Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Getting a preview of the "Empty Nest"

Susan and I took our son to Scout Camp in southwest Missouri on June 25 and picked him up on July 4. Instead of returning home we went out to Ford County, Kansas where Susan's great-grandfather homesteaded in the 1870s. The land is still in the same family, so Liam is getting an opportunity to work with his cousins for a month and learn a lot about the life that molded his mother's side of the family.

Both of us took Monday and Tuesday off for visiting and travel, so our son had worked a full day digging post holes and helping repair fences. Yesterday he made the rounds of the irrigation pumps in the morning and got to drive a tractor in the afternoon and evening, ripping out weeds in a hail-damaged field. This tractor was GPS-enabled, so all he really had to do was turn the corners at the ends of the rows.

So, in his first two days of employment, he got not only a taste of the "glamorous" side of farming, but some of the not so nice work that goes into managing a successful farm. He'll have to adjust to the realities of rural life, not the least of which is that the closest town is Dodge City, about 10 miles to the northwest. We made sure he had pocket money, but forgot to mention that he'll have a hard time spending it.

We're looking forward to his return after a month.

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