Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Quiet

I’m sitting by my pond this chilly, late April afternoon, listening for the quiet. Quiet is becoming ever more difficult to find these days with ever-chirping cell-phones, loud shouting radio and TV commentators, sirens blaring, impatient motorists laying on their car horns, and the ever-present traffic sound in the background. No quiet. Nothing close to quiet. Even in the dead of night in the city.

But sitting by my pond the only sound I hear is the breeze rustling the tops of the oaks and maples still bare of leaves, and the subtle sound of the wind riffling the surface of the pond.

I need to hear quiet regularly, and here at my farm, sitting by my pond, I hear it. Hearing the quiet recharges my personal batteries, calms my nerves and restores my soul.

Photo: Roshara Pond, April 2017.

THE OLD TIMER SAYS: Listen for the quiet.

WRITER’S WORKSHOP: Friday, August 18, 9-4:00 p.m. The Clearing, Door County.
Call 920-854-4088. Limited enrollment.


May 18. Neville Public Museum, Green Bay. Wisconsin Agriculture: A History. Dinner at 5:00 p.m. Program at 6:00 p.m. Registrations required. Call 920-448-7874.

May 25, 7:00 p.m. Richfield Historical Sociey. Never Curse the Rain. Richfield Fire Hall, 2008 Hwy 175, Richfield, WI.

Purchase Jerry’s DVDS and his Books from the Patterson Memorial Library in Wild Rose, Wisconsin (a fundraiser for them):

The library now has available signed copies of Jerry’s DVDs:

Emmy Winner, A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps (based on The Quiet Season book.)
Jerry Apps a Farm Story (based on Rural Wit and Wisdom and Old Farm books.)
The Land with Jerry Apps, (based on the book Whispers and Shadows.)

Also available are several of Jerry’s signed books including: Jerry’s newest nonfiction book, Never Curse the Rain, and his newest novel, The Great Sand Fracas of Ames County. Also available are Wisconsin Agriculture: A History,
Roshara Journal (with photos by Steve Apps) and Telling Your Story—a guide book for those who want to write their own stories.

Contact the library for prices and special package deals.
Patterson Memorial Library
500 Division Street
Wild Rose, WI 54984

1 comment:

Milo Larson said...

Hi Jerry, I watched your Utube story on growing up and this piece inspired me to share a story I wrote 3 years ago and wanted to share with you. Hope you enjoy. Keep the memories coming.

Good Sunday Morning, wow what a week again, out in the yard last sunday in shorts, then blowing snow a few days later but all is well with the outlook of spring like temperatures once again.

This week with the start of May brings back every year my childhood's fond memories of warmth and new life.

The pictures are pictures of my life every may throughout my childhood. I use to sit on that two row planter pulled by the rusted steel wheeled Farmall tractor and in later years the green John Deere.

Imagine sitting on that planter covering 50 acres of dry warm soil. The dust would roll off the tractor wheels and the steel wheels of the planter and if that wasn't enough the May winds would cover this already dust blackened body.

The object of sitting on the planter which started out as a horse drawn planter was to raise and lower the planter with the handle whenever you got to the end and turned around or if there was a low spot or hight spot in the field I would have to raise or lower so the seeds wouldn't lay on top or plant too deep.

I loved may of every year, as dirty and dusty as it was with my dad driving the tractor I was quite alone with my thoughts. I would daydream of things I wanted to do, of cleaning and painting the old rusted Farmall to bright red, decking it out with chrome accessories on the motor as well as the planter I was riding. Those were the days, late 50's & early 60's when hot rods was the craze. I would get all the hot rod magazines and dream.

That was the start of my great imagination, was writing stories, poetry and music in every trip up and down the long rows of each field. You've heard " Does anybody really know what time it is" by Chicago, well I use to sing some of those words and chords while I was dragging the fields on that green John Deere 10 years before they wrote it, Was a far cry from the real song but every time I hear that song I'm back driving the tractor on the farm. Working only about 50 out of 80 acres we were probably the last around to use the primitive equipment, most of the neighbors around were buying up more land and buying the big 4, 8 and 12 row planters and big tractors. 40 to 50 acres was swamp land, unheard today because it doesn't produce money.

The 40 acre swampland was filled with patches of water with tall weeds and cattails protruding, holding my favorite red winged blackbird, singing all day long. The slough was filled with different animals and birds and a special bird we called slough pumper, had the strangest sounds you ever heard sounding like an old fashioned pump. At night the frogs and crickets serernaded us all night long with an owl filling out the orchestra and an occasional dog barking after a skunk. On the edge of the swamp was good size mounds to big for the tractor to go over supposedly from the days of the buffalo, not sure but I'd like to believe it. The land and wildlife was beautiful and pheasants galore bringing delight to the ears and hunters that came from far away every Fall.

I was very fortunate to have lived and grown up on a farm especially a small farm which would have been called a hobby farm now but was the last of the small farms. There was hard work, but not constant, not a lot of stress, not much money, but a good wholesome lifestyle that brought a lifetime of memories.

Have a gentle week everyone and may your memories be warm.

I also put pictures of the tractors etc. on my Facebook page.