By Stephen W. Hiemstra
The farm was a home.
Neighbors cared. Family was near. The church was always open.
People knew you and you knew them.
Small town life was available, but not too available.
The farm was more than a farm.
It was a safe place where plants and livestock grew
From spring into summer into fall
And winter was a time to rest and prepare for a new season.
Life was regular and predictable and people enjoyed each other’s company.
When I was young, we moved around.
My father was first a student and then an Air Force officer.
We lived in different places.
Home was where you hung your hat.
The farm grew from a place to a destination.
In the city, some neighbors knew you.
Sometimes family visited.
Sometimes churches were open.
Often we knew just a few people, mostly from church.
City life was ever-present, but never really present.
Home became illusive.