The Cows Came Home

We knew we were in trouble when the town didn’t come up on the iPad. It didn’t deter us. I made a friend. Just not in the usual way.

We met at our home church in Florida several months earlier. They were visitors from North Carolina. We found that the woman and her son lived less than an hour from the farmland Tom inherited. We were amazed at God’s providence and promised to visit them next time we traveled there.

We pulled our truck into a long driveway. A white-haired man opened the gate as we drove onto their beautiful property that over looked both the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Shenandoah mountains. The man greeted us along with three happy farm-dogs. He ushered us into a beautiful farmhouse with a gigantic kitchen.

“This is my husband,Michael. I can’t believe we’re finally getting together!” Kelly Josey exclaimed.

“I asked her, Kelly, where did you meet these people again?” Michael stated.

“I told him you were my new friends from Florida.”

We settled into their kitchen table.

She then proceeded to slice peaches and make homemade crusts for a cobbler. Tom and I talked to Michael. Turns out he’d served in the Vietnam War, and had physical problems that stemmed from that. He used to drive a truck, but now raised cattle, and maintained their 200-plus-acre property.

Tom and Michael talked tractors, land, and livestock. I joined Kelly in the kitchen. She peeled potatoes, shucked corn, prepped a chicken with special sauce, and cut up crisp vegetables for a salad. Earlier, she rolled out dough and let it rise. Soon after, she separated the dough into five pieces, rolled it out and stuck it in her oven.

We drove through part of their property and got out at the Dan River. Michael identified trees and gave us advice on cattle and fencing. Kelly and I compared notes about our grown children. We arrived back at the farmhouse and talked some more while the smell of fresh baked bread permeated the air.

We didn’t get phone service and they had no TV. All we could do was talk. And we did. And when we left, eight hours later, I felt as if we were back in the 1800’s. Where people traveled a long distance to visit and stayed the whole day. Where entertainment consisted of soulful conversation, smattered with work and prayer.

It was time to go home. Kelly sent home a loaf of heavenly bread and leftover peach cobbler. We went outside to say goodbye.

Michael moved to the fence that held acres of cleared land. After a while, we heard mooing. And then the cows came home.

And then we went home. Full. Happy. Grateful.

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