My time to live on this beautiful farm is winding down. I can literally FEEL it with each passing day. Just as I felt the time I had left with Ed became more and more precious in the days before he passed away, so, too, are my days here becoming more precious.
For nearly eleven months since Ed's terminal diagnosis, I have been slowly steadily walking toward the inevitable day when I leave here....sometimes marching, sometimes trudging, sometimes backtracking, but always steadily forward. We both knew it, we planned for it, accepted it and understood it. He has been walking with me every step of the way.
The auction is scheduled for November 6. http://www.hessauctionco.com/WINKLE.htm The bill of sale is printed and the listing is online. There is no turning back now.
The house is nearly empty and everything to be sold is being moved to the pole barn. The items I am keeping to move with me are packed and ready for the movers to pick up. Ed's son is picking up the last of Ed's personal items this weekend to share with his siblings.
I have my A-team of supporters who will be here with me on auction day... Farmer Rob Morris, our "E-son" from Marshall Illinois, our son Eric, and our best friends, Allen and Shelly Dean from Dean Farms in Bryan, Ohio.
I could not ask for a stronger, more compassionate group to prop me up on what will undoubtedly be one of the hardest days in all of this. Our three daughters have been my sounding board and, although they can't be here in person, they will be with me in spirit. Ed's sons will hold me in thought and prayer that day, I am certain.
Ed was diagnosed right after harvest last year. He passed right before planting season began last spring. I calculated everything the past eleven months in terms of a full season in God's Time.
The first full crop season is nearly complete. I literally FELT each passing season with him in the same way we LIVED each crop season together. Finding the right tenant farmer was easy. Jay farms the way Ed wanted-with respect for the soil. Throughout the summer, watching the crops grow without the endless commentary from Ed was a challenge. I will never outlive the urge to "windshield scout" that he taught me. From coast to coast over the years we drove along and looked at crops. Some might call that boring, I called it a blessing.
Then the change in the placement of the sun in the sky and the inevitable shortening of days came too quickly, signaling the beginning of the end of the crop season. It seemed to pick up pace in September and the last couple of weeks, with combines and grain carts and the hum of the fans in the bins.
We are approaching November, the auction coinciding with the culmination of the harvest around here. It all comes together with the harvest season as will this part of my journey come together at the time Ed most enjoyed---the grain in the bins, the firewood on the deck, the approach of the holidays that he loved and the opportunity to hunker down for the winter until the next crop season.
Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers over the next three weeks as I wind down the time I have left in this beautiful place...as Ed always said, "God's farm, temporary caretaker."