We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Monday, January 2. 2006
Dear Bird Dog,
As "this year ends and a new one begins" like the phonies say which I think is no holiday at all but another trumped up scam for phony jollity and spending hard-earned money for frivolus forced "fun", and what farmer has a holiday anyway if you have got 80 head of dairy cattle, but I owe you an apology. Since that trip to France which I did not want I have gotten caught up in romance and a new life as you know, to be corny. And have written nothing for our Yankee blog.
As you know, and you were good enough to come to it and leave us with all these dang Taize cd records and a couple of cases of fancy 1989 frenchie grape juice which is over the head of my wore-out taste buds, I did get hitched in the old family Congregational Church to the charming Miss Millie who just grabbed aholt of me and would not let go like a mongrel cuss with a bad case of the bite and holds which if was one of my dogs would get a boot in the teeth but being a pretty and cheerful woman who can clean a partridge and pluck a duck gets the old walk down the ancestral ile and you get the shiny new ball and chain and the new curtains which you get to pay for and aint that just the beginning of fixin up but dont let them change you. And bless her old young heart, I can still get the flag up the old flagpole or at least halfway up almost anyway on a good day so we have had some good times this fall if I take a bath which I do not like to waste time with and she says You dont smell yourself and I says Well I dont even know myself either, she doesn't mind my shooting as long as I come to church which I may as well do since it didin't kill me yet and she understands what guys like to do and she does like the smell of gunpowder on a fellow andit gives her the teases and the giggles which this old guy can handle but barely sometimes not being the cuddly sort.
Well this time with God and church is "more sentimental than holy" and "more wine than blood of Christ" and "more brandy than branded by Christ" as Pastor teases me in my good duck blind the one pappy built at the edge of the pond in the marshy part but what can you do? Pastor hunts grouse and turkey with me and leaves God out of it but how he supports his family God only knows despite the fine venison and my daily milk delivery from the barn and no it aint pasturized but our gals in the barn are happy, healthy and fat and we have the best buttermilk in Vt to put fat and muscle on the bones of his growing hockey playing Green Mountain kids both the guys and the gals. Plus everyone brings them wood for their woodburning furnace.
And well I did give him Pappy's 20 ga. Parker for Christmas which I dont need because by my age I can kill anything with any damn busted and rusted old gun inclduing flying crows with a 22 not to brag but which pleased him no end as you might imagine and he gave me a big christian hug but not his wife Ellie who you would not call a gunnut but it hardly matters since he never misses a partridge anyhow because he says "the force is with him" and will not take personal credit for it, taking modesty to a fault if you ask me, or maybe using layers of ironny etc. so you can hardly find where they are or what they really think, but he is a good no BS Vermonter at heart with a killin streak who got complicated by Yale divinity but who can give you as strong a dose of God as you can handle, and from his gut, which I respect becasue like my Granny always said with God it's a strong dose or no dose at all and there is no middle ground so you make your choice and live with it for your eternity if you get one. Pastor is always kidding like pastors always have to do so as you dont get uncomfortable being with them imagining that they are some special breed which they probably are, and thinking they need to be jokeular to relax same as them army shrinks that they made me talk to after I got the shakes in korea after that time, well, I told you that story and I aint about to blog on that incedent but my knee reminds me every day which was the least of it.
and on gunnut that term I used let me say that a gunnut to me is a city person who likes guns, for country folk guns are tools around the place like pipe wrenches and you would not term a person with six pipe wrenches a wrench nut would you and yet sure I would rather spend two hours to pop a young doe for the freezer than fixing the damn pipes but fixing a pipe has its own satisfactions.
You know Millie has fussed a bit over the old house but not so's a fellow cant come in dirty or leave a loaded shotgun in the kitchen because what damn good is an unloaded one and she will bring me a lunch out on the tractor no matter how far she has to walk and sometimes her ankles swell up a tad she being sligtly past 70 well truthfully quite a bit more than sligtly and you couldnt call her skinny so God bless her sweet heart because she does seem to have a fondness for me even though I aint worth it.She got all of the fireplaces working like a good vermont gal inclduing the bedroom one which I thought was hoky but she makes it work out ok with a glass of that Frenchie grape juice when sarparilla or canadian whiskey was fine with me and a fire and cozy like we was 60 yrs old again, not too bad for an old fart like me who I guess kindof gave up on life when the old wife died bless her sweet old heart and I will never forget anything including putting up with me for all of those years and many hard years including the time I was in Korea doing my duty and she had to run the farm without me.
Well Millie will not cook raccoon which I like on the grill the way you told me to mairinate it she thinks it is ungodly for some reason but she cooks our venison and our wild turkey etc and has got my Dads old smoker working again and there are no more Wlallmart apple pies for breakfast because she makes pies once a week from our own apples and they are not exactly better but they are made by a gal who cares which I hate to admit makes a difference to me. And if I will punch a hole in the ice in the deep part of the pond she will sit there bundled up with her Bible catching perch for supper like grampa used to do when he got old and tossing them on the ice for two hours bless her heart I would never do that but they are good this time of year and she does it for me as if she was some fisherman or fisher of men in the Bible sense of the term despite catching me with a double barbed hook for certain and tossing me on the ice too which I cannot complain overmuch.
But dont worry about politics Millie is a "take back Vermont" type of gal but not sombre a cute little giggler really and not a Vt commie, with deep roots up here and a belief in family independence and cannot stand the newyorkers and the hippys and the people who wont do their national service because they are the me me me people, any more than I can stand them and have to ski instead of being in church where they belong but where I would not be without being married to a jolly churchlady but as I say it aint kilt me and God if He is there is a vermonter and He sure aint forgot me so why not compromise? The smokes no I will not quit and bless her she does not care and I have already had a healthy long life and going strong and tobacco has not made a dent in me yet and I can say Ive taken more out of tobacco leaf than tobacco has taken out of me. You could say its an injun thing, Bird Dog, just like that cheap canadian firewater we like up here which definitely does not have antiaccidents in it so you have to wait til work is done.
Now you know Bird Dog up here in the Kingdom we arent part of the dekadent USA, we are part of the good old USA, the hard country of my forefathers where men and women are built by sweat and sacrifice and pain and do not expect this life to be a bowl of free apples. Why should it be? We are given life and breath and the strenth of our backs and the brain of a drunk barn pigeon and that is plenty enough to be given speaking practically not religously and we are well forwarned that life is a vale of tears with moments of joy and God knows that is true but you cannot ignore the grandour of our Green Mountains looming at you through the dark every morning at 4 am milking time when Seth and Reuben show up totally oblivius to whatever and everything which is about them in this world but ready to work despite hangovers, lack of brains and common sense etc. and being worked over all night by high school drop out fat girls with tatoos and body peercings with two or three snot-nose demented and 1/2 civilizied brat kids and on the dole which is all they can attract being good workers but basically lazy and ignorant and not overly intelligent beer drinkers hanger-outers and only idly curious at the most and thus not exactly prize stock themselves.
But to be some kind of Christian I should be understanding which I am of these two fellows because they come from immigrant families by which I mean whose greatgrandpappy immigrated to the Green Mountains from the Aderondacks across Lake Champlain to Vermont in 1874 and what kind of damaged pioneer stock gives up and immigrates backwards? Or they couldnt handle the winters the sure sign of a softer breed not really the type a man wants to breed into for strong sturdy stock and the young folks dont always wonder about what they are breeding into but a farmer has to consider it.
So I guess I am not blogging much anymore and I am limiting myself to weekends for my internet fun now that I have a wife to tend to plus I have a farm to run still with hopes that my lazy ponytale truck driving son will take it on as he should if only to show honor to our ancestors who have tilled and dairied this rocky hardass land since 1724. Dont worry Millie would have no tv in the place but we did throw out the busted 1967 Zenith that was sitting in the parlor since it caught on fire about 10 yrs ago and scorched the wall and we do not need that tv crap which only cheapens your life with the phony haha and the phony sports etc., I think, and on this subject Pastor agrees with me and would not own one either but he is a bookish guy and Ellie is too but I dont think she approves of me nor why should she as I am rough on my edges for a refined gal like her I am just a farmer but I have gone the distance have I not.
so take me off of your blogger list but if I have something to say I will email it to you as long as I dont get the Oldtimers disease, my good friend, you who cannot shoot worth a goddamm like a city boy and will eat far more than you can kill but who loves the land and the animals as much as anyone I ever knew.
"Best wishes" as you would say, and we will save you a few gallons of Grade B no you like the rough stuff Grade C syrup in a couple of months. I can just tell we have a good syrup year in front of us.
The Yankee Farmer
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Love Yankee farmer. Want to grow old with someone like him. Millie doesn't know how lucky she is. Guess I'm not cheery enough. You're right about the way divine intermediaries have to force humor to reassure awed mortals.