Sunday, June 28, 2015

Papa John and his farmer Lincoln

I think this is my dad's new favorite part of wheat harvest, Lincoln the farmer.

Wheat Harvest 2015

Lincoln and I spent quite a bit of time on the farm last week for the 2015 wheat harvest. He has always loved the farm, but this year he was so excited for wheat harvest.

For the first part of the week the combine was not running well. Lincoln and I got to make a part run to Prairieland, and that little clamp we picked up had the combine going better the next day! It's crazy how such a little part can make a difference in that huge machine. (And it's amazing that my dad knows how to fix it!)

Lincoln got lots of combine rides and even a ride in the grain truck to the nearest elevator. One morning he rode to the field in the combine with just Papa, no mommy or Grandma riding along!

On our last day in the fields (total of four), Lincoln told me on the way home, "I want more harvest! I want more harvest!"

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sunset Zoo

Lincoln and I spent a day in Manhattan with Megan and Daniel. Lincoln chose his Jayhawk as the friend to take along, ironically. 

We spent part of the day at the Sunset Zoo. It was a nice little zoo, and Lincoln had a lot of fun with his aunt and uncle. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Lincoln Speak

I told Lincoln I was going to get him a milkshake at Dairy Queen. He said "I don't want a shaky milk!"

We were at the farm and out of the blue, Lincoln tells me, "It's our lucky day! We're at Grandma's house!"

During harvest Lincoln and I went to Prairieland to pick up a part for the combine. He told Brad that "I got the heart for Papa!" He also told Papa all about the toy truck he saw. 

One night at supper we were talking and Lincoln told us "Next time I go to the farm, Papa will leave and he will go to Prairieland and buy my truck!"

I was talking to Lincoln one night about how God made everyone different and God made everyone special. I asked what he thinks is special about Lincoln, and he told me "I smart!" (I guess in addition to lessons on race, diversity, and privilege we need to work on modesty and growth mindset.)

Where is heaven?

Last night, Lincoln and I were talking at bedtime. It was the normal conversation, tractors and wheat and general farming info.

Then he asked me, "Where's Grandpa Melvin?"

It was a logical bend in the conversation. After all, Grandpa Melvin was a farmer. He spent his life driving tractors and combines, so much so that his body was bent from the long hours watching his implements and checking the tractor's blind spot. Lincoln and Grandpa Melvin bonded over their mutual love of the farm. Grandpa would call him, "My boy Lincoln." 

I responded with an explanation of how his body is gone but his spirit is in heaven. Not bad, I thought to myself. But I wasn't prepared for the next question.

"Where IS heaven?" emphasis on the IS. By this time, he had turned in my lap to face me, his innocent blue eyes searching my face for an honest answer.

"Heaven is where our hearts and souls go when our bodies aren't on earth anymore. We can't visit there, but we can still feel close to the people who are in heaven."


And just like that, our conversation moved on.

I, though, am left thinking.

Lincoln, sweet boy, you're two.

And heaven and the afterlife are, to me (at twenty-nine), a complicated, confusing mess of mystery. I hope I did okay for your curious two-year-old brain.

I know there will be more questions coming, and I know I don't really have many of the answers. My hope is that I can be honest and age-appropriate, yet still encourage you to seek answers, ask questions, and be comfortable with some uncertainty --- because faith in its very nature requires that uncertainty.

I'm also left thinking about my Grandpa.

Wheat harvest is supposed to start next week. It will be the first of my life that Grandpa won't be hanging out in the fields. I know for a lot of people, it's the holidays that are hard, but I think this first harvest season will be most rough.

Now, the last few years, he hasn't done much. My dad took charge of the farming operation long ago. Uncle Chuck comes down from Minnesota to drive truck, and my brother Daniel helps out. Still, Grandpa would be in the fields regularly, driving out from town to eat supper, ask about yields, and speculate on how the corn would turn out.

It won't be the same, but I suppose that if heaven's what I hope it is, Grandpa has a pretty darn good view of the wheat this year.