My Brother

February 16th, 2013

The next couple of writings I would like to focus on my family.  Living in the country on a farm often it is your family that is the backbone of social life.  Kids play together, laugh, cry, fight, eat and live life in a little bubble of space seemingly reserved just for them.  Parents go about their daily duties checking in here and there to mediate or sometimes if the kids are luck play a quick game of pick up football or baseball.

Jacob Andrew Haucke born August 19th 1980 is the youngest of the Haucke children.  I believe straight from the womb he was born an equipment man.  He was and still is a feisty strong willed human being that doesn’t like to lose.  He is a plougher of fields, a loving father, tender of the bovine, and reaper of crops large and small.  This man can make any machine work with a few twists of the wrench and babies equipment like its fine china.

As a kid he was a bit of the odd child out and tended to receive the blunt of his brother and sisters teasing and scorn.  Not that he helped out his situation much, with his constant hiding when chores where to be done.  My favorite story of my brothers hiding tactics came on a night like any night on farm with work to be done.  The kids’ job was to get the barn ready for the cows and Jake was nowhere to be seen.  For my Mother and the rest of the family frustration at his absence slowly morphed into a bit of fear for he at this point had not been seen in a couple of hours.  A search party was formed with Mother leading the way; she has a very strong set of vocal cords which she used repeatedly to call out “JAKE”, “JAKE” “JJJJAAAACCCCCOOOBBBBB”, each call slightly more desperate then the next, after all farms for all their beauty can also be dangerous places.  Meanwhile I was off on my own expedition trying to think like my brother.  This led me for some reason to his room where I decided to sit on his bed and ponder.  After sitting quietly for a spell thinking about my little brother and what I would do to him once he was found because again he had gotten out of the nightly chores I began to notice a slight noise coming from somewhere, an ever so light exhaust of breath.  At first I didn’t recognize it for what it was but as I began to listen I realized I was hearing the sounds of certain missing child fast asleep in his little hiding spot underneath his bed.  Not only had he gotten out of chores but he had a nap as well that little so and so.

Well there are many, many stories like that from our childhood, whitewashes, rolling him down hills in a tire, playing in the sand box that was actually more like the yearly dump truck load of sand, a sand mountain.  He is a brother like no other and my favorite one, okay he is my only brother but my favorite none the less.  Though as kids and early adults we had our moments now we get along great and I consider him one of my best friends, of course he’s bigger than me now so he’s got that going for him which is good I guess.

A brother shares childhood memories and grown-up dreams. ~Author Unknown

Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.  ~Marc Brown

How About the Weather

February 5th, 2013

February is here and it’s time for me to snap out of my winter time hibernation, although it doesn’t seem right the gardening season is about to begin.  Mid-month the wobble of the Earth brings us to a point where the strength of the sun returns, plant growth begins again in the greenhouse.  Spinach that was planted in the ground last fall starts pushing out new leave at a faster pace and a few early crops like tomatoes can be put out.  Currently we have a nice blanket of snow hugging the ground with more on the way.  This morning I was sitting at my table drinking coffee and looking through seed catalogues.  Out my window the sky was baby blue and freshly fallen snow looked lite as a feather, clinging to the sides and capping the top of my grill with a growing white dome.  Everywhere I looked I could see faint crystals of snow still dancing in the air, to lite to be dragged to earth but too heavy for the soft breeze to blow away.

Now a couple days ago the scene was strikingly different, thunderstorms… January.  I just don’t know I love a good thunderstorm but maybe not in January.  As I lay there in bed wide awake listening to the sounds of that storm I couldn’t help feeling like things are a little out of place.  As a kid back in the 80’s (okay I like saying that, makes me laugh inside……way back in the 80’s) we use to have several week long stretches of -20 degree weather.  There may have been a song about being Thunderstruck but there certainly wasn’t one about Thundersnow.  Dad would keep the cows in the barn during those days because it was just too cold to be outside.  Cows are a great sources of heat and although it was cold outside it would be warm in the barn.  Great billowing clouds of steam would exit the bovines as they munched their hay, filling the barn with a fog.  The condensation would freeze on the walls and ceiling so that after a couple of weeks a layer of ice several inches thick would encase the cement.  On the ceiling little bubbles of ice would form, starting from a single drop of water and expanding as long as the cold spell lasted so that at points it could be as big as a baseball.  I always wondered where those ice balls came from.

Well at least we still have some snow during the winter time.  I wonder if in our life we will look at our grandchildren, beckon them to our lap and tell them the story of this strange stuff called snow that would once cover the landscape during January.  Hey I like green grass just like the next guy but winter is for kids both young and old clutching sleds as they scream down some slippery slope, hot chocolate, and hibernation for gardeners