writer you are. Loved everything about this one. A true masterpiece.

Voted up and away!

Happy Easter my friend.

God Bless


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

Kenneth, you have such a keen understanding of life and it shows in your writing. The plight of the farmers is so sad and I wonder where our world is headed. Great Hub!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Theeyeballkid, thank you so much for your warm comment. At my age, I am too old and broken-down to get upset at the stupid laws that the U.S. Government uses to put small farmers out of business. Over here, it's the huge, monstrosities, called AgriBusiness companies that speed-grow our food to make a huge profit. I wonder if they even test the products they grow for cancer-causing bacteia or microbes. Probably not. That would make too much sense.

Come back anytime you want to. I appreciate your comment.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

hoteltravel . . ."Seriously, I am without proper words to say 'thanks' to you." I am very humbled by your comment and I hope that everyone who commented and those who read and didn't comment, will never forget what the "little guys," our small farmers, gave to make our country great. Yes, I sound old-fashioned. Even patriotic. I couldn't care less how I come across. I love the small farmers. My dad was one of those. He worked himself almost to death to feed our family. This is why I get so passionate FOR the little guys, the underdogs in the USA who the liberal government are running over and out of business at a daily pace.

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dearest Susan,

I appreciate, SO MUCH, you saying these words to me. I do not think that I would have lasted this long if it were not for the kind supportive words YOU, Hoteltravel, catgypsy, theeyeballkid and all of my friends on Hubs have given me in the past 11 months. I cant stress my Thanks enough to you, Susan, and all on here.

I try to make everyone happy with my work. Sometimes I eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats me. (James Earl Jones in the movie, "Gardens Of Stone," with James Caah and Angelica Houston.)

Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Catgypsy . . ."a Heart-felt Thanks to you for all of your sweet comments that fuel my desire to produce at least 400 hubs in the next 12 months. If possible. That means a lot of work. Wait a second. I mean to say, 100 more hubs. What am I doing--digging myself into a hole???? Lol. Take care, cat and guys on here...you all mean a lot to me.

Kenneth


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South

Wow, that's an ambitious goal, but one I'm sure you'll reach and there will be much entertainment for all of us!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dearest catgypsy,

thank you for your kind words. I do not know about the 400 hubs, but it is something to shoot for, eh? Why not 50? That seems feasible. Okay. 50 it is.

Now its coffee time.

Take care!

Kenneth

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