Monday, December 31, 2012

Endings are a New Beginning

Sometimes there is a rare occurrence that happens with wheat, and one year our farm had a beautiful field of golden wheat.  It was “picture perfect”, the wheat-heads were flawlessly formed, uniform and lush looking.   All the right things were done, such as obtaining good quality seed, planting it in the rich earth, getting the proper nutrients on it, welcoming Mother Nature’s timely rains, it should have yielded well....
But when the combine pulled into the field to harvest it, there was nothing in the wheat- heads.  They were empty as the wheat kernel didn’t form due to something having happened in the development stage.  So while it looked perfect to the outside world, it was not. 
Sadly, I have had to compare my marriage to this wheat phenomenon, where it looked picture perfect, but when tragedy struck our family with our new son-in-law’s untimely death last September, I leaned on the strength of my marriage and it crumbled.  Somewhere along the line, I guess the magic faded and I didn’t know it.   I thought I had tended to the marriage by doing the right things, saying the right things, nurturing it, but despite those efforts, my farmer husband didn’t get the right dosages of what it takes to keep love in a marriage and has opted to end it.  Looking back, I can see where perhaps I should have done a few things better or differently but it takes two to keep up a relationship and I have my faults and farmer Joe has his, so I am not placing blame on anyone.  The sudden turn of events shortly after Andrew’s death as well as the death of Joe's dad just 13 days later seemed to prompt this action and it could have been that when the grief is so raw and devastating that it made farmer Joe realize just how short life is and it made him yearn for a different kind of life and/or partner.  All I know is after almost 28 years of being a farmwife, I have found myself single.  As I pen this, I will be the new sole owner of my own small farm and will lease it back to farmer Joe and farmer Jay.  So I will still be reporting on the Anderson Farm activities, but it will be different.  In case you are wondering why I am sharing this with you,   well let me explain that when I talk to my urban friends & readers,  they tend to "idealize farmers and our farm life".  While the picturesque setting of country life looks effortless and perfect, farmers are not exempt from life's ups and downs.  And that is the “why” that I am sharing my personal pain, not to garner sympathy, but to share that we are not immune to some of the hardships that come along in life.

Through all this I have found that I am stronger than I thought and  I have the good fortune of having supportive family and friends who have been at my side during these hard times.  Our daughter, Kaitlyn, moved back home and lives with me in my farmhouse.  She is an amazing and strong young woman as well, and together we have shed tears, drank red wine and vowed that  while difficulties may impact us, they do not define us.  We have picked ourselves up, brushed ourselves off and are moving on.  And so a new chapter begins in both of our lives.  As 2013 will be a year of new beginnings, I wish everyone the best!  As for me, my personal goal is "living an ordinary life in an extraordinary manner".    All my best, Gayle.

A recent Mom & daughter get away

I anticipate I will start featuring other farm families and this blog will be a “work in progress” as I fine-tune what I want to convey about how food is grown in the Northwest. I do love to blog and connect with the outside readers, as it is a way for me to paint with words what farm life looks like, but I also blog for you. With that said, I welcome suggestions of what you would like to see on my blog as well. So please take a moment and send me your thoughts either by comment at the end or to my personal email at , either way, just drop me a line or two.

And to show that I am on the road to recovery, take a peek at a new recipe I created.... Cranberry Chocolate Cake.
As always, glad you stopped by and last but not least..... you had better check out the other newest yummies on the OMG Desserts page.  Plus I am getting the recipes slowly converted to being printable!    Yahoo.
Note:  You may have noticed that the blog has a new title, but it will still be located as as this is how it is registered. 


  1. As I was scrolling thru my blog list I thought where did this come from .... this is not a blog I follow .... now I understand why it's on my list. So sorry for all you have been thru the last few months, but welcome back to blogland. Wishing you and your daughter a Happy New Year and hoping 2013 will be a good year for you both. Take care, stay strong.

  2. I had missed your earlier blog, telling of your son-in-law's death. I am so sorry for your family's loss. I admire your bravery to share this new way of life with your blog friends. You are right: Farm life isn't a fairytale, and readers need to understand the tragedies, as well as the highlights of life on a family farm. My best to you during this new beginning. Hugs and prayers from a Kansas farm wife.

  3. Oh, Honey! I am so sorry! I know you are moving forward, but I also know a hug now and then helps!


    ¸.•*¨*•♪♫♫♪HAPPY NEW YEAR ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥

  4. Gayle,

    I just wanted to let you know that I will be thinking and praying for you and your family during this time of change. My parents went through a divorce after 25 years of marriage, and I just don't think there is anything that can prepare anyone for a divorce after that amount of time. May you have a blessed 2013 and I look forward to seeing what you post on your blog as time goes on.

  5. Gayle, you have been through so much this year I just can't imagine! You've been in my thoughts ever since you shared about your son-in-law, and just know that you'll continue to be in my thoughts in the new year. I know life must be really hard for you right now, but hang in there! Hugs!

  6. Gayle,
    Thank you for continuing your
    writing. Katie and you are
    strong women of and for the
    land. More importantly you are spirited guides to all of us pathseekers where lifestyle, farm, family and self interweave.


  7. Gayle --
    I just read your most recent post and I wept for you. Since reading of your son-in-law's death I've had your family in my prayers. I will continue to keep you all in my prayers. May God hold you in His arms and give you strength and joy in the year to come. All my best, Tonia

  8. Gayle - I have enjoyed your blog as it was one of my first "ag blogs" that I found. I pray you find strength in this difficult time and your "blog family" is here for you!

  9. Gayle, I totally missed this post. I am so sorry for everything your family has been through. I just stopped by here to link to your blog and was saddened to read this post. If you ever need help with anything, please let me know!


  10. Hi Gayle, I just found your blog today and am so sorry to hear all the tragedy for you in 2012 - I lost my dad suddenly in 2012 so I hear you about the new beginnings. Life throws you a curve ball from time to time.

    You really don't know how strong you are until being strong is your only option. Judging by your recent posts you are a strong woman and so is your daughter. I look forward to following your blog!