real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

corn morning

For those of you who have never been in the Midwest in late July or early August, I thought you might enjoy these photos that my son took early this morning. I remember the summer we came back from Germany after living nearly 4 years at the foot of the Alps. I don’t think there was anything more beautiful than those corn fields. It was home.

These reminded me of one of my favorite poems. It was written by Leo Dangle in his book Home from the Field and is called Farming in a Lilac Shirt.

I opened the Sears catalog.
It was hard to decide–dress shirts
were all white the last time
I bought one for Emma’s funeral.
I picked out a color called plum
but when the shirt arrived,
it seemed more the color of lilacs.
Still, it was beautiful.
No one I knew had a shirt like this.

After chores on Sunday, I dressed
for church. Suddenly the shirt
seemed to be a sissy color
and I held it up near the window.
In the sun the lilac looked more lilac,
more lovely, but could a man
were a shirt that color? Someone
might say, “That’s quite a shirt.”
I wore the old shirt to church.

And every Saturday night I thought,
Tomorrow I’ll wear the shirt.
Such a sad terrible waste, to spend
good money on a shirt, a shirt
I even liked, and then not wear it.
I wore the shirt once, on a cold day, and kept my coat buttoned.

In spring I began wearing the shirt
for everyday, when I was sure
no one would stop by. I wore the shirt
when I milked the cows and in the field
when I planted oats. It fit perfectly.
As I steered the John Deere,
I looked over my shoulder and saw
lilac against a blue sky
filled with white seagulls
following the tractor, and not once
did I wipe my nose on my sleeve.



  RichardD wrote @

As usual – absolutely wonderful photos. Thanks, Karen.

Unfortunately, these photos don’t remind me of home. More accurately, they remind me of Stephen King’s Children of the Corn.


  Lin wrote @

Me too, Richard.

My childhood memories of visiting the country involve tobacco. Lots of tobbaco fields. :o)

  Juliene Herr wrote @

Karen, I love the photos! Which talented son took those? They remind me of home! I was just looking out my window this morning and thinking how wonderful it would be to to look out and just see God’s creation. God’s creation as far as the eye could see without man’s creation interrupting. Of course, I’m seeing God’s creation through the electrical lines, 4 foot white poles lined up at the old high school, buildings, etc. But He is still there, working, I can see Him! Juliene

  thatmom wrote @


You know, I can’t get past the fact that the old high school could be a bed and breakfast and is a Mexican restaurant. AS I told my kids, I have already slept in the geometry classroom for free why would I want to do it again and pay for it? Too weird but as my son often says “it is what it is!”

Those corn pictures were taken on the road behind Wal-Mart. I turned off the car while Ben got out and took the pictures and I could feel the heat of the day moving in and hear the birds all singing. It was glorious. Have you ever driven down that road? If you turn on the road between the golf course and the car dealers, you can buy fresh sweet corn at Barnard’s stand. It is so delicious and right now they seem to have plenty of it for $4.00 a dozen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: