Footprints in the Snow
November 30, 2015, 9:36 pm
Filed under: November 2015 | Tags: , , , ,

November 30, 2015

Today marks the last day of November. As I pause to think about this month gone by, I am reminded that “time marches on”. The month flew by and this year is quickly fading into a memory. My birthday is less than two weeks away and I will say goodbye to another year that way too.

I could pout for a few hours as I think of the time that slipped away, but I prefer to dwell instead, on the memories this year has made. I can string a lifetime of them together and not feel one bit sad. In fact, I feel a little bit proud for having made it this far!

I remember once, as a young boy, my cousin and I parachuting off our chicken coop. We made parachutes out of a big sheet of plastic and some baling twine. We tucked the plastic into our belts and climbed to the roof of the coop. I was oldest, so I went first.

I ran as fast as I could along the peak of the roof. I jumped as high as I could and yanked the chute out of my belt. I fell to the ground, into a thicket of brambles like a plastic covered rock. The air in my lungs left my body in one gush. I rolled on the hard ground in agony, trying to catch my breath. My cousin was doubled up in laughter and choked to finally ask if I was okay?

I told him that I was fine and to go ahead and try it, but I cautioned…”Jump higher!”. We did survive that day and several more doing some very stupid, yet brave things. So, it is no small feat when I say I celebrate my survival thus far.

Last week we got our first real snow. My grandchildren were here for a while running around the farm. They helped me and they played with the animals. They stayed until they got cold. It was time to go. I waved goodbye as I watched them head for home. Turning back to my chores, I saw their little footprints in the snow.

I paused a minute from my work to think about our children’s footprints, snow angels and snowmen from years gone by. I couldn’t help but smile. I went to get my camera to take a picture of the small boot prints. When I got back, the footprints along with the snow, were gone. They remain only in my memory.

So, I will salute this passing month. I will thank her for some unseasonably warm weather. I will commit to memory some treasured times shared with family and friends. I will take a minute to think of a few Novembers past and smile, for I don’t know where they went, but I sure won’t forget them!

Pathways and Footprints
May 26, 2015, 10:33 pm
Filed under: May 2015 | Tags: , , , ,
Summer Sap Road

Summer Sap Road

May 26, 2015

In my woods there are sap roads and pathways. On these trails you will find footprints, mine and those of woodland animals. I go there sometimes to think, to pray or just to be alone. I find this place to be magical. I have watched it change in many ways since I became the owner and caretaker. I appreciate having all this green space to enjoy and share. I salute people who also place value on places such as these.

Among my friends is a man named Mark who is a champion for Ashtabula County. He has been in charge of the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. He will be leaving that post and taking over the helm at the 503 Corp. I am sure he will do an awesome job there as well, but my thoughts tonight revolve around his energy for open space, parks, vineyards and damn near anything Ashtabula County.

I share his passion for gardening, homesteading, family and self reliance. We have shared many conversations regarding market gardening, the greenway trail, connections, networking and apple cider! I helped him learn to raise and butcher home grown pork. I has been a fun journey to watch, but better still, to be along for the ride. I am pleased the Mark has found another niche for himself here in our county. It is good for him and it is good for us!

I will walk in my woods. I will share this farm through word and deed. I will get my energy from the footprints and pathways in my woods and on my heart. This farm touches me and restores me. I find peace here. I make friends here. I am proud to say that I was able to help a young man embrace the values he had all along. I am proud to be a mentor, a friend and a fellow small farmer. Congratulations and good luck Mark Winchell