By the dawn’s early light

Farm report from Arkansas today, folks.  Our amazing Char is holding the fort down in Vermont and has just let me know that there are no lambs yet, the chicks are growing and adorable, peafowl are getting along, Cricket got into some chocolate cake (a bit, before she was able to pry it from his jaws), and she’s got her work cut out for her to collect up some hens that are being sold tomorrow.  She texted me this a.m .with “I forgot and left the chickens out last night.  Now what?”  Chickens do not always want to be caught, in case you didn’t know.

I’m in Northwest Arkansas to cheer on as my son Jody & his teammate David represent Virginia Tech at the FLW College Fishing National Championship Tournament on Beaver Lake.  This has been another exciting opportunity for Jody, for his team, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  Because he graduates this spring, the clock is ticking on his college career in an outdoor sport that he’s been passionate about since he was 2 years old.

There are a couple of college fishing tours out there and FLW is a well-oiled machine when it comes to running these events.  TIME Magazine will be here tomorrow, local newspapers, media of all sorts, television airings….they work harder and harder with each season to celebrate these hard-working kids, environmental ethics, and elevating the sport of competitive fishing in an increasingly sedentary world.

I feel selfish this week, being away during lambing and all… Have I always yearned to visit Northwest Arkansas?  Sorry, no, but now that I’m here, I’m taking in the beauty of the Ozarks, the culture, the friendly people I’ve been running into.

Plus, I get to be with my kid, whom I am crazy about.  It’s dark and early when we start the day.  However, when those boats are heading out into the breaking dawn, it is gorgeous, exciting, freezing, and a unique crazy that I get to be a part of.


I sang the National Anthem at the Day 1 Weigh-in in Rogers, Arkansas.

No worries, I won’t be signing any record labels and moving off the farm.

It’s been a dream of mine to sing the National Anthem at Fenway Park for as long as I can remember.  Yesterday, our beloved Red Sox‘ game was cancelled because of the unprecedented lock-down in Boston. I found myself in a gifted position, and in the midst of my nerves, sang it strong for all the right reasons.  I can’t wait to get home and tell the sheep all about it.

What I used to project "O Say Can You See" over background construction noise :-)

What I used to project “O Say Can You See” over background construction noise 🙂

10 responses to “By the dawn’s early light

  1. I spent a day and night in Eureka Springs once, not far from where you are in Rogers. It was about this time of year, and I have to say that even without the contrast between there and April in Vermont, it was just beautiful. A supercell blew in off the plains over night, and from our hotel room high on a hill we watched one of the most spectacular lightning displays I’ve ever seen. Plus, we saw Elvis in the parking lot (earlier in the day – not out being creepy in a thunderstorm).

    Look forward to chatting about chicks with you when you’re back home.

    • George: Thank you for the visit and the comment. Yes, Eureka Springs is beautiful, quirky, unexpected! I went there on a tip from a Twitter-pal and was so glad I got out of Rogers to see it. And the timing of the buds and blossoms was perfect. The Elvis-sighting must’ve been surreal 🙂
      Those chicks- it’s an especially bubbly and happy batch this spring! We think they are so beautiful. But then again, we say that every spring! So, yes, I am eager to share with you when you are ready at the end of the month!
      Be well.-T

    • Thanks, Kerry! You are a knowing friend. I was definitely calling on my courage. Trying not to beat up on myself and instead give myself credit for taking on such a challenge. I PRAY no one recorded it! Best part was that it was meaningful, so many kind people approached me to share kind comments, Jody was happy about it. (I did worry about publicly humiliating him!)
      I really think that I am best on that song as part of a duet or trio, though. That’s me being picky.
      I channeled you in all of those moments – did you feel it?

  2. Oh, northwest Arkansas! Beautiful! Been there a number of times. Love it. Enjoy! And I’m amazed, and heartened, that you can leave chickens out and they don’t get ate. 🙂

    • Thanks for the read, Curtiss Ann! Yes, we can sometimes let the chickens free-range for weeks, months on end without worrying about predators. But it only takes one night for a fox to wreck havoc in the chicken-house, so there is risk. Usually I have some sort of premonition and put them in, lock them up.
      I think it must be our three amigo doggies here that help keep the predators at bay, for the most part.
      Happy April Spring Days – hope you are enjoying your chickens and your garden!

        • I think your husband is wise. Love my dogs, but it is true, there is little (very little) down time! Thanks for the stop-by, Curtiss Ann! Thought of you often while I was in your South!

  3. Here’s to some good fishing for Jody and David … go get ’em guys. As for you, Farmer Tammy, we must have been born at very different ends of the spectrum … I’d rather die than sing anything in front of anyone! I could give a lecture to a million people on any topic you choose (within my field, of course) but ask me to sing Mary had a Little Lamb in front of YOU or anyone else for that matter … forget it … I’d die, for sure. Good for you though … I’m impressed. And, good luck! Also … drive safely on the way home. D

    • Thanks for the kind words, D! I’m not so sure you’d be so impressed if you’d actually heard me sing!
      Jokes aside, Char, SJ & I sing as a trio and it is a great sound, or so we are told. And I feel really good singing with my daughters. But it was extremely scary to stand alone to sing and so I guess, in spite of my self-criticism of the actual execution, I can draw on that experience for the future. I like to challenge myself. In this case, I may furthermore have been selfish in torturing others else while building my character 🙂
      No, really, I’m assuming it was a blip on the screen for those exposed, as huge of a deal as it was for me. And best thing is that my Jody was a really kind son and stated his appreciation.
      He and Dave placed 13th out of 25. It was tough on the water and there were a few teams that were just on to them and hosed the rest of the league. It was a tough and great competition.
      The teams that didn’t make the top 5 were exhausted and disappointed, but of course, there is comaraderie & lessons learned to make up for the “loss.”
      Eager to be back on the farm -no lambs yet.

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