Farmer Ray

July 19, 2014

I feel so blessed to know him....

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With a gentle smile and kind heart I always seem to melt a bit when I see him. He is soft spoken, hard working and always smiling. His flannel shirts hang loose on his small frame, with stray particles of straw and other outdoor materials clinging as if they belong there. Whether the climate is in the low fifties or high 90's, he looks comfortable in his usual attire,  flannel shirt, blue jeans and baseball cap.

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Known as berry land, the place for the best asparagus or just Ray's farm, it is a welcome place to visit. Decorated with fruit trees, grape vines, corn and other crops, the land is a picturesque scene. You can purchase asparagus bundles for a few dollars, fill your own container with berries, or even just come and take some photos of this amazing farmland the 91 year-old nurtures each day.

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A simple man, not interested in how many people like him on facebook, owning any of the new technology or what the latest trend is, but what he does care about creates pause. He laughs when he sees my iphone and says "I wouldn't know what to do with that thing and I'm too old to want to learn."

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Though he has no children of his own, he is the grandfather to all he meets. Marrying at 50, he jokes he was holding out for the right one, and so was she, never married until age 47. Despite never meeting her, you can tell he adored her, lighting up as  he speaks of her memory, and sharing with me pictures she had taken of the flowers on their farm.  With a snicker, Ray recalls how he would talk to her when walking into the living room, only to remember again that she was gone. "I did that for at least a year" explains Ray.

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His humor, so evident as we talk, and I share with him that I just turned fifty, he looks at me chuckling, "oh your only half way there". So I ask, "what's your secret? What has you always smiling?" He pauses, leans against his truck and grins. "I love that I wake up each day and get to take care of this place, its not a job because I enjoy it too much."

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His patience is evident as every day he tends to a patch of strawberries, breaking up the dirt around them by hand, and clearing out any weeds with his farm tools.  So I ask about the strawberries which he cares for each day and learn all this work is just preparation for next seasons fruits.  Even at 91, he is still always looking to the future.

There is so much to tell about this gentle soul that I cannot possibly fit it in one blog post...

...to be continued

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