Out with the old, in with the new

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The last standing pig hut my dad built in the 1970’s, my brother and my hand prints in the concrete of our pig show barn

By Lauren Schwab

I remember when my whole world revolved around the thoughts of entertaining other and pleasing my friends. The independent actions I have taken in my early twenty’s has reshaped my perspective of self and others. So much time can me spent on our appearance and actions to receive positive judgement from others. We are in a consumerism society where our happiness can easily lye in our material possessions and physical characteristics. I have been guilty of this and find awakening and grounding in my work with the earth and its animals.

This past week has challenged our minds and bodies on the farm. We must tear down the old and make room for the new. Tearing down old pig huts my dad built from recycled woods in the 1970’s when my dad had no money to his name. It was all he could do to find money for the nails. We also had to move a barn built for our pigs my brother and I took to the fair as children. Our name are in the concrete and it must me torn out for a hole to be dug for a new pig barn. While it is sentimental, I respect and appreciate the opportunity my dad has to provide a better home for our piglets. A clean new barns with warm pens for the piglets. We will be able to raise more piglets to the local farmer we sell to.

As time goes on and we grow old, it is important to not forget the past, but not let it keep us from the future God has for us. Holding onto past possessions and keeping our lives in the familiar and often keep us from embracing the new and unfamiliar. While change can be daunting because we can not foresee the output, staying in the familiar can  be just as uncomfortable if we are left with thoughts of, “What if…?”

I was watching the movie Can’t Hardly Wait, and the “angel” said something to the character Preston who had been regreting not telling Amanda he loves her all through high school. She said, “Fate, there is fate, but it only takes you so far, because once you’re there it’s up to you to make it happen.” This advice can be applied to our fears about the unknown. If we are given an opportunity we have been longing for or feel called to do something and the opportunity is finally in the palm of our hand, it’s up to us to take it and follow it through. My dad is the biggest risk taker I know and I admire him for it. He risks his financial future and farming career for opportunity to continue farming not just for himself, but more importantly for his children. There was a time when he was just out of high school and has a bad year farming and owed $300,000 with no way to pay it. He said anyone else his age would have filed bankruptcy. He said he is the pig farmer in Butler County that should not have made it, but did. God allowed him ways to pay it off. $100,000 of it he owed to a feed salesman. This was during a bad year for pig farmers and many farmers owed this man money. It took him many years but he finally paid him off. When the feed salesman was very old before he died he went to my dad, shook his hand and said, “You were the only person who paid me back.” My dad is so hardworking, dedicated and loyal person. I admire him for taking opportunities and standing by his word.

While no one is perfect, we all have fears, mistakes and regrets. I hope this inspires you to know the importance of the old and past while embracing the new and future. Remember to make it happen when fate steps in.

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