The beauty of it all
Since I have lived on a farm that has been in our family since 1856, two years before Minnesota became a state, I have a wealth of history to search out and consider. History is told in the photos we store in the house. We have old photos of the farm buildings and fields. Some pictures introduce us to people who either lived on this farm or who were loved by those who called this their home.
In a small room by my kitchen, many tools, destined for work in food preparation, reside until the season is ready when I can put them to work. They include items like pressure cookers and a pressure canner; rosette irons; water jugs for use when we make hay; a squeezo-strainer; meat grinders. Well, you get the idea. Many of these tools have been handed down to us from others who benefited from them.
Our cellar has sturdy shelves loaded with dozens of mason jars made by Kerr, Ball, Atlas, and Drey. Many other jars have no name, but are useful just the same. Other tools in the cellar include the De Laval milkers which were used to milk our cows.
Our office shelves are filled with books which hold a wealth of information.
Out in the machine shed old machinery abounds. It may be old, but having been maintained and kept in use, they still function as John Deere, McCormick, Case International, New Holland and Owatonna intended.
As you might expect, I can easily put my hands on many of the technologies and some of our family history that were left to us.
Today, I was delighted as some of the unseen evidence of my forbearers popped into view. With such dry conditions this summer, I have been daily watering a new flowerbed. As I shut off the spigot and put my garden hose away, I glanced over my shoulder.
A brilliant red caught my eye. Now the only reds in that old flower garden are peonies. Since they were already spent and drying, I walked over to check out what generated this curious explosion of color in the garden.
Grandma’s rose bush, one which had not flowered for years, had burst into blooms! Eight lovely, open-faced roses with yellow centers greeted me. I found that their delicate scent has enticed honeybees to frolic in their pollen.
Another of Grandma’s plants “resurrected” earlier this summer. She cared for a garden of hollyhocks before we moved to the farm. Unfortunately, they succumbed to a blight and have been missing for many years. Mysteriously, a broad-leafed “weed” showed itself next to our basement door. That just so happens to be coming up in the place where dear Grandma raised her hollyhocks. My husband recognized it and has refrained from weed-whacking it.
As I have watered my flowerbed, I have also given it an occasional drink. Now several buds are preparing to open up and show us the beauty of which Grandma was so fond.
How special to be reminded of the ones who went before us by the beauty they have left behind. The beauty is not only in the petals of a flower or in the machinery and tools they left behind, but it is in the beauty of home, belonging, love, family and faith in our Lord. They built a life for us here on earth, but also have left a trail of trust that leads us to the eternal God and the place He has prepared for us.
You might recall the words of our Lord Jesus recorded in John 14:2, 3 (NKJV) about such a place. “In My Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” This place will not be filled with old things. Jesus will meet us and there will be much new beauty to discover.