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What Holidays Do You ACTUALLY Observe?

We know that livestock farmers at least do chores every day.  When I was a boy, we never worked on Sunday.  Never.  Now, it seems like I work every day of the year.


The days I really take off?  Living in in the snow belt, it is more likely to be in the winter.  


New Year's Day - off

MLK DAy - work, probably on taxes and books, if nothing else

Washington's Birthday - getting machinery ready for planting

Memorial Day - field work, haying, spraying, side dress, something

4th of July - spraying, haying,

Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's day - harvest & field work or getting ready for winter

Thanksgiving and Christmas, off


Sunday is just another work day.  Sundays and hhlidays are days of inconvenience when banks, post office, stores, government off ices and so forth are closed.


Birthday, anniversary?  Maybe something in the evening.


Of course, at my age, I have to work.  I'm only good for half a day on a good day.  🙂


Vacations?  Never take them.  Where and why?  I'd rather stay home and fly my airiplane or talk on my amateur radio.  I've never understood why anyone would take a vacation.  Go stay in a motel and spend a lot of money on a tourist trap?  I can go to the Amans in 20 minutes and do that.


This is all by preference.  The wife is on the go all the time and more power to her.  She's visiting kids, going to a quilting bee, seeing an old friend, whatever.


I have to say, I've lived in Japan, Korea, Hawaii, VietNam, Germany and have visited Panama, Puerto Rico, Paris, Rome, Vienna, London, about 45 of the 50 states and most of the big cities in the U.S.  Like they say, Been There, Done That.


I'm not ready to die, but I'm ready to park my carcass for a bit.  And think of the poem by A.E. Houseman



Home Is the Sailor


 Home is the sailor, home from sea:

     Her far-borne canvas furled

 The ship pours shining on the quay

     The plunder of the world.


 Home is the hunter from the hill:

     Fast in the boundless snare

 All flesh lies taken at his will

     And every fowl of air.


 'Tis evening on the moorland free,

     The starlit wave is still:

 Home is the sailor from the sea,

     The hunter from the hill.

A.E. Housman








13 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: What Holidays Do You ACTUALLY Observe?

Jim, you are right about livestock. The precious few years of the 59 I have lived that were without livestock responsibilities, I was so consumed with accelerating through my college degree program, it was even more demanding that these 12,000 pigs.

Mike and I rarely traveled, mostly some camping in state parks when the kids were elementary ages, and his Daddy was still able to feed for us. That had to be worked around his railroad job. Once PaPa got too frail to feed up, we stopped even that.

This past year, we have been taking a night or two, 2-3 times each week, unless he's really behind on haying or the daughter in charge of the farm is ion extended vacation, to stay over at his homeplace in Virginia, which was where Jenna was living when she passed last May. This is, I guess you could say, our " estate" farm, where he has few obligations of any importance, and I can flower garden and putter on projects like painting over old furniture and sewing curtains and other wants. Right now, it is becoming something of a Santa's workshop for Winn.

He cuts firewood, grades the driveway, and assists me in landscaping. We have the grazing system and three others houses here rented now, so other than keeping the path passable, we can do as we **bleep** please. This beats having to dance to a trucking schedule that is subject to change on a whim, and otherwise feeling that our hair is on fire, which we both do when we are in Carolina. We get off the days we are given...usually including Thanksgiving and Christmas now. That is about it. Maybe July 4th, which we would rather work than deal with the disurptions.

Having grown up near Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg, Richmond (capital of the Confederacy), and ( I just learned this last week) in a county which saw more battles and skirmishes of the Civil War than any other locality, we take a lot of historical sites for granted. A recent visit to the new National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, which is only nine miles from the farm here, has made us more cognizant of what we have overlooked for too long. We have agreed that we will take some day trips, bouncing off from the Va house, and using it to avoid ridiculous lodging costs.

Example, in September, we spent a lovely day in Charlottesville, enjoying Monticello, Michie's Tavern, and an apple orchard stop, as well as eating supper in a favorite brewpub. It was enough of a break from the usual for us. I find travel tiring, too.

Beaches? Two hours from either home. Mountains? Two to four hours, depending upon where we start. If we don't drive a mile or a minute, we live in prettier places than most people dream of visiting, and have the freedom to walk, hunt, fish or whatever on them all day, without spending a cent.

Dorothy was right...there's no place like home.
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Re: What Holidays Do You ACTUALLY Observe?

  Kay, I was at Fort Lee when in the army and it really is nice down there.   I did get stuck in a freak snowstorm on I95 coming home for Thanksgiving I believe in 1971.

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Honored Advisor

Re: What Holidays Do You ACTUALLY Observe?

Fort Lee has been growing like gangbusters, since the BRAC. A lot of locals have had good jobs there, and the economy is really dependent upon the soldiers.

We grew up in Dinwiddie County, so you know what I mean about beautiful. Snow by Thanksgiving isn't really freaky, but by the 12th is very early, and we got a smattering today.

You were there in a difficult time for the country. Thank you for your service.
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Senior Advisor

Re: What Holidays Do You ACTUALLY Observe?

Quote from Jim :   have to say, I've lived in Japan, Korea, Hawaii, VietNam, Germany and have visited Panama, Puerto Rico, Paris, Rome, Vienna, London, about 45 of the 50 states and most of the big cities in the U.S


Gee Wizz Jim -- it's no wonder you have to work every day ! Heck you were never home --  Smiley Wink


BTW - Be'n your a world traveler -- What country did you like best or city ??


one other thing -- 30 years ? and was it Col. ?



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Re: What Holidays Do You ACTUALLY Observe?

Christmas and Easter. Usually work on 4th of july, but something satisfying about this american holliday and it's celebation in america.. Always go to the breakfast at the Woden american legion post on memorial day. that's about it. Oh yeah, thanksgiving we have a family meal that my wife prepares. Lot of work for her. I usually clean up.

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Honored Advisor

Re: What Holidays Do You ACTUALLY Observe?

You know, I forgot to mention Halloween. We have always lived so far out in the sticks, we didn't have trick-or-treaters, until last year, when our little dinosaur grandson toddled in and grabbed his goodies. That is bringing back all the memories of when our kids were small, and we had so much fun with costumes and stopping in at family and friends' houses.

I am no longer big on a ton of decorations for any holiday, but we did carve out a couple of pumpkins this year. We blew the candle inside out a hundred times.

I did a volunteer stint at the bird park, called " Trick or Tweet", dressed as a scarecrow. Our little goblin brought along some cousins and a friend this year for the candy raid.

That is a fun time for kids. I know it falls into harvest for most of you, but take time to notice, if your children or grandchildren are involved in the occasion. It is sort of magical to them at that age, to be someone or something else for an evening.
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Re: What Holidays Do You ACTUALLY Observe?

Every holiday has been commercialized to some extent.  It's a far cry from when I was a boy (many decades ago). 


But, I remember even then who could bring the nicest store bought Valentine cards to school and who had the cheap ones or the tacky home made ones.  Now, I'd like a home made one better.  But at 7=8 years of age.


I remember when we dressed up with new clothes and bonttets for Easter but do people do that any more?


Halloween was for prnaks - now thaty have you spending big bucks on costumes.


Well, times change and we change with them.  One of my responses is to have less and less interest in holidays, with the exception of Christmas for the fmaily.

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Honored Advisor

Re: What Holidays Do You ACTUALLY Observe?

Read recently that Halloween has become the second most commercialized holiday. Walking through stores, seeing that ehat was once a children's night of pranks and excitement has become the time for grownups to dress nice " naughty nurse" and other equally tacky personna, I imagine this is true.

I think the hoarding shows I so enjoy watchimg ( yes, for me, they are cautionary tales) point up the junkifying of almost every holiday. I may throw down a seasonal mat at the front door, bake a special treat, or drag out a few handmade decorations, but thst is about it. I do read Winn certain books at holidays, too.

It is hard to hold the line at a sensible level of appreciation for cultural events, when the surrounding world has run amok. Maybe 30 years ago, I bought into the approach embodied in a book entitled " Unplugging the Christmas Machine". If it is still in print, it would be a good read even today, and the commonsense principles would well apply for every holiday season.
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Re: What Holidays Do You ACTUALLY Observe?

I still enjoy a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Plain and simple.
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