Day at the farm- Truly blest

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My date for the day! 🙂

It’s on days like today that I feel extremely blessed! This morning, my Dad, Grandpa, Brody & I headed up to our family farm for a day of completing some work, prior to the full onslaught of the winter season. Brody was going to use the pole chainsaw and regular chainsaw and trim some of the trees that were covering the sides of the main trail going back to the campsite, so that it was easier for me to mow along them. (I was on the tractor all day.) (shown above^) My Grandpa, drove around supervising us and telling us where to go next, Dad drove the Honda (four-wheeler) around helping Brody with things and helping move limbs out of the way so that I could mow.

After about 2 hours, one of my older brothers, Nathan, came up with his son Oliver to roast hotdogs and play around a little. Oliver was sweet as he always is, helping me throw old buns into the woods for the turkeys and waving at me as I mowed. Back in October, over fall break I came up with my Grandpa to work on clearing some smaller shrubs and trees that Adam (my eldest brother) had dug out with an excavator. It was my first time driving a tractor in almost two years, and took me a little bit of time to get back in the swing of how all the levers and such work. Haha! Needless to say, this trip I knew what I was doing and thoroughly enjoyed the mowing and other work I did with the tractor.

In highschool I and a friend worked during the summer mowing for a farm, my Ag advisor looked after. I also was sort of in-charge of doing ours at home. Mowing is one of the things, which I take great pride in. I remember that I used to get quite upset if my brother mowed the lawn or weed-eated, because he didn’t do stripes, or fit my pretty high standards. Haha! Okay, I’ll admit it I had problems. Maybe I still do, but I’m working on them. OCD, does come in handy sometimes! I like ORDER! 😀

One of the many reasons who I love to mow, is the time that it gives me and the place that it puts me in. Sitting on a tractor for sometimes hours, have given me a lot of time to “think” about stuff. I remember mowing the yard at home, (I could get the whole yard done in an hour and a half. (2 1/2 acres) It was sitting on the tractor that I experienced a lot of love from God, as well as his mercy and peace. I would usually start out by praying a rosary and then just talk with God about my day, school, friends, anything and everything. Usually I would talk out loud. (hey, it wasn’t to myself!) When my dog Maggie (Bubba, as I called her.) (Yes, I already told you I was weird.) was alive she was my constant companion. She would trot down the line I was mowing on the left front side of the mower, sometimes I would have to stop if she smelled a mole and had to dig in front of the tractor. It also gave me a way to expel my feelings if I was upset or angry about something, (manual labor seems to be a remedy to about everything with me.) Talking with God while I was mowing, helped my vocation journey as well. One-on-one time with God to pray and ask about what he was calling me to, helped so much! It was times like these, that I remember with great love and joy.

Like, when I would mow at home, today on the tractor left me a lot of time to think. Especially of many the memories that I had experienced over the years at the farm. I was recollecting on the many adventures I have had with my family at the farm over the years. The farm is somewhere around 330 acres, and has been in my family since like the 1970’s or something. The farm is actually two separate plots, that make up one large whole. Consisting mostly of woods, there are also a few fields that we crop out, and the lower parts of the woods classify as wetlands. Located in the heart of Hamilton County, in Illinois, our farm has some of the best whitetail deer population in the state.

My Grandpa, is a very intelligent man. He is one of my role-models and someone who I look to for wisdom. I remembered waking up early to go with Brody and him to the farm to work, stopping to eat breakfast at the now closed Hoop-N-Wink in Ursa, on the way. I remember asking to learn how to drive the bulldozer, he being the jovial man that he is said sure! “Just clean the windshield for me first.” Imagine a little me, climbing up onto the bulldozer, only to find that there was no windshield! I remember the fall weiner roasts, bringing Maggie up and getting worried that she would run away. Sitting next to Grandma Carrie, who came up for a picnic and watching Nathan almost tip one of the 8N Ford’s over, trying to pull a stump out of the creek bed. (Grandma thought he was on a horse! Oh, how I miss that sweet lady!)  I remember, having a hail storm during a bonfire, everyone leaving, then realizing that we forgot the cabbage on the fire, so we drove back to get it in my Grandpa’s old Jeep, which slid around in a 360′ because of the mud!

I remember, Adam, my older brother taking Brody and I  bow hunting with him. I remember, riding four wheelers with Adam, along the property line, and removing deer stands, from trespassers. I remember collecting buckeyes in the creek bed  with my mom as a little kid, and when Uncle Tim took Brody and I frog gigging for the first time. (We marinated the frog legs in kook-aid) (I told you I was weird!) I remember catching 20 something catfish in the pond, with crystal light bottles, and then staying up late that night back at home, to help my grandfather fillet them.

I remembered, all of the good times that we have had at the farm as a family. It is on days like today, sitting on a tractor and mowing, praying, thinking about life, and recollecting on times spent at the farm, that I realize I am truly blessed. Not only with a great family, but one that is blessed with beautiful places like the farm, to make memories, learn, make mistakes, pray, and be silent. I am extremely thankful for my time spent in the FFA, and the AG program at school, for the continued love of the land that it instilled in me, but also for the skills that I gained from it like: tractor driving. As I come to the close of this day, I give thanks for these memories, for my family, for our blessings, and for almighty god, with whom I would have nothing. I thank God for this day at the farm and for being truly blest.

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Sunset, over the farm today.

 

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National FFA Week

National FFA Week

I am forever indebted to the National FFA Organization for helping me to become the person who I am today. I am extremely thankful for my High School AG Advisor Larry Duvall. He became like a second Dad to all of the FFA Officers and his words of wisdom I will always carry with me. He was always full of knowledge covering so many different things. He taught me about woodworking and advised me as I created many treasured products. I miss those days in the FFA extremely, but all good things must come to an end eventually and FFA was one of those things. I am thankful also for my Senior Year Officer Team, that is pictured here. They brought such joy to my life and I have made so many fond memories with them as well. Thank-you especially to my close friends Stacia, Daniel, Cortni, Kelsey, and Kaylin who because of our class schedule were able to work together on a lot of things last year. FFA brought me out of my shell and helped me to be a leader and make new friends.
I am blessed to be able to still call my advisor and officers/members friends. You still have a major impact on my life! Have a happy, fun, Ag-literacy, FFA filled week as we all celebrate Ag Education in National FFA Week 2013. Have a fantastic week everyone!

Post on the Latin Mass

On This Rock: If I Had a Vote on Our Next Archbishop – This Bishop Would Get My Vote.

 

Check out the above link found on Fr. John Hollowell’s blog: “On This Rock”

I have wanted to blog on my personal experience with the Latin Mass for quite awhile, and now I have a reason to.

Bishop Sample has always been one of my favorite Bishops, and this re-affirms it even more. I attended my first Latin Mass earlier this Summer in June while I was at the State FFA Convention in Lexington. Fr. John Rickert celebrated the Mass for the feast of St. Anthony of Padua. It was a sung Mass, since it was a pretty big feast for the church. It was absolutely beautiful! Did I understand much of what was being said? No. Could I hear what the priest was praying all the time? No. Did it bother me that I could only see the Priest’s back and not his face? No. Some may ask well why not? The answer is simple. During the whole Mass my attention was on one thing and two things alone: The Crucifix above the Altar, and then the Host when the priest turned around to show us Jesus and give us communion. That was the only thing on my mind for the full 45 minute Mass at 7 am on a hot Summer day. It was as if the other couple people in the church didn’t exist at all. It was me, myself, and I with Jesus. Now I am not trying to say that I was being self-absorbed or egotistical, but that was what it felt like. It was a different feeling than being in Adoration alone with Jesus. This was more close to Calvary to me. It seemed that it was more intimate and personal. With my eyes on the Crucifix and the soft musical chants in the background by the choir, I could see myself there at the foot of the Cross, when the bells were rung and the Host was raised, I was there watching as the cross was raised above the Earth and Jesus fell forward immediately feeling pain, except at that moment he felt none nor was there any blood, as the Mass is an un-bloody sacrifice.

Words can’t really express what I felt during the Mass, it was as if I had stepped into eternity and then had to step back out when it was over. I have never really felt that way before during a Mass in the Novus Ordo, otherwise known as the Mass in the vernacular. I was overcome with a great sense of serenity and peace. I pray that if you have never encountered our Lord in the traditional rite of the Church, that you will find a Latin Mass and go to it. It is a little slice of Heaven on Earth.

 

Now granted, for some the Latin Mass is not enjoyable, it really makes them uncomfortable and feel out of place, and I agree that it is not for everyone, but that is where the beauty of the two rites come into play. So much of the Novus Ordo Mass can be mixed with the Latin Mass, whether it be the servers, the Priest facing the Altar (Ad Omnes) and not facing the people (Ad populum), the incense and sounds of the bells. or a Latin Hymn/chants. There is so much that the church can do to increase the beauty of the Mass and ensure that the next generation receives a greater experience with Christ at every Mass than ever before. This is our tradition, this is our history, let us not throw it away or cast it aside, but embrace it and use it to reclaim our faith, reclaim our families, reclaim our country, and reclaim the world for Christ. There is a reason that the Church celebrated Mass like that for thousands of years. We must embrace not only our history, but also embrace and look forward to our future.

 

May God bless you and keep you, May he shine his face upon you and grant you his precious gift of peace! The Lord bless you!

 

+JM,

Corey