By dhowell - Posted on 01 December 2012

In our early retirement Lenora and I enrolled in a Writers' Group to hone our writing skills as we met a couple times a month with two or three pages of material for the group's critique. Some topics I chose had a farm background, and they were saved along with other writings.

When Liz sorted out the pile of writings after Lenora died, mine went into a farm folder. In time, and with some nudges, I started to think of pulling the pieces together to make a complete story to describe how I recall growing up on our small, diversified farm in Manchester. I began to write the Farm Story. The earlier segments weren't incorporated, but follow in a separate section (Vignettes) to furnish added detail in some areas.

After Floyd died, in part as a memorial to him and to Leslie, I decided to add the section on Parr III days to complete the story of Parr involvement with that farm from 1915 to the present.

The writing process used over 30 retirement years reminds me of how Grandma Mattern (Ella) made patchwork quilts. A block at a time was sewn together out of whatever pieces of cloth were available. When enough had been made, which might take years, the blocks were sewn into a quilt top. So this "farm quilt top" finally has been completed, and represents far more than the first blocks about my memories of growing up on our farm.