Saturday, November 22, 2008

Leave it to Dan

Isn't that for inner city underpasses, railroad cars and bathroom walls? I'm going to give Dan the benefit of the doubt and consider this tagging to be like my childhood game of tag. Like passing the baton. Or the microphone during group introductions. Whatever.
Six random things about myself. Nearly everything about me is random. Let's see...
1. I'm second oldest in a family of four children. My sister Laura was the oldest, and the only girl. We grew up on our parent's farm in central calif. which adjoined the land my father's parents farmed, and the land my paternal great-grandparents farmed, all of which was later combined into one farm. That makes me a fourth-generation farmer on the same land.

2. My dad was in the airforce from 1956 until 1960, when he started our family farm. I was born in 1959, so I guess I'm an airforce brat, but I only remember living on the farm. I recall the farm being very busy. All of the pick-ups, and mom's car, and the shop, and our house, and the house of dad's partner and friend Jerry Askew, were connected by business-band radios. Nearly all of the machinery repairs were made by us in our shop, so most of mom's shopping trips were combination part runs and family outings.

3. Working on the farm was our play, along with hunting in the slough near our house, and the work (even at one dollar per hour) paid for us kids to buy our own dirtbikes and by highschool, most of our own clothes. It was also great fun and exciting to do "men's" work as a boy. Dad kept some equipment that was outdated and small just so we kids would have something to contribute.

4. When I was about 10 years old, my dad and Jerry started going to a secret, deer-hunting place called "the ranch". They would plan their pre cotton-harvest fall trip with great anticipation and nearly always the departure time would creep backward from the early morning, to midnight, to "might as well just go, we won't sleep anyway" after dinner the evening before. Then they bought the place.

5. When I was 18 and visiting the ranch during deer season, my parent's friends brought their daughter, Tammie to the ranch. She stole my heart, and I have recently decided that I will just leave it with her.

6. Tammie and I have three adult children, two boys with a girl in the middle. We raised our family while living on the farm. While Sarah was in high school, I began commuting regularly to the ranch. After she graduated and moved away to college, there was a fire on the ranch and Tammie, Eric, and I moved to the ranch full-time.

It's funny how random pieces of the truth can distort the real meat of a life. My family, the respect of my community, my relationship to God, my fulfillment in "important" work, this seems a better definition of mine. mark


  1. Wow! That was very well said! Mark, you have quite the way w/ words! You cracked me up how you only recently decided to leave your heart with TJ. :) I don't believe you for a second!

  2. One little piece of the jigsaw helped me see the whole picture better though. I didn't realize you met Tammy at the ranch! Now I'm all gushy and romantic.

  3. Way to go Mark. I'm glad I tagged you. I learned a lot and it all fit well with the image I have of you and TJ.

    Thanks for sharing.


  4. I already knew most of that. Got any dirt you want to share? Confessions of the soul? Half truth stories that are funny? I think your getting sappy in your old age!


  5. What a fun post!! It's so neat to get to know you better! Very well said, you are a great writer!

  6. I'm with Rick, I AM getting sappy in my old age. Next time, write first, glass of red wine second. mark


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