Home Front column

Tackle a new adventure

Home Front: Step out of your comfort zone and give that new adventure you’ve been considering a try.

I’m not averse to learning new things and having new adventures. Granted, I’m a little more cautious than I was as a teenager, and there are some former adventures I don’t wish to repeat. But generally speaking, I’m up for the challenge.

However, as the planting season began, I realized I was a little reluctant to learn something new or have a new adventure on our farm. After all, once I learn a new skill, John expects me to do it again and again.

I was not, however, resistant to having one new agricultural adventure recommended by John. That adventure came in the form of a trip up and down the field with one of my favorite young farmers, Gordon.

Gordon is the childhood friend of our youngest son and had perfect attendance at the high school youth group we led. Today, he is our friend at church and has the responsibility of planting many more acres of corn and soybeans than we do. His equipment is larger and more sophisticated, and I encouraged Kendra to ride with him for a few rounds, knowing she would get a kick out of experiencing a high-tech version of planting.

John was right. As we drove down the field, Gordon explained many of the intricacies of the electronics on board. I found all of it interesting, but was most intrigued by the sense that he thought I actually understood what he was saying.

With a monitor that supplied information about everything except when lunch would be ready, I was amazed. I quizzed Gordon about the benefits of the equipment and learned that planting more seed in a shorter time is not the only plus. From my point of view, autosteer is the best thing. Forget keeping your hands at 10 and 2. Now you can safely holler, “Look, Mom, no hands!”

The afternoon with Gordon was a fun adventure, and Kendra didn’t have to worry about learning something new and applying it again and again. In a few more weeks, she has another adventure on the calendar. This one will involve learning something new, and interestingly, it’s being provided by another young man with perfect attendance in our high school youth group.

Yes, Jason never missed a meeting; his parents were the co-leaders. He actually started attending our high school youth group before he was born and continued until he was 12 and we were no longer the leaders.

My upcoming adventure will not be as high-tech as the afternoon I spent on the tractor, nor is it one John suggested. In this case, Jason contacted me and asked me to officiate at his wedding. I must admit, I never imagined an adventure like that — a wedding of two delightful young adults performed by … me.

Like learning new things or having new adventures, I’m a little nervous, even though I won’t be doing this again and again. When I think back to other learning experiences, other adventures, I have to admit that most of them have been rewarding.

So, I’d encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and give that new adventure you’ve been considering a try. Learn something new. After all, once you learn it, you might want to do it again and again.

John and Kendra Smiley farm near East Lynn. Email [email protected], or visit kendrasmiley.com.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.