Today was much colder than I remember it being promised. In spite of the -30 C this morning, I picked up my dad and stepmother and we headed out to the farm.
A few years ago, my dad decided to sell the family farm where he had lived as boy. This is where my great-grandparents homesteaded. Just 2 quarter sections are all that were left to my dad. My uncle and aunt had sold their part much earlier. I never lived on the farm. Dad was a pastor and so we lived everywhere but there. But my mom and dad decided to move back to the farm and built a beautiful home there. I was married and beginning to raise a family of my own by then and had just headed off for the Congo. Mom and Dad moved into their home in the fall. Mom dropped dead in her garden in the spring of the year. Things at the new house kind of came to a standstill, from what I heard. I didn’t get to see the new home until our first furlough and by that time, Dad had remarried and things had gotten back to a fairly normal pace, with horses, dogs and cattle and the land for grain farming rented out.
Then one year, Dad was loading some cattle into a chute and one of them took a dislike to it, breaking Dad’s collar bone fairly badly. Other health issues seemed to follow and they decided that since they had a prospective buyer, it was time to leave the farm and move to town. But they didn’t leave entirely. They rent a very small part of the old homestead back and on it is the old log cabin that one of my ancestors built and lived in for awhile.
It is just a tiny place – about 9 feet square. There is room for a small table with a couple of chairs, a bed and a wood burning stove. That is about it. Today it was surrounded by four foot high snow drifts packed hard by the wind – except for six feet in front of the door where the porch gives protection and the ground is completely bare of snow. We took out a few things and made sure that I would be able to get to the cabin on my own. My snowshoes actually make it quite easy.
Tomorrow I’m going out to my own little hermitage for a day. There will be no electicity, no indoor facilities or water. Just me, my wood stove, candles and a lamp – and God. I’ve asked him to come. And I will take the camera so all of you can see this special spot when I get back.
And the weather is supposed to be warmer but you never know. If you don’t hear from me again, I may have frozen to death. But I doubt that – I do have a cell phone.