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     Hello friends, John Prosper down on memory lane, while out standing in my field. This particular ground I’m on used to be the site of a very large barn. The structure was just south of my mother’s old homeplace. I plowed up the ground for planting around the barn with my grandfather. He would stop in the field sometimes and show me things of interest for my natural education, like soft-shelled turtle eggs.

     A pond just to the west of the barn was our improvised skating rink, fishing hole and sometimes the source of some tasty frog legs. The barn itself was a storage building for farm equipment, hay and grain, and sometimes housed livestock. Many a summer was spent hauling hay and harvesting to fill that barn when the earth brought forth plentifully. I’d get worn out on lazy, sweltering days and joke, “Grandpa, why don’t we build an even larger storehouse, or more barns to store up all this bountiful production from the land? Then we can sit back for a few summers and take it easy.” He would just tousle my hair and say “Johnny, we’ll be here ‘til the cows come home if you don’t put your hand to the plow!” Then he’d mutter to himself, “Ain’t building no more barns; the only thing I’m laying up more of is stores in heaven.” Never quite new what he meant at the time, though he was a praying man.

     Well, grandpa passed on…had a church homegoing and all. He never did build another barn, and this one’s gone, ravaged by ‘coons, time and the elements…some of the contents spoiled. Grain’s hauled to the co-op today and with technological changes, hay is stored in much larger bales right in the field.

     With improved commodity prices, some of my neighbors have put up shiny new grain storage bins that dot the countryside. Caused me to recollect a phrase from Willa Mae’s reader (it’s like a farmers’ almanac or somethin’) though, that offered this curious counter-declaration. “Observe and consider the birds of the air. They neither sow nor reap, or have storehouse or barn; and yet the Almighty feeds them.”

     Well, it don’t hardly seem fair when you mull on this preferential treatment. I believe I’m worth more than a fowl; ya’ know, worth more than a pigeon. Birds don’t have grain bins or grocery stores. They appear to be more than satisfied with grain semi-trailer droppings, other seeds, insects, crawlers and the like. Seems like our fine feathered friends are always rich in the things of God! Hum-m-m-m, maybe that’s what grandpa was muttering about…probably cogitated it all along.  A man’s life doesn’t just consist of the abundance of things which he possesses. He’d already figured that he couldn’t take it with him long before he finally ‘bought the farm’…so why build another barn.

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