a dad’s tale

if only i had a scanner. then you could join me visually on a trip that spans two decades and join me here on father’s day 2014: a celebration of my man.



instead, i ask that you use your imaginations friends from 1994 until, hmmmm, not too long ago when i entered the digital age (so reluctantly). paul and i had a long and well documented courtship but to catch a glimpse of those years you will have to come to the farm and request a slide show. for those of you too far away, words will suffice.

we  met in the summer of 1994, we were both working and learning with farmer john peterson, a wonderful mentor and early CSA farmer in caledonia, illinois.  in the farm’s packing room that august day we first laid eyes on one another.  i can still remember the surge of emotion i felt. “love at first sight” ? folks often ask, well, not exactly. it was an overwhelming feeling, one that really wasn’t entirely pleasant, because it was so darn scary. this was the man i would spend the rest of my life with.


we waltzed across australia and indonesia. we camped deep in  the shawnee national forest and the great smoky mountains. we drove our toyota tercel hatchback with hand crafted swamp canoe atop along the blue ridge parkway and up the atlantic coast. we picked cappies (as australians call peppers) and grapes. we harvested grapefruits and bananas.  we worked with farmers abroad and in our home country before we found our farm in the hills and hollows of south central kentucky.

here we landed, in the late fall of 1998 pregnant with our first child. and here we are today nearly 16 years later, celebrating paul’s fatherhood. we raise a glass to the man who is a patient and loving dad to 3 children.


in that joy we toast our marriage and our family, our farm and our life.  these commitments have not always been easy, i have discovered over the years maintaining a healthy self, enjoying a successful marriage, managing a thriving farm and raising children is all tough stuff. these are the jobs that can deplete you easily on a gloomy day. my life isn’t always jolly, and this fatherly love i write about here has shown itself in plenty of unattractive ways! but today, with a clear blue sky and a light cool wind, it’s all good.

DSCN0788the day ended, the fireflies emerged, the sun set and my heart was full of the greatest love for paul, the father of my babes and for stuart, my dad, who passed before he could know them.



what a team

as my oldest son comes of age the tension that comes with adolescence sometimes creeps into our home. he is stretching his wings, breathing deeply and leaving childhood behind. i have some theories about parenting through adolescence, but i have decided to wait and share these once i am sure i have survived.

the other day we completed the poured concrete roof of our root cellar. i have chronicled the project here and here. it has been a thoroughly successful process and one that concluded with an absolutely perfect father son waltz. you see, all the aches and pains of my teenage boy trying to find his place on our family farm are eased by concrete.

DSCN0122these are two of my favorite guys, they are (we all are) fairly strong willed and opinionated. when these two are at odds, we all feel it.  when they work together, their rhythm can not be beat.






the delight i have in these moments is indescribable: pure bliss for me, the wife and mama.