I’m in a nostalgic mood today.
Whether one agrees with it or not, the fact remains that tobacco was once a major crop in Kentucky. Although smoking was never technically listed amongst the “great sins”, society today treats it as though it is the worst of them all. I get that it’s bad for you. That isn’t the point of this post. The point is: tobacco was once a major crop in Kentucky and there are still a few small farmers hanging on to the extra income it provides.
Like my dad. He was raised by his father growing tobacco and every spring and summer of my childhood for as far back as I can remember involved observing the men work in it. When I was really young, I sometimes had to help pick the plants out of the tobacco bed, to be later transplanted to the official tobacco patch. When I got older, I was “promoted” to setting tobacco, which is the process of transplanting the plants to the patch. In fact, I did this very thing this past May.
Here are some pictures, taken today, of Hubs cutting the tobacco. It will later be hung in the barn to dry out. After that, the leaves will be stripped off the stalks and baled to be sold at the warehouse. In all, it is a May-December project.
Just for kicks, here is a picture of my dad and my son on the old plowing tractor:
Anyway, my grandfather is the hardest working man I have ever known. He was in his mid-80’s before he had to stop his dawn-to-dusk routine, and then only because he had heart surgery. Here is a video I shot TODAY of him trying to do what he did for 50+ years. He is 90 years old.
(this was shot on my phone so the quality isn’t great but it kinda reminds me of the old-fashioned home video projections :))
Later, I snapped this picture of him with my son. The future meets the past.
This got me to thinking….again.
The video of my granddad cutting tobacco is somewhat symbolic of America. The days of hard, physical labor and the determination to do what needs to be done are fading. Much like his unsteady balance is a visual reminder that he is not the man he used to be, the America of his youth is also losing its balance and strength. Current events and prophecy suggest-paralleled to common sense and his doctor-that the world that WAS is giving away to time, and fading. My granddad is blind in one eye, but he’s doing better than America in that sense. The simple, and very sad, reality is: America is dying out with its “greatest generation”; losing its honor, its strength, its vigor.
The good news for Grandaddy is that the best is yet to come for him; and for all of us who are found abiding in Christ. Even more exciting is there is a very good chance he will not taste death at all but be instantly transformed in the twinkling of an eye. That is the believer’s blessed hope but….
Once that happens, all hope for America is forever lost.
After dropping my daughter off at school, I came home and logged on while Hubs and Buck remained asleep. Every now and then I’d do a chore or two; start the dishwasher, sweep the floor. I always came back to see if anything “new” had popped up on FB or my WordPress Reader. Suddenly I was reminded of a conversation my dad and I had.
I was fretting one day about not being able to call someone, or maybe my internet connection was down because of a lightning strike…I forget. Anyway, my dad said “What did your Grandmother (his mom) do when she had no one to talk to?”. Good point.
I cannot imagine going about my day without SOME contact with the outside world, even if it’s only via the internet. What if my day was totally secluded, contained within the borders of my home? What if my only “adult conversation” was with my husband? Those of you who know me would understand the dilemma there. Hubs does not speak, unless it is to ask what’s for dinner. The quiet that was so refreshing and appealing when we were dating has become a slight aggravation after eleven years of marriage. 🙂
Still, what if I couldn’t text my mom or my sister to complain, brag or inquire? What if I had no idea what was happening in the world, apart from what the radio revealed? Well, this was my grandmother’s world. The t.v. wasn’t on during the day (mine isn’t either, honestly I hardly watch it). She had a telephone but made only necessary calls and kept it short and to the point. There was no internet. No cell phones. If one’s car died while driving, they had to walk. Another thing, there were no “mom groups” or fancy play dates. A child’s first friends was her sibling or cousins.
Yes, there are a lot of things about the era in which my grandmother raised children that is appealing to me, and she did it because that was the norm. There was no alternative.
Personally, I think I’d go nuts without the internet now that I have it. I can do without tv. Maybe even the phone, except for emergencies. Does this make me a busy body. Not really. I’m not nosing into other’s business. Even on Facebook. I’m just an information-driven personality.
So, give me quiet days. Give me the value of hard work and family. But also give me information at my fingertips.