Farewell Charlie:

I can see the summer we made maple syrup, I was so excited because we were allowed to stay up all night and "help" him stir that huge pot. I can still bring to mind the way my clothes smelled after riding on the horses back, gathering those buckets of soon to be maple syrup by the gallons full and I can still remember the rhythm in my bones, those strong harmonious steps that giant horse took.

I still feel the vibration of the Clydesdale's running down the pasture hill to meet the hay wagon in the early morning mist. I can just about taste the homemade bread and gooey peanut butter that often became an afternoon snack and my toes can almost feel the temperature of that small creek that ran along side the old farm house... and those pears... how they would drip sweet juice all over my face.

The tee pee that was built by the clay hole, near the top of the pasture. Those corn husk forts and tree laden hide a ways... just past the stream. The sink pit, that place where we were not aloud to play. I can still see vividly in my heart the day we thought it would fun to chase the cows, like real cowboys.

And he left the bull out...

on purpose.

Because we had been told already... and... we didn't chase cows much after that.

So much  of my "me" is made from those childhood days spent there on that farm. And even though I can barely hear him call me "trookie" I can still see him standing there... tall and confident.

Living his simple life...


He was just over 80, a farmer, a draft horse lover, a man whom I have only heard raise his voice once in my entire life, and that was the day my cousin thought the quickest way to the hay loft would be up the bale elevator...

Just a few summers ago he was roofing houses right along side twenty year old men.

This simple man, my great uncle Charlie, who never seemed to have too say much... but when he spoke, you stopped and listened.

He's gone. Went to his rest this past Sunday, and my heart is grieved. For so many more reasons than the obvious... you see, now a days, there are not many men around like him. He was up before the rooster and usually the last one in the house at night, and I never ever heard him complain. He worked, he farmed, and he made it look like it was the best thing a man could be doing all day.

You see my children don't have those types of memories alive in their souls... and that too grieves me.

Farewell dear Charlie... you will be greatly remembered, and if the good Lord above sees fit to guide me back home... and by His hand my grandchildren will have those memories.

A time for every purpose under heaven... Ecclesiastes 3