One little mistake – someone fails to shut the freezer door – and a thousand dollars worth of food perishes. Life on a farm. We may yet save the beef; the fruit and veggies appear to be spoiled. All that tilling, mulching, planting, weeding, irrigating, processing … wasted.

At a times like this, nothing soothes like an old “it could be worse” country song:

11 thoughts on “Disaster

  1. It was NOT wasted if it was quality time with your family that taught lessons, brought you together, and availed you of opportunities to have a chance to grow in love and unity with the family that God Himself blessed you with.

    Things perish. So it goes. To garden with your wife and children and labor in the fields with them? That resonates in eternity.

    Cheer up, brother! Not a second of your time was wasted.


  2. “It was NOT wasted if it was quality time with your family …”

    Thank you, Simple Sinner. I needed to hear that. Some of the work was indeed good family time. Much of it, unfortunately, was just “me time” alone trying to get things done in a hurry.

    An acquaintance of mine just lost his home. After the 4th of July celebrations, his kids were playing with the fireworks and failed to dispose of them properly. The house burned down, and his neighbor’s house too. They are all grateful to be alive. Guess my problems really are little pinpricks.

    “Cheer up, brother! Not a second of your time was wasted.”

    God bless you.


  3. “That’s not just life on a farm; that’s real life without our artificial safety nets.”

    I suppose you’re right, Enbrethiliel. Somewhere down the line, it happens. But it’s usually much further down the line.


  4. You have my sympahties. Several years ago our freezer got unplugged. The kicker was that it took a couple of weeks before anybody noticed. Cleaning it out remains as one of my worst memories to this day.

    Give your suffering over to the Souls in Purgatory, use it to praise God our Father, He will bless you.


  5. I’m really, really sorry to hear about this disaster. My prayers are with you. I know what it is to have one simple act, by a doctor in our case, literally chance every waking and sleeping minute of a family’s life forever.


  6. Oh, Jeff, I’m so sorry. Nothing on that scale happens to us, because as you say, city folks don’t live on the edge like that. But I do know just a little bit how hard it is when someone _else_ breaks something or messes something up around the house. I always prefer that I be the one making the mistakes, because I’m always less hard on myself than on anyone else. If it’s another member of the family, it somehow is more upsetting, because one feels so bad for that person. Blessings on you.


  7. Ben: Great advice!

    TWC: Thank you for the humbling reminder. Our little so-called “disaster” is truly a big nothing by comparison. Hope your family is well.

    Lydia: I appreciate the sympathy, though today I feel bad accepting it. No one remembers opening the freezer yesterday. (We are very blessed to have honest children.) Chances are the freezer was opened the day before. It was, I think, a good lesson. We ate our dinner in total silence after a stern lecture on the importance of doing even the little things carefully, the potentially high cost of very small acts of carelessness, etc.. Someday I’m going to take my own advice …

    All in all, the situation isn’t that bad. We have already consumed quite a lot of what we have grown. And we’ve got a second crop coming up in the garden.

    A bigger problem is that, due to my own negligence, we were not prepared for our first real crop from the orchard and are having a hard time disposing of the fruit. We’ve sold maybe 30 dollars worth, but have given away much more. The lady at the Orland Food Bank took three boxes of nectarines yesterday; a local assisted living facility took two boxes on Wednesday. Next I’ll try the Jesus Center in Chico. Furthermore, because I didn’t thin enough (hard to believe!) much of the fruit is too small to sell: consumers like their nectarines big, fat, and juicy!


  8. Just curious, do the Culbreaths have a dog?

    The little fella in my avatar (weighs 19 pounds) discovered how to nudge the fridge door open with his snout when he leans against it standing on his back paws.

    We now have a baby-lock on the fridge.



  9. Jeff, thanks. Yes, things are looking up for us over here. I think of your family everytime I look at the pictures of the rocking horse your daughter so kindly gave us. I just meant to point out how one small error on someone’s part can reverberate. It’s humbling.


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