As we wait for the warmth of spring to come again, and with it planting and haytime and harvest, I want to explain about why I chose the name for this blog, and hopefully to help remind everyone about some of the joy of the seasons to come.
I have spent many summer nights driving home with the windows down, full moon lighting up the darkness, and enjoying the smells of the country in the summertime.
Sometimes it would be the corn tasselling, or just the freshness of the night air. But my favorite air to breathe as it comes sweeping in the car windows is that of the freshly cut hay fields, waiting to be baled.
And almost every time I drive past one of these hayfields, I start humming the chorus of the song, “Indiana” in my head. I had to learn to sing it in school:
Back home again in Indiana,
And it seems that I can see
The gleaming candlelight still shining bright
Thru the sycamores for me,
The new-mown hay sends all its fragrance
From the fields I used to roam,
When I dream about the moonlight on the Wabash,
Then I long for my Indiana home.
- BALLARD MACDONALD
I remember in high school many of my classmates claiming that they couldn’t wait to get out of Indiana. Not so for me! I love this Hoosier state, its seasons, the trees, the hills, the rivers, the family and friends I love who live here.
There are many places in Indiana that are home for me, between my parents’ home, the area around my high school, the Purdue West Lafayette campus that introduced me to the Wabash, the county fairgrounds and state fairgrounds where I grew up in 4H, and now my home with my husband where we farm part time, and yearn to eventually do it full time.
I know the feeling that Macdonald felt when he wrote about the place he called home – the place where he could see for miles off if he looked through the trees just right, where he knew the smells, wondered at the fireflies in the dark among the grasses blowing in the wind, and knew there was a special someone or a memory waiting for him when he got there.
The title of this blog is a nod to all of my Indiana homes, and recognition that home is the place you come back to, after you go and do and learn. Being home is a feeling. It says in the title page of this blog that it is “about our homeplace: a generations-old family farm where livestock, crops, gardens, and children are raised.” I hope that in the things that I post to this blog, I can relate to you not only the words, but also the feelings that go along with being at home in our place.
**For a link to the complete song and music of “Indiana”, click here: http://www.indiana.edu/~librcsd/internet/extra/back.html