July of 2014 has been quite the month for Wilhome Farms. July 1st marked a gathering of my father, his sisters and some of their families at the farm. July 31st will mark a massive farm family picnic, known in Holstein circles as a Twilight Meeting. In between, my brother Don and his son, Justin have pulled out all the stops to spruce things up, complete with the absolutely enormous job of scrubbing, priming and painting the metal roof of the barn, some 60 ft. above the ground.
I can’t tell you how much the gathering on Canada Day meant to all of us. We found ourselves sitting in a circle on the lawn with each person (some from nearby, some from as far away as Alberta and Ohio), telling a story about their experiences on the farm. We listened attentively, we laughed, we shouted in horror. A few of us shed a quiet tear. The stories were so rich. Many of them I’d never heard before. Some of the stories centred around the kitchen. Many were about mis-deeds such as the mistreatment of younger siblings/cousins or mis-calculations with farm machinery and the ensuing consequences! Some were about singing together, driving for the very first time and listening to our grandfather laugh. One was about the youngest male cousin who was forbidden to shoot groundhogs (and collect the bounty). Our ever-practical and gentle grandmother promptly helped him skin a mouse, for which he too was given a bounty! It was a great, great day.
I’m happy my soul had a chance to grow on this fertile patch of ground. I’m glad I shared its precious soil and water along with the many animals and this big, complicated and wonderful family!