From My CP: Homesteading on the Prairie

From My CP: Homesteading on the Prairie

Unified Patriots by Nessa

I survived the “snowpocalypse” which hit here before anyone else in America gave a rat’s ass.  It turned out to be 10 inches or so but halfway through the blizzard the wind shifted and came tearing at 30 or 40 mph out of the east.  Like most farms here, there aren’t any trees to the east, storms don’t normally come from that direction.  I’m sure its globull warmening rearing its ugly head.  On Monday morning my yard looked like the surface of the moon with drifts knee to waist deep.  As if that wasn’t bad enough the 1970’s vintage Allis Chalmers tractor decided to have a flat tire and run low on hydraulic fluid.  I scooped the driveway by hand, with a shovel, so I could get out to civilization and purchase hydraulic fluid and get some air and clear out the rest of the yard.  Just another day when you live where Winter wants to kill you.  I feel a little bit for the folks out East but only in a very distant sort of way.  You know, winter sucks but… welcome to my world.  I’m not trying to be cruel or uncaring, I’m just echoing Mother Nature’s feelings.  No matter what, winter is coming to an end, I’ve never seen a blizzard after May 11th, not that it can’t happen but at least I can see the finish line when you’re racing winter just finishing is an accomplishment.

Next week, regardless of the weather (more or less) I start teaching another art class.  The nearby campus of Southwest Minnesota State University has an ongoing education course going that allows senior citizens to be taught by talented but completely unqualified folks like myself.  I’ve made a living as an artist, drawing and painting to pay my bills but I don’t have the approving degree from some leftist institution to prove my skill. I’ve taught these classes twice before and it is one of the joys of my life!  The students are hungry, creative and talented and they teach me much more than I do them, the poor bastards.  This class is special.  Very special, we are going to take a class trip to the South Dakota Museum of Art and a guided tour of the works of Harvey Dunn.  I’ve hinted at the history of my family here in the hinterlands of Minnesota before, so let me bring everyone up to speed…

Gustav Johnson, his wife and family came to Murray County Minnesota in 1869.  They took advantage of one of many State controlled Homestead Acts.  They received a quarter of a section merely for living on and from it.  Gustav and his family came from Oppeby, Sweden in 1869, stopped by Ft Snelling, signed for their land and headed out with two wagons to begin their new lives.  They picked a quarter section (1/4th of a square mile, 160 acres) in Ellesborough Township, Murray County, Minnesota.  Minnesota had been a State for ten years and still needed citizens, especially in the hinterlands.  I live in those same hinterlands today but the State doesn’t seem to want us.  The Governor recently told us as much, Trump supporters, global warming deniers and anyone who wanted to limit immigration was welcome to leave, apparently we no longer represent Minnesota.  I thought it would have been my place, as a descendant of an early citizen to recommend the Governor leave but hey, I’ve been wrong before.  Gustav died in a blizzard in 1873 leaving my Great Grandfather, John Christian Johnson, 14 at the time, in charge of the household.  We’re still here and still take care of the land so that speaks something for John C’s success[…]

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