Monday, August 19, 2013

Harmonicas & Haybales

    Most of our farm is a hayfield. We have a neighbor who is a dairy farmer and needs the hay for his cows. He pays us to let him cut, bale and take it away. We're pleased with the deal and are going to keep it up until we need the hay for animals of our own. 
    Besides, we get a few days of fun on the bales before he hauls them away. 

Some of us have the hardest time just getting onto the bales ...

.. and others have no trouble at all :)

    We've owned lots of cats in our time, but Stormy--this black one--has been the best because she's so patent. The dogs drag her around by her scruff, we ride down the hill with her in our sleds, pose with her for pictures, etc. and she doesn't bat an eyelash. 
   She and our old mix breed dog were drop offs. Lots of people just come and leave their pets out here because they no longer want to take care of them themselves. Sometimes they're taken in, sometimes they make trouble and are shot and sometimes they just die of starvation. We're so glad that we decided to keep this cat, she's a great hunter, loves people, and (like I said before) will put up with just about anything.

    Most Amish groups are not allowed to play any instruments except the harmonica (or the harp, as they call it). Since we've become close friends with a couple Amish families we have begun to learn how to play these pocket instruments. 
    My brother (the older one) is the best at it. He can play We Thank Thee Oh God For A Prophet, Turkey In the Straw, Taps and all the little nursery rhyme songs like Mary Had a Little Lamb, London Bridges, etc. Right now he's teaching himself The Welcome Song from The Nauvoo Pageant, Praise to the Man and Did You Think to Pray.  

    My brother and I are the only ones in the family who own harmonicas but I'm nowhere near as good as he is. I'm still learning Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. He's written We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet down on paper for me with the appropriate inhale and exhale symbols, but I haven't gotten that far yet. It might be a while :)

    My brother plays his harp everywhere and all the time! That's probably why he's so good at it. He very particular about his harp and wont let anyone else play it. The sister right under me plays better than I do and I let her use my harp sometimes. We are a musical family! 

    Speaking of being a musical family ... my siblings aren't just harmonica prodigies, but piano prodigies as well. I came home from college to find myself surrounded by Mozarts. Our older brother has discovered a love for Scott Joplin and can play both The Entertainer and The Maple Leaf Rag accurately at full speed. The sister right under me loves the soft and sentimental and is now in love with August Rush. My little sister is a very good sight reader and can play lots of the hymns. All three of them take turns playing for church.    

It's great to be a member of such a wonderful family ...
   Evenings like this are just great: a moment to slow down and enjoy each other.