2016 has been an interesting year for the Engel family. And it started out white!
Snow in Tennessee!
So yes, it does snow in Tennessee! This picture is from a Friday morning early in the year. Sure enough, we got a call that afternoon that church was canceled for Sunday due to the snow. I took one look outside, threw Joelle the car keys, and told her it was time to learn to drive in it. Then guess what we saw? A “mythical” Tennessee snowplow-because, trust me, they are about as plentiful around here as unicorns!
Tennessee State Legislature
We met our state representative (Patrick Marsh) and senator (Jim Tracey) last year, who invited us to spend the day with them when the legislature was in session. It was an interesting day seeing “how the sausage is made”. Joelle was a senate page and we got our picture taken with the lieutenant governor.
Naphtali Rothrock Concert & Play
My second cousin, Naphtali Rothrock, now lives and works in Lewisburg, TN. This year she put on a superlative concert in the First Presbyterian church of Lewisburg, and was Music Director while acting in The Music Man at the Marshall County Community Theatre. Thank you, Naphtali, for the tickets, because both performances were wonderful.
We enjoyed watching the calves this year and it’s been great fun seeing some of their foolishness.
Of course, it’s also been fun having to explain how you can hit traffic in your own driveway!
Sometimes they just want to play a nice game of “peek-a-moo”
and other times they merely want to talk to our guests!
Surprisingly, the first calf of Year 2017 arrived in December 2016. Since we have one shorthorn cow in a spotted red ‘Appaloosa’ color and a black Angus bull, Joelle (our local genetics exert!) knew a blue roan calf was a possibility, but we all felt blessed when we received one! We later learned Josh, our renter, has been wanting one that color for several years, so he was also pleased by the little bull’s arrival. Last year we named the cows, the bull, and the calves after cuts of meat or fast food, but his year Joelle decided it would be tractors (and maybe SUV’s, too?), so our blue calf was immediately named Ford, after their blue tractors! And though perfect in its own way, we are all left wondering what a John Deere calf will look like?
Last year we saw Jimmy Wayne in concert. This year we got to see Billy Dean and Lee Roy Parnell. Since they are three of Pamela’s favorite country singers, I guess seeing all of them within 15 months is one of the best benefits of living near Music City!
In November Joelle and I also went to Ken Davis’ 70th Birthday event at the Franklin Theatre. We had a great time wishing Ken a happy birthday and listening to his “friends” roast him.
We don’t have sugar maple trees down here, but they do have sorghum. I haven’t tried it yet, but they do get together in the fall to squeeze it and boil it into syrup.
Pamela’s mother died shortly before Thanksgiving. While we miss her, she had been sick for a while and we are glad she is not in pain anymore.
In the early fall the local volunteer fire department had a fund raiser, which we of course supported, not just for their protection, but because that is where we bought all our fireworks this summer! An added bonus was that if you gave a specific amount you also got a free portrait, though if you want more you have to pay for them! This gave us a good chance to put together a family portrait Christmas card. Thankfully, but for the January snow at the beginning of 2016, the backdrop for this picture was the closest we had to get to snow this year!
The holiday was a little strange without family around, though we did have friends over for snacks, coffee, and conversation between Christmas & New Year. We bought a couple of large gifts for the family, too: A nice big TV for the living room and the pool table we’ve wanted since we’ve moved in! Both are great additions to the house and are, hopefully, incentive for anyone who might want to visit!
So as I said, 2016 was an interesting year, and NOT in the Chinese curse sort of way. There is way too much to cover in one article, but this is our attempt at a ‘Reader’s Digest Condensed Version’ of it! We look forward to friends and family visiting the farm, more calves to enjoy, and whatever else God has in store for us.
May God bless each and every one of you in 2017, not with what you want but with what you need.