Archive for the ‘Family Time’ Category

Samuel Barber: Agnus Dei (Adagio for strings) #breast cancer, #farm

Friday, October 23rd, 2009
New Year's Eve 2009 at Troutman's, boy I hope 2010 is better!

New Year's Eve 2009 at Troutman's, boy I hope 2010 is better!

It’s been such a long time I think should be blogging, but time just slips away and keeps on going…..

Tons has happened here at Maize Valley since August, I am sorry to say I have lost track of time and fell down on the posts. As of late we are dealing with our sixth straight weekend of rain. Pretty much since the start of our fall harvest season and corn maze opening. Per the haunted maze we have had it open only one night out of a possible seven to date. Hopefully tomorrow night will be the second night, rain forcast for next weekend?

Most of all what rocked my world and has divided my attention was the news that my wife Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer on August 31st. Wow what a deal, dropped me to my knees. We had surgery last Monday, things went as well as could be expected, now we wait on final test results and plan future treatments. I guess it was good we were busy this fall, it helped to occupy our minds.

But we didn’t back down anywhere here on the farm. We just kept pushing like we have all our lives. Just one more challenge, with this time family first. I have learned a great deal about myself, I have learned a great deal about breast cancer and all the success stories as well. But you see a two years ago we lost my sister-in-law Mary Ellen Cole-Bakan, just over a year ago Michelle’s Mom survived. A roller coaster nobody should have to ride.

Mary Ellen helped us in the pumpkin patch from day one. She was great, anybody who would “forget” to pay as they got back on the wagon she would gracefully approach with a smile and be sure we got our money for the pumpkin. She was just a soft and bright soul and I often think of her as I see families in our pumpkin patch building their memories, as she is part of mine.

Cancer scared the hell out of me, I did not want to have memories I wanted to have my wife and business partner of almost 24 years now. You see this business with the help of her family, (mostly Chelle’s Mom and Dad) we have built together from the start at our first farm market conference back in Dayton over 15 years ago. That is where we got our first glimps of direct marketing, corn mazes, pumpkin picking and more. From there we began building a place that in turn helps build memories to last a lifetime for others. She and I are not “in love”, it is something that we do… Thanks Clint Black. Without her this place is just a body of work, hollow without her.

The surgery went well, we think and hope for now she is going to be in that close to 75% that survive today due to our early detection. Time will tell but more than time we are on this one with both feet. And the marketer in me looks to 2010 with breast cancer awarness month in October maybe we can help others by dovetailing our personal journey and our business into their lives as well.

Stay tuned, as maybe that is my purpose behind this new journey my wife, lover and best friend have embarked upon. Thanks to all the family and friends that have helped to lessen the sting with their actual help here on the farm, in the store and in the winery. Thanks to all the stories of realatives and friends that are still here today and words of encouragement of their success stories. That is what we plan of doing for others at the very least!

A Farmer’s Family Work, and a ride in a 51′ Ford Truck.

Saturday, July 4th, 2009
My Daughter's first ride, a responsibility from Mom and Dad

My Daughter's first ride, a responsibility from Mom and Dad

Getting Ready to put the newly rebuilt Carburator on.

Getting Ready to put the newly rebuilt Carburator on.

I guess I intended to get out and take some crop progress, field and vineyard updates and all that fact type stuff to let everybody know who was interested about what was going on at this North East Ohio Family Farm how things were doing and what they looked like.

Well all week it has been cloudy and cool, especially for July. Today was no exception. So I was catching up on odd jobs yesterday and today because it just wasn’t too good to get out and take some video and pics.

All this Social Media stuff does not come easy to this purpose driven person. You see I seldom engage in an activity unless I can see the purpose of my actions, an outcome, progress. Yes it can be fun, but fun and productive is better. Fun, productive AND profitable BEST!! My Dad always said, “Take small steps and keep moving keep plugging away”, “Make every lick count”.

Here is some insight I guess to this purpose driven blogger, for my daughter and with my son. You can even take a ride with Brett and me! Yea, I was driving and holding the camera…You are right, it is sooooo much easier than when I am on my motorcycle!

Exceptional Olympics Awesome People doing Awesome things

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

Mrs. Kathy Bolton of Washington Elementary, Marlington District

Mrs. Kathy Bolton of Washington Elementary, Marlington District

Opening Ceremonies for Stark Counties Exceptional Olympics

Opening Ceremonies for Stark Counties Exceptional Olympics

To be a family farm well, er’, I guess you have a family right??!! Well our son Brett is the last of our contibution to that effort at Maize Valley. He is part of a great class of students at one of our school district’s elementary school’s, Washington Elementary. Mr. Dan Swisher is the Principal there and along with a great team of instructors has helped our son and his classmates maximize their potentials!!

Every year the Mrs. Bolton’s and Dan Swisher’s along with a host of volunteers and staff members of Stark County put on the Exceptional Olympics for schools with similar programs in our county. This was the first year I took time away from my chores at the farm and went a took it all in. I was glad I did, it was a great day!

St. Augustine Easter Parade

Monday, April 13th, 2009

One of the local's checking out our camper

One of the local's checking out our camper

ARRRGGGGGG!

ARRRGGGGGG!

My daughter Breanne and I were watching the “locals” case our campsite.
St. Augustine Easter Parade

Uploaded to Flickr using my BlackBerry Smartphone
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry