Wow. What a week we have had here recently in this part of the world. For me I have had a tidal wave of different thoughts and emotions. I had initially thought I would make this section pretty light hearted, but that just doesnt seem right. Maybe next time. Right now I feel humbled; I feel proud; and I feel very very grateful, all about very unrelated subjects.
I am humbled by the power of the weather. Seeing the ravages of what happened to our friends and neighbors to the not-too-distant south and the loss of life and property can quickly put you in check. I feel grateful for the safety of those who remain, and proud of the response that has been assembled to provide aid and comfort to those in need.
I am humbled by the servicemen and women who toil away in a pile of rock halfway across the world and the resounding blow dealt to al-Qaeda last night. Their efforts will not go unrewarded. Oddly enough, I had been prepared to discuss some family info that came to light this weekend courtesy of one of my surviving great uncles. I am humbled by him as well. He has elected to take the time to recount his life history, and reading about his time spent as a POW in Germany is yet another way I am reminded that most of what we deal with in life shouldnt be taken nearly as seriously as it sometimes is; it is our duty however to utilize our situations and opportunities to their fullest, as my uncle gave his best just as the men and women of the Armed Forces do today. I am grateful for their sacrifice, and proud to call many of these men and women family.
Today was the last day for a family in my home county to milk Holsteins after doing so for 65 years. Three generations of the family grew up, lived, worked, played, and loved one another on that farm. While they're not moving off the land, the knowledge that the lights in the milk barn were not turned on this evening is deeply saddening to me. The way they lived their lives and worked the land is humbling; while I know the pain of seeing a chapter of life on the farm ending, I cannot fathom their situation. The silver lining is that they are a family of bright and talented people who will apply themselves to this new chapter of their lives just as they applied the many years prior. The dignity, the pride, and the integrity with which they operate makes me grateful to call them friends and learn from them.
Thats it. I am ready to go back pulling. I have put up a schedule on the website of my travels. I have already received invitation to attend events based on my appeal to fill my schedule, and I encourage everyone to give me a heads up about their coming events as there may very well be situations where an event may be rained out and I am free to go elsewhere. Thank you for the time and for the opportunity to serve.