August 29th…“SHARE A STORY ABOUT A SPECIAL MOMENT WITH YOUR FATHER ON THE FARM THAT BECAME ALMOST MAGICAL.”
Did you ever notice how the titles of Dad and God both have three letters in their spelling? As a tiny lad, there on our family farm in southern Minnesota, I worshiped the ground my daddy walked on. My miniature self wanted to walk like him, talk like him and act like him. Our daddy was strong, wise and the handsomest dad this side of anywhere. I longed to spend every minute of every day with him whenever the opportunities arose. Even just to stand by his side, or ride next to him on the bench seat of our 1950 Ford pickup truck was a treat that couldn’t be beat for this lil farmer boy.
“Green Gables” was the elegant acreage of the farm to the north of our place that housed our most beloved neighbors, Wally and Genevieve Mutschler. These precious souls, and their wonderful family, were like another set of loving grandparents for we Noorlun kids and also played the parts of another “dad and mom” for our own parents. Matter of fact, it was through the blessed benevolence of Wally and Genevieve’s generous hearts that our parents could actually make a start of farming from animals that were shared to them from the Mutschlers.
In my tiny life, there came a day when Dad asked if I’d like to ride along with him to the Mutschler farm. I was ecstatic with happiness and ready to roll! As the gravel dust billowed behind our pickup truck, Dad shifted down to a lower gear as we made a left banking turn into the farmyard of our dear neighbors. True to the farm’s name, there were handsome green gables on the house, barn and outbuildings. Sweet old Wally, replete in his bib overalls, met us at our truck as he and Dad exchanged pleasantries while we made our way into their beautiful, two-story home. The Mutschler home, to me, was like a castle and I relished every minute inside their stylish kitchen while my father enjoyed a cup of coffee and some visiting with these fellow farmers.
During the visit with Wally and Genevieve, Dad had heard that the Mutschlers had been blessed with a giant batch of baby chicks in their Brooder House, so, at the end of the visit, Dad and I headed that way for a look. It was a sweet moment because it was just Dad and I that took a gentle walk through the green, dappling shade of the treed windbreak until we came to that Brooder House of baby chickens. Always in the shadow of my daddy’s legs, I stopped when he stopped by the doorway of this little building. I remember him squatting down to my minuscule height so he could impress upon me what he was about to say. “Son, I’m going to allow you to come inside this Brooder House with me and see something VERY special! There are hundreds of beautiful baby chicks inside here. In order to see them, though, you have to promise me that you will be silent and move very slowly in silence. The reason for being quiet is this…..if those tiny chicks get spooked (scared), they’ll be frightened and will run away from us into a corner of the room. Sadly, in that corner, they would pile up on top of each other and cause those chicks on the bottom of the pile to be trampled and smothered to death.”
Deeply impressed with what my father just shared, he ever so quietly opened the door of this little chicken house and the two of us floated inside on gossamer wings. The only light, in that dark quietness, was from heat lamps that cast a golden glow upon a literal moving carpet of fluffy baby chickens. Their tiny peeping voices were like music to my farmer boy ears! True to my daddy’s instructions, I hardly moved a muscle as this precious “carpet of golden life” moved with an innocent marvel around our lower human appendages. It was as if we were standing on a farmer’s version of “holy ground”.
Life was a triple treat for me that day!! Why? Well, for #1…I had been obedient to my father’s instructions and had garnered his smile and appreciation for being his “big boy”. Then, #2…I had the joy of visiting my “other grandparents” at Green Gables Farm. And, #3…I had witnessed a moving carpet of golden softness in the form and beauty of God’s creation in those darling little baby chicks. What a GREAT day it was to be a Norwegian Farmer’s Son!!! 😉