I am on tour two weekends a month and as much as I love seeing the West and sharing music, my real "happy place" is our home. The original home was built by Scandinavian immigrants and is older than we can reckon. The crown of our property is an old barn
out back that old-timers tell me has had many a cow milked in it and many a child swinging from the high rafters.
It wasn't too many years ago that these old barns dotted many of the properties
of our town. Folks lived off their land and walked to local grocery stores for what they couldn't butcher or can themselves. We try to honor this tradition by teaching our children gardening and care of animals. It's hard work for all of us and the boys tease me by saying I should put a sign on their bedroom door that reads, "Slave Quarters".
Of course, with ten children some of the kids have been better at it than others. Clark is our fifth child and is the fourth of our sons. He is the self-proclaimed omega-male of the clan and has mastered the art of charm and humor in making his mark in the world. He also is a natural with all things agricultural which means he is our go-to guy for the garden, the chickens, the dog and cats and the horses.
Recently, Clark traded work on a local horse farm for a horse of his own, a gelding named "Finn." Brad and I are happy for him and know that he has worked his tail off to make this dream come true. We are hoping that caring for animals will help Clark overcome the dreaded "fumes" that most teenage boys experience...namely, "perfumes" and "car fumes." But, if you ask Clark why he worked so hard for a horse he will serve up a dimpled grin and reply, "That's easy. Horses are girl magnets."