Our niece Valerie, the youngest of my mother’s grandchildren, married her sweetheart Nate yesterday. The whole family labored for months to restore an old mill to a usable space, mow the grass, pump out the overflow from the creek, pick the flowers for centerpieces, put up and take down chairs, tent, and then get dressed up to party.
It was quite a party, a dream come true for my niece and a joy for the rest of us who delighted in her vision and its fruition.
For me, it was also a return to the land of my childhood. The fields were so lush and green, the farms well-trimmed and adorned with geraniums, petunias, and hydrangeas in full bloom.
The corn was more than “knee high by the fourth of July.” In some places it was fully grown. It’s been a great growing season, says my nephew Andy, now the chief farmer in the family business.
The location of the wedding was about four miles from the place where I grew up. Here’s how my farm family looked in 1965:
And here’s how we looked yesterday. Daddy died in 1980. The rest of us are 48 years older.
Out of the five Hersheys who grew up on a farm, one of us, my sister Sue, Valerie’s mother, continues to farm.
The wedding celebrated farming as a way of life, a calling to live faithfully. The sign on this church as we drove home to Virginia, said it well.
My New Beginning today is to pack my bags for the fourth location in less than a week: next up, the Mennonite Church USA Convention in Phoenix.
Grandson Owen helped me make the icon for the 100 Day Challenge. Can you tell?
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