“So, goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can’t plant me in your penthouse
I’m going back to my plough.”
Well, maybe not back to a a plough exactly, Sir Elton, but I will say that the road sure is a lot less yellow-bricked and a little more muddy, these days, that’s for sure. But, it’s also a whole lot more fulfilling, too. You see, I started out in life on a dairy farm–with wide open pastures where you could actually see the whole sky and smell the musk of the hay and the sour of the cow poop and hear the steamy fresh milk squirting down into the tin bucket early on a chilly fall morning. But, sometimes, as time goes by, a young man gets to feeling that he needs to prove himself in other ways, in a world that he feels is somehow “bigger” than the confines of a farm and a meadow and an early-to-bed.
So, since college seemed to be looking for recruits, I enlisted. And, when they discharged me–just to make sure what they thought they had taught me actually worked— I squeezed into a suit and roped myself inside a tie and escorted a briefcase to and from the city, Monday to Friday, on one long extended errand we all refer to as “business”. Turned out, I wasn’t half bad at “business” after all. I traveled, I poked my head into a number of ventures and I even bought a nice car and some other nice shiny stuff. Did that for thirty years. A man can get pretty darned bored doing the same thing for thirty years, no matter how much stuff they give him for doing it. So, one day I decided to trade-in my silk suits for cotton flannels, my Oxfords for rubber boots and my briefcase for a tractor.
Now, they say you can never really go home again–because “home” will never be quite the same–on account of the very fact that you left it in the first place. Still, going back to a place like where you started out sure is a lot like going home. And so for that reason, here we are at Peaceful Valley farm.
Now, I suppose I ought to have mentioned my co-conspirator, Brenda (also known as “Gram” to you kids) in all this–the love of my life–which, you all should know, is the most important thing anyway. So here’s the thing: Gram and I are going to tell you everything about the farm and our experiences here–the good, the bad, the happy and the sad; me in my way and she in hers. Only difference is, my stories will actually be true.
So hang up your pitchfork and pull up a haystack and sit on back and have a listen.