Peebles Elementary hosts PBIS showcase NAES student starting Christmas Card project Try and tell them that nobody cares Senior Profile: Ethan Thompson 15-point lead vanishes, Hounds fall in season opener Deer Gun Season results down all across Ohio Hometown Christmas in Peebles rings in the holiday season Manchester Elementary receives 2016 Momentum Award Drug bust in West Union Stephen C Foster Donna Rivers WUES students perform as part of Honor Choir Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak access completed Hall of Fame Christmas in Portsmouth Thyme to trim the Christmas Tree Junior High Lady Hounds get season-opening sweep Lady Devils roll past Paint Valley in season opener Senior Profile: Jessica Johnson Michael E Roberts Sr Evelyn L Jones Thomas M Calvert Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES
web1_RickHouser.jpg

Kept the home fires burning

The Good ‘Ole Days Rick Houser

Being raised on a farm was and still is a time I will always hold dear to me. Not only was it just farming and on what at that time was a big scale but with my dad there was a lesson to learn and a reward for success. Dad had decided long before I got into the picture that Peg and then Ben would raise crops of tobacco, share in the labor and bank the profit so there would be money to continue education after graduation from high school. Also in Dad’s plan was, along with the profits, the responsibility to file a tax return and pay into Social Security. It worked for Peg and Ben and it worked for Dad.

As I have said before I was the youngest and I had been watching and thinking about their deal and what I thought was all that fun they were having raising tobacco and livestock. So one day when I was seven years old I approached Dad and asked if I could have a tobacco patch to raise also. He didn’t say yes right away but let me plead my case and as I would pass a point he would bring up another. He did all this until I understood that since I was pretty young there would be some labor costs deducted from the sale of the tobacco. He reasoned if a person couldn’t deliver as much labor as all the others in this deal there would be some expense if I was still interested. I agreed to all the terms as fast as I could before he changed his mind.

After that first year I got the taste of being a part of the operation of farming and I saw my first money in December. I was hooked on farming. As I got older and I proved my worth to my Dad, Mom and Peg and Ben I worked harder and did all that I could for their approval as a needed part of the operation. With getting older and stronger and wiser as to the when, why, and how of things the more responsibility I was allowed to have. Also as the years passed Peg and Ben moved away from home and established their adult lives. This left the farming more and more for Dad and me. I loved the challenge and showed dad just how much I really could do. He would observe and approve as time moved on.

In the summer of my 14th year I had been offered and I took the responsibility for almost the entire farming project as Dad had decided to work away from the farm. I loved the role as manager and operator of the entire spread. But with youth as more responsibility is given the more it is felt that advice and support become less needed. At least it did until one summer morning in late July.

Every year Mom and Dad would attend a family reunion very far into Kentucky. This would be a three to four day trip. When you are young it is still ok to travel with parents, but when you are in your teens it is not as much fun. So when I was given an option to stay home and work or go with them, I chose the former without hesitation. When the morning arrived that they were leaving and they were packing the car, I was one last time asked if I wanted to go. I said no thanks and smiled and said, “I will just stay home and keep the home fires burning,” thinking my humor once again was awesome. They left at about 6 a.m. and I went to work brush hogging a field for my cousin Tom just up the road. The cool of the morning was nice and as I went across the field I was thinking just how great it was to be the final answer for the next few days. How could things get any better?

That all ended when I happened to look over to where our farm was and I saw a large plume of smoke. I headed that way and my cousin Lydia stopped me at a gate and said your barn is on fire! I raced to the barn only to find it was already in full flames. For a few moments my mind went blank. I couldn’t decide just what to do first. As I got closer to the fire and could see all was gone. All that confidence I had developed went up in smoke also. Fortunately, my cousin Walt called the fire departments who upon arrival saved another barn and a house that were near. Later we learned that up close to 2000 bales of hay a couple of our rente’rs little boys had left cap pistols and a piece of magnifying glass, all of which became ashes. It was the lowest, saddest and most helpless feeling I have ever experienced.

In just a small period of time I went from super farmer and the answer man to wanting my Dad to appear right then and make the decisions that parents do so naturally. One last observation was that I have never seen a barn raising but that day I had never seen so many people attend a barn burning. I think anyone who saw the smoke or were on a party line telephone showed up. What a crowd! But that crowd helped to console and calm me and get me over this disaster to property and ego. This was a lesson in growing up and learning. Nobody is invincible. Also, never say that you will keep the home fires burning. You just might.

Rick Houser grew up on a farm near Moscow in Clermont County and likes to share stories about his youth and other topics. He may be reached at houser734@yahoo.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2016 People's Defender