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Follows song: "Shelter Blessing
Reader reads Entries 25 thru 27


A rooster announced daybreak. The sounds of living creatures waking to the day is sort of Nature's music. I love the critters ! From the loft window we see an expanse of open land marked off with fences that only suggest a property line and discourage cows from roaming too far. There is no intrusion on the land here. The people work with Nature, well aware she can be coaxed, but not forced, and even Nature must be replenished. An old wisdom, forgotten in the cities and not learned in schools. We don't feel poor here. These people are plain and live close to the core of life. They judge by other standards. Already the barn shelter has enfolded us, and Jake has decided we can stay.


We eat with the Johnsons - Mr. and Mrs. and two sons and a younger daughter. Good plain food vigorous with family sharing. We had long laughs at the sons' stories about old Jake's antics. Father and Mother faces are seasoned by time and smiling at life. They have seen a lot come and go. Hearts have ripened, not shriveled. Mr. Johnson says this was always a small farm, now it's just smaller. The land seems vast to us after cramped city. Rick explained the farm s small compared to the huge corporate technology-run farm combines today - or something like that - whatever it means. Sleeping on hay at night. Waking up to rooster calls and lowing cows. Living close to Mother Earth's heart. Hearing her wisdom. I wish the old man could be here. He would like it. Who knows ? Maybe he is here. I think so.


Now that we're here, and things are showng signs of working out well, the two sons have gone to the city to work at tractor repair. Not enough work here. Most have had to abandon farming and sold tractors. The sons want to marry, and must have paying jobs. The daughter has gone to stay with an aunt in another town, to take a business course. It's good we're here to make parting less lonely. It isn't just the parting, it's also the reasons. The Johnson's are watching an end to generations of family farming. We can help with planting in May. We feel glad to know this will work to mutual advantage. It's a paradox, we are all here because we were born into families that did not have the glue of tradition. Stress and trouble parts families like that. But the Johnson's supply what we missed. And we supply what they would miss were we not here. You just have to think that a Great Wisdom planned this. All farms in this area are small family farms. Warren says we're lucky that in our ignorance we stumbled into the midst of our kind of folks. When I see how things worked out to answer everyone's need, I don't think lucky is the right word.

Followed by song: "Good Country Friends
Group, led by Mario.