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Closer to Fine

I’m tryin’ to tell you somethin’ ’bout my life
Maybe give me insight between black and white
And the best thing you’ve ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously
It’s only life after all, yeah.

-Indigo Girls

I grew up on our farm but my parents aren’t professional farmers. My dad practiced medicine for 40+ years. My mom was a school teacher but once married became a masterful domestic engineer.

As a child, my role on the farm was purely a sporadic day laborer; mostly during the summer. Even during college, my time at home was repairing fence, treating cattle, and putting up hay. Pretty standard.

The idea of returning to the farm was always there but never seriously considered. I attended Furman University, barely graduated with a degree in Political Science, and, when it was clear that getting a job was a post-grad requirement, I turned to the US Army for employment. Many people go into the military with a sense of service. Not me. I needed a job.

I spent a career learning how to break stuff. I had a pretty good start doing that from my childhood but became a professional through my service to the nation. As the end of my active service approached, my wife and I began the mental journey of “Life after the Military.”

Ever Soldier dies in combat. Not all die physically, but each is not the same person as when he or she left. I’m no different. While deployed, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about what I wanted to do and what was best for my family. I read a couple of books, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser and Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. These books put me on a path of exploring the possibility of farming. Frankly, and not trying to be dramatic, it was a rebirth. It restored purpose. This “Tour de Thought” brought us to the farm in 2013.

My dad was in the medical profession for over four decades yet he still referred to it as “practicing medicine”. I’ve been practicing farming for seven years. While every day is game day, each day I’m closer to fine.

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