I love my brothers!
They are all older than I am: 12, 10 and 5 years older. Because of the age gap, I always thought they were so big. To my young eyes, they were mature, strong and serious young men. Other than playing sports for our rural school, they spent their available time working on the farm. There are so many life lessons that these men learned through hard work and long hours.
My mom has always referred to them as “the boys”. She still does. Funny, when I talk to my daughter now about her older brothers, I say the same thing.
These developing men worked many hours in the heat during the summer months since there was no school and so much work to do on the farm. Mom would cook all morning preparing a big meal for dinner (that’s what we called the mid-day meal). Of course she always had a big meat dish like pot roast or meatloaf or pepper steak. The table was full of fresh, in-season vegetables (from someone’s garden) like green beans, tomatoes, corn or black-eyed peas. Sweet iced tea was a staple. She made it just right. Dessert might have been chocolate cake or apple pie. Once the boys were replenished, they graciously thanked her for lunch and headed back out in the fields to walk rice levees, flag for the ag plane or dig out a pivot system. She cleaned up and got ready for round two: supper, which was the leftovers from noon with the necessary additions to make another full meal. I helped her some, but she did most of the real work.
Experience for Life
Countless opportunities presented themselves. The boys learned how to work hard with their minds and bodies. They learned how to appreciate the money they earned. They learned that good things are worth investing in and waiting for. When the weather didn’t do what they hoped, they learned that most things can’t be controlled and you have do your best with what you have. When the equipment needed repairing, they learned to solve problems with the available resources and make a new plan. When co-workers didn’t understand a project, my bothers learned how to communicate clearly and to patiently train others to do a job with excellence.
Leaving a Legacy
Today these men are kind, strong, servant-hearted gentleman who have continued to spend long hours investing in the lives of others and providing richly for their own families. The lessons they learned on the farm have sustained them through many seasons of life. I am so proud to be their sister and hope my sons are learning some of these valuable lessons, too.