The Value of Commitment
Misty Hill Farms
I watched the royal wedding this weekend of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. I had never before watched any of the royal weddings – even of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer. I most appreciated the commitment that they made to each other, spoken with honor and integrity and gratitude. The festivities were beautiful and I even shed a few tears, but I felt sorry for her that her father did not walk her down the aisle. Due to family drama, neither he nor her half-siblings attended.
It got me to thinking about something I appreciate so very much – the lack of drama in my family. I have been back east staying on the family farm for the last few weeks. Part of the reason is to do events as a part of the 10,001 Book Tour here in Pennsylvania and in nearby Connecticut, Ohio, and Kentucky, and partly to help my mom organize her will and estate.
Two of my three brothers and I met with the estate planning attorney along with my mom and we went through the best options and it was just so easy. No drama. I never fight with my brothers nor my mom. Everyone in my family, including my nieces and nephews, now grown up, have an abundance of common sense, good will, and similar values and work ethic. It occurred to me that it is the farmer in all of us.
Farmers are hard workers, full of common sense and grounded in the dirt they till. When we moved into our current farmhouse, there was nary a bush or flower around the house. There were a couple trees for shade and grass that grew right up to the brick walls. This arrangement provided less work for the prior inhabitants, farmers who made their living from the dairy cows they raised. It was a husband and wife who had never had kids. It was a simple life. No frills. No nonsense. It gave them more time to milk the cows. A spare house, in a sparse field.
How lucky am I with my family? We never made a living from our farm, but it became an important part of our lives, our identity. My family worked the farm. Our fields did not sit fallow.
Back to the estate planning. We decided to keep the farm intact. Two of my brothers have already built houses here. The third is planning his house now. Two of my nephews live here. I plan on building a house one day, I dream about it actually. In the meantime, I stay with my mom. The lawyer implied to my mom that maybe she didn’t even need to worry about all this pesky estate planning stuff and that she looked great! She replied that one day she wouldn’t. We all laughed, but it wasn’t really funny.
I won’t lie to you, this farm is special. It’s special beyond the land and the rolling fields and the pastures. We are all here. We all get along. We hold similar values. The same sense of common sense. We hold dear the land. The earth. Keeping all this intact, like some rural American version of a kibbutz or commune would be special. How many places out there are like this? In the end, it is a commitment to keep it together. We agreed to do that. We’ve made a commitment with honor and integrity and gratitude. I am proud of that.
That’s the way I look at my company, Bloomers Island. I have a mission and a vision and a passion and an intention. I have a commitment to myself, my team, my investors and my customers. It is a commitment that I intend to keep.
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