By Michele Boy
Each week, our local newspaper, The Syracuse Journal, shares the history of our community by decades.
Recently, I read the history column and found my husband’s name. Twenty years ago, in his senior year of high school, he took third place in a golf tournament at Leoti. I mentioned this to him and he responded that it was a 30-mph-plus windy day with 50 mph gusts – and that most of the golfers didn’t do so well because of the weather.
“But it didn’t bother me as much as them,” he said.
I laughed and his face contorted, wondering why that was funny. You couldn’t find a better metaphor to describe my husband. I shared this analogy with him and he smiled. When I am crazy, he is steady. If my family has a crisis, he can walk us through it. No matter what comes against him, he digs deep, stands strong and goes through it.
And after almost 13 years together, his demeanor has rubbed off on me ... some ... once in a while. Well, I’m more steady than I used to be.
The other day, I stopped at a neighbor’s farm about 10 miles away. As I drove by, I spotted a couple on the county road. It appeared they were stretching their legs. On the drive back to our farm, I saw that they were still there. I pulled in to see if they needed help, but it turned out they were storm spotters. The license plate read “EF12345.”
We visited a bit, and they admired our wheat. I smiled big, feeling very proud and grateful. If you have been paying any attention at all, the wheat in Hamilton County has been terrible for the last few years. Drought, wheat curl mite and disease have plagued us for a number of years. But this year, we have had soft, slow, drenching rains. Many farmers delayed planting, and with a bit of prayer and luck, our wheat plants are a rich dark green and tall – over 24 inches tall!
We lost our dog, a tall Goldendoodle, in the field. And it is a good feeling to see others admire it.
Of course, we can’t get too excited because the price is down and storm season is upon us: Hail, strong winds and tornadoes could affect us. One aspect of our farm – its widely scattered fields – is sometimes a weather advantage. What may seem inefficient to some can really make a difference in Hamilton County. One field can be wiped out and the field next to it can stand strong. Another field can flood while the other part of the county is dry.
We had a day in April where rain fell, then pea-sized hail, followed by snow and freezing temperatures. As it happened to be the last night of the Jewish holiday Passover, I wondered if frogs and locusts were next.
Thankfully, they were not.
Wish us luck on the harvest!
Writer and photographer Michele Boy is a transplanted New Yorker living with her husband and young daughter on their Hamilton County farm. Boy has recently been published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Volunteering and Giving Back.” For more from Boy, visit www.kansasagland.com.