Our family has lost another member this week. My dad’s 3rd oldest brother passed away early Monday morning. I thought I might take a few minutes to put down a few memories of Uncle Les. Uncle Les always seemed to be the cleanest and neatest of my dad’s brothers. He lived just south of Fulton in a brick home with a nicely manicured lawn with his wife. Uncle Les and Aunt Frances had a daughter and a son. They were both a bit older than me and were closer to my brother and sisters. Uncle Les always seemed a bit quieter than the rest of the brothers when we would have family get-togethers, but when you sat at the lunch table with him to enjoy a meal that Aunt Frances had prepared for the hay crew, his true personality shone through. He had a gleam in his eye and a smirk that let you know when he was just harassing you. I worked many of my Jr high and high school years in the hay with Uncle Les, my Daddy and my Uncle Richard. I don’t think any of them were quite sure what to do with this tomboy in the field, but everyone’s sons had grown and gone off to school or work and therefore I was the best cheap labor they could get. I remember Uncle Les and Uncle Richard telling me I’d never had children if I didn’t stop bucking bales. 🙂 I remember raking hay for hour upon hour, day after day on Uncle Les’ old Ford tractor. I was to say it was an old 8N but I’m not sure that’s right. I do know it had no cushion on the seat. I have to say it may have even been a relief to get to get off that old tractor and stack square bales for the crew. I learned so many life lessons from these three men during some pivotal years in my life. The value of a job done well the first time. Pay attention to the little details. Work smart and hard. Don’t wear shorts to the hay field. Take time to refresh yourself, but spend more time being productive than not. Family is always there to help you. Never trust the weatherman over those who know the old Indian weather signs. Never cut more hay than your crew can put up for fear of mutiny. But mostly, always make time for those most important to you. You will never say I wish I had put up one more bale…………………….
Thanks for the lessons and the memories, Uncle Les. Praying for Lana and Kent and their families. Rest in Peace.