Grain run

H.N. Williams, Dorset, Vermont

Here is where you’ll find me once a week, early in the morning, to stock up on organic grain for my turkeys, chickens, sheep, goats, ducks, horses & bunny.  Inside this fine establishment, a jury of gentlemen are assembled with coffees and donuts, cordial greetings and conversation ranging from the price of gas to whether you should fib when your wife asks you if “this dress makes me look fat.”  Sometimes I am the consult on certain topics, and so I weigh my words carefully in response to the chat-du-jour.

It’s out of my way, but they take great care of me here.  I’m grateful to live in a part of the world where you can pick up a car full of chow for your livestock and a freshly baked scone-to-go, get the bottom line on politics and the weather, and lean on the counter to share a farmyard story or two.

My family and I are grieving a recent loss.  My youngest brother.  A frequent compliment/condolence was that he lived a hundred years in his 50. He was the type of guy that had a thousand friends in the community.  He was just such a fella that took the time to chat.  They jokingly called him “the Professor” in his town, at his job, because of his knack for throwing himself into lectures and debates with his neighbors and co-workers, but finishing always with a joke and a smile.  I hadn’t recognized the value, the importance of my weekly grain-run ritual, spending time with this micro-community, until I sat down to write and fell to thinking about Larry….

I’m not sure how long I’ll be feeling so reflective, friends, so bear with me.  I’ve got a lot of blessings to count.

14 responses to “Grain run

  1. Hi Tammy, yes, that’s what good life is about, when you can live in your overalls, mourning or dancing, and feel every minute of life is a gift ! take care, Niels, right now in moving process from Arctic North (been here in 17 years) down to our farmhouse in Denmark, for good, to a neighborhood of farmers, teachers, social workers etc. very down to earth with the wind blowing !

    • Thanks, Niels, you are always on target for recognizing the good things in life. I’m so excited for you moving to Denmark! You’ve been planning this for some time and I know how much you’ve earned it, too! So I am happy for your good times ahead in your farmhouse, able to get your hands dirty in the garden or in the kitchen -being with your friends! Best to you!

  2. (((((((Tammy))))))))) A wonder how you live far from me, quite different, and yet so much the same. As I write this, I’ve recently come in from feeding my chickens, am wearing my favored attire of overalls, which my grandson made note of this morning. I love to go to the grain store here, too, and have fond memories of going to the one when we lived far rural in Oklahoma. There is something about people who use the grain stores; we understand each other, even with just a nod. And it is there one finds wide kindness from such folks as your brother. God bless.

    • Thanks, Curtiss Ann. It was a good day for me to have my Grain run, too, Got my cuppa and a scone and got back home before the snow really stuck. Feeling very productive this morning! Thanks for the visit – we should be in the mutual admiration club!

  3. I am very sorry to read of the loss of your brother. He was too young. Perhaps your weekly visits to the Mill will continue to remind you of him. Perhaps his memory will live on though your interactions with the ‘crusty’ locals you have come to know. Places such as Williams’ are a very special part of the lives and routines of all of us who raise livestock. Those who frequent them are always colorful. The proprietors are usually willing to stop and talk (except during early spring when they are especially busy) and to give advice. Do all of the regulars have nick-names? Mine is ‘The Doctor Reverend’ – go figure! Please have a great day – and chin up. I promise to revisit your earlier post about your travels to the north. Be back shortly. D

    • Hah! I love it – I think that the “Doctor Reverend” must suit you, whether you planned on it or not! Yes, there is certainly color and nicknames. It’s a great weekly stop and you know, sort of restorative to my soul in the way some people spend a morning with their heads bowed, or twisted into a yoga-pretzel, or “om-ing”.
      Thanks for the very kind words. Chin is mostly up. Singing last night with my choir was more emotional than I thought it’d be, but I guess that’s how it goes for awhile.
      As you know, farming does not really allow for much walllowing. The animals always still need tending. And I’m thankful they’re all healthy. That always makes things easier.
      Good friends helped me out during the more challenging days in the past couple of weeks. They were keen to help and I was glad to have someone I could count on.
      Thanks again for your visit. -T

  4. So sorry Tammy about your dear brother it sounds like you had many fond memories. Thank you so much for sharing a glimpse of your life and reflections with all of us. What a beautiful feed store too….Our feed stores look nothing like that.

    • Thanks, Karen Lynn. I am enjoying my memories and I want to say that there has been such an outpour of support from friends, neighbors & family and it is amazing at how bolstering it is. Folks are so nice.
      Yes, it is a really cool feed store. Inside is very rustic, though they’ve gotten to be quite a destination over the past few years and had some money to remodel (including a great deli.) Our other feed store, a little more local but not quite so friendly, has also gone through a humongous remodel in the recent past. It’s quite flashy now. But the prices sort of reflect that, as well!
      Anyway, always a good morning when I have to do my grain runs….I always feel so accomplished when I get home and unload -you know, it’s like after you’ve loaded the pantry! Ready for the storm…!

  5. I can always count on your posts to make me smile and to conjure up a bit of self reflection. I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. If he was anything like you (as it quite sounds he was), then he’s a fella I would’ve loved to meet. Thinking of you and yours and sending you a hug. xx

    • Thank you, Danielle. You’re super sweet to comment so kindly. And yes, he was a lot like me. I didn’t even realize it until this past week and a half when I describe the way he was, his energy…I realize that we’re very similar. Thanks for the hugs, glad you had a smile 🙂

  6. I’m so sorry about your loss. It sounds like you were very close. On another note, I love your stories. This one was good, but your turkeys were outstanding. Love the footprints in the path, and the idea of them eating tofu. I can’t even eat one carton of tofu before it expires. I mean to, and I like it, but it just doesn’t happen. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

    • Thank you so much. And it’s funny about the tofu – I know a lot of people like that! Hence the difficulty placing 72 packages of tofu in homes!
      Hope your Thanksgiving holiday was lovely. We came together, though it was not easy, and faced the holiday without my brother. But have lots of great memories to keep him alive.

      • That had to be hard. It is never easy to celebrate after a loss, but it would seem so much more so with a brother or sister.

        On a lighter note, if I get any extra tofu, I’ll send it your way – you are the expert! (on giving it away)

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