It is spring again, and my children are enjoying the warm weather and budding flowers so much. They spend every day swimming in the spring-fed creek by the garden, playing in the herb garden with their cousins, jumping on the trampoline, canoeing or fishing in the pond, and building forts in the woods. They come home covered in ticks and dirt. Yesterday they spent two hours making mud pies in the powdery dirt by the house. The tracks on my floor testified to their play. My floor is regularly tracked up with footprints, wet or dirty, and either I or one of the trackers is sweeping the floor all the time. I am thankful I do not have carpet, that’s for sure. Everyday life is an adventure. Most days Parker and sometimes the girls get to jump in the Jeep with Big Papa and ride around the property as he works. Most every day the kids help Mama Pearl in the garden. They consider that time a real treat.
Gracie has been making tea using the spring water with an assortment of herbs she finds. She picks dandelions, mint, wild roses, or whatever she thinks will taste good. She squeezes the leaves by hand in a bowl of water to get the herb juice out, and then brings it home for us to taste. With lots of prayer, I am not sick from it yet, so I keep tasting the concoctions she comes up with. As I watch my children enjoying their lives, I think how blessed they are. They are reaping the blessings of the decisions my own parents made when I was a very small child.
Before my family moved here, we lived in the city in a nice, big house my dad built. He had a big shop and a growing business as a cabinetmaker. But my dad saw himself getting busier and busier, and he wanted more for his family, and “more” wasn’t material things. My parents sold everything and moved to the country. For the first few months we lived in a 20- by 14-foot shack. Mom and my sister Rebekah washed our clothes in the creek. Mom cooked over a fire, and we ate way too much corn and cabbage. Dad cut the trees on our property and sawed them up on a sawmill he constructed, and then with that lumber, we built our house and barns and shop. In time we learned to farm the land. I didn’t know it at the time, but as I look back I realize we were quite poor for a while. Our extended family thought we were crazy. “What sane man would put his family through all that? Who lives like that?”
My dad had a far-reaching vision. Now I can see that his plans included my children. My parents’ choices have now passed down to me and mine. Every day I thank God for his blessing on my children. I know that he was building a foundation for my family when I was yet a child. I can hear my children’s laughter and loud singing as they swing down at the herb garden. Thank you, God. Thank you, Mom and Dad.