The Fourth of July holiday and my birthday occur within three days of each other and last weekend my family did what has become a summer tradition of gathering here to celebrate both events.
Another tradition for the family celebration is the serving of new potatoes from our garden.
The newest family member, a granddaughter, is not yet a year old so we are increasing in numbers. My wife was counting people to prepare food for and the total was 25.
The event lasted three days with three grandchildren staying another two days after the actual gathering ended and their parents had returned home.
It is no surprise that we went through a lot of food. In those three days, we had chicken, pork, beef and lamb.
The dishwasher ran at least once a day and it was loaded.
And once again, a meal that included newly harvested potatoes was served.
Also during the weekend, I had everyone gather at our stone retaining wall that became impromptu bleachers for a family photo.
Even the family dogs were invited.
We did this two years ago and there have been enough changes that another photo was needed.
Besides two little girls that have been born since the last photo, we have a grandson who is leaving for Brazil where he will spend an uninterrupted two years doing mission work for his church.
When we see him again, he will be two years older (as we all will) and two years wiser (that part I hope happens to all of us, but no guarantees).
I used quite a few words in describing this because I see a comparison in our family and those new potatoes.
Our children and grandchildren are like those potatoes we planted last spring.
We planted them in a safe place that offered fertility, sun, and rain so they could develop into their full potential.
We protected them from weeds, insects, diseases and other bad influences that would hold them back.
And now with the growing season about half complete, we can try to measure how harvest will be when the growing season ends.
The potatoes from the garden were mostly about the size of a golf ball with a few the size of baseball and they showed us things are coming along nicely and harvest will not disappoint us.
My wife and I have talked about our children and grandchildren, definitely not a new topic, and we like what we see in their development, whether it’s careers, parenting, or as a person.
They are not perfect any more than my wife and I are perfect parents or grandparents.
I believe each day we all try to do the right things and when we stumble, we pick ourselves up and keep moving and learning from those missteps.
My wife and I are probably as developed as we will be at age 67. Our lives are more as observers than participants.
For the rest of the family, they have a ways to go just like those potatoes that have good roots and need continued good growing conditions to reach what they were meant to be.
There is a probability of an occasional storm to go with the sun and rain before harvest arrives.
While harvest is not here yet, I do like what I see.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at email@example.com.
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