Thursday, May 8, 2014

Rainstorms, Chocolate Chip Cookies & Courage

 I write about “real life” is what I told the Kate, the editor from the  America’s Farmers blog site, then sent her links to the 2 most pivotal blogs about changes not only in my life, but  for my family as well  and she loved it (links at the end).  Her words were “Wow! So raw and real”.    And as I mentioned before, I write a food and life blog for Monsanto every other month, and I invite you to check out their site.  Anyway as I was trying to write a post blog for my own site, I had many thoughts swirling around but I just couldn't get the words down … until now…..

 Last Friday night I’d gotten a text from my (former) sis-in-law, Lisa (who is married to Farmer Jay) that I had received an award at the annual FFA banquet.  And although I’d received an invite to attend, I opted to stay home as I felt awkward & uncomfortable going to a hometown Ag event solo.  Had I known I would have gotten an award, well I would have put on my “big girl panties” and went.  Geez, I being a wimp! Anyway, that sort of made my emotions go all over the place - just like the weather this week-end,  cloudy, rainy, some sun….. and it finally hit me  Monday morning  driving to work, it was like a piece of the puzzle of my old life had popped out and that I needed to put it back in its place and I needed to  continue to work on the puzzle parts that are still to be completed. (guess it is safe to say I’m a work in process J)  And I emailed both the FFA Alumni Chair and the FFA teacher to let them know how pleased I was to have received the plaque, then openly admitted why I didn’t go, and that  I would have “put on lipstick and got myself out the door” to their event had I known they were presenting appreciation plaques. And then the FFA Chair wrote back  "Some of the kids come from broken families; but it’s sad to see a young adult get awards and then realize none of their family is there to share the moment. These kids work hard for their accomplishments, and some have learned at an early age they have nobody to rely on but themselves. I think if you could visit with some of the older students, you’d be an inspiration on how to make lemonade out of the lemons of life.” 

And I thought seriously? Me?  I don’t feel like an inspiration, but it made me realize two things - the first, being open and honest and admitting your fear is okay, not only to yourself, but to others  as well; and the second is that fear can be a good thing if you make it work for you. In other words fear made me learn things and get out of my comfort zone.  And had I not confronted that fear, I never would have learned to drive a 2ton truck loaded with thousands of pounds of wheat, nor learned to drive a tractor, or go zip-lining or snorkeling or start writing publically.  Fear has led me in amazing directions!  Oh and there was one more thing, if someone does admit fear to you, be kind!  

That kind email warmed my heart and soul and it gave me courage and inspiration to face this fear (thank you Joyce) .  And I made a vow to myself right then and there that I would start going to the FFA events as well as other events  even if I felt awkward.

And because not all rainy days are sad, I wanted to share a special rainy day memory that will live on forever in my mind …….  Wheat harvest was in full swing, lots of hours were being put in and I had taken the time off from work to drive the 2ton trucks to help out. Rain was forecast and was closing in.  Finally the down pour happened, even though rain is not a welcomed site during harvest, it smelled heavenly.  I remember pulling up to our house and when walking through the door that afternoon and  the smiles and hugs that I got from my little girls made me realize that they were excited to see their mama .J  That afternoon rain was pouring down, we had the windows and doors open to smell that fresh scent  and we made chocolate chip cookies.  Rain and cookies…… hmmmmmm two smells unlike no other and forever intertwined in my heart.
What baking looks like in a drawing from a 5 yoa

Anytime it rains, well….. I can almost smell cookies baking! And of course I will share my very favorite cookie recipe,  so here ya go!  Chocolate cookie recipe (found on OMG Desserts)

And for me, life viewed through this farm chick’s eyes means taking the time to see that it is better to brave the cloudy, rainy times in life as it makes the sunny days all that much better.  And by doing so that you grow in ways you didn’t think were ever possible…...  Yup…  hearts/souls and crops need all of it to grow.

And with that I hope you have just enough rainy days of your own to appreciate how magnificent the sunny days are, and that those dark clouds will pass by.

One more thing, please reach out to all the wonderful women in your family this Mother’s Day, smile and let them know you love ‘em a lot.  Plus bring them chocolate chip cookies. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to drop me a line at or leave a comment. J  All my best, Gayle.

PS –here’s are links referenced:   America’s Farmer’s blog site  September, January