|
|
Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Kjolhaug Column - Theology in the Trenches: The family reunion

  • The little white farm house stood in wait. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy along with vegetables from the garden graced the dining room table as those gathered round it enjoyed their fill. As darkness fell, it signaled time to tune in to the Western upon the black and white screen. Bodies lay upon the floor as chins ...
    • email print
      Comment
  • The little white farm house stood in wait. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy along with vegetables from the garden graced the dining room table as those gathered round it enjoyed their fill. As darkness fell, it signaled time to tune in to the Western upon the black and white screen. Bodies lay upon the floor as chins propped in hands supported craned necks. All too soon, it was time to depart Grandpa and Grandma’s.
    Every so often, week-long stays at the farm brought invite. Rising early revealed freshly cut flowers, cereals of choice, not to mention honey and jams for toast toppings. The sun’s rays carried hope for the day as we made our way out into the farmyard to play.
    The hayloft offered bail jumping, peering through wooden slates offered a peek at grandpa milking cows, and a clean water tank from which the cows drank offered first dibs for a swim before they arrived from pastureland. A trip into the grove offered cast offs from the burning barrel enabling pretend homemaking skills, and if one was to be truly indoctrinated into life on the farm, curiosity would be ignited as grandma swung her butcher knife beheading the nearest chicken on butchering day…earning their spot for grub in the dining room gatherings come winter.
    Like a freshly starched collar, the memories stood. At first glance it’s as though nothing could put a wrinkle in it, not even time. But, this is life…real time…and I wasn’t content to just see the relatives during the family reunion, nope, I wanted to see Grandpa’s farm.
    Rumor mill at the reunion said, “Do not go out there. It’s pretty bad. Someone bought the land and they are going to bulldoze the house soon.” My memories were strong…and I knew better. The picket fence, Grandma’s flowers, Grandpa’s work garage, the little white farmhouse were vivid…how bad could it be?
    As my husband turned into the gravel driveway, notably Grandma’s flowers were nowhere in sight. After all, flowers took tender loving care and there was no one there to do just that. The white upon the house had yellowed, and as we opened the front door to see what we could see, we saw plenty.
    The hook upon which Grandpa hung his coat was still to the right as we entered, the pine cupboards stood at attention, and each room took form just as I had remembered. The impeccably clean country windows had weathered, but the flashbacks as to how it was… powered through the dangling door frames.
    However, as I rounded the corner, there was evidence upon the stoops in the stairwell that proved this was no longer the farm house I once knew. In the corners, upon the steps, in the closets, and pathways, there was animal waste…and lots of it. The farm house had been invaded.
    Page 2 of 2 - Days later with tears constantly beneath the surface, I grieved. Things had changed, and my mind was grappling with this new reality.
    What I’d once held dear was gone, and my anger towards those disrespecting critters entering uninvited peaked. The only coping mechanism left was belief that the little white farm house at least still offered respite...no matter the “need”.
    Revelation 21:4 revealed: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He knew long ago that as life changes, we’d need assurance that it is He who is center…it is to that which we cling. Amen.
    Kathleen lives on the family homestead in northern Minnesota with her husband of over thirty years. The youngest of their six children recently graduated from H.S., thus making room for more frequent visits for those wishing to return to the nest every now and again. Kathleen is a full time teacher who enjoys reading, writing, and traveling. Theology in the Trenches encapsulates personal stories and experiences that have a common thread with the hearts of others. She may be reached at wemenews@gvtel.com
Terms of Service

    Events Calendar