If You Leave this Farm


If You Leave this Farm: The Dream Is Destroyed

It is April 1973, and it is dark outside as I slide my feet out of bed atfour o’clockin the morning and dress hurriedly in the brightly lit bathroom. Daddy is already out at the barn and expecting his children to show up to help with milking, feeding the growing cattle, and giving milk replacer to the younger calves.

I awaken Joseph, my brother who is fourteen and just a year younger than I, by banging on the bathroom wall that adjoins his bedroom. I hear a stirring, so I make my way downstairs and prepare for my mad dash through the dark to the barn to avoid the monsters that might be waiting for me. Paul, at seventeen and two years older than I, is allowed to continue sleeping and will appear later.

Our farm of one hundred twenty-five acres is located in the rolling hills of southern Pennsylvania…

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