The Silo and the Star
Updated: Dec 25, 2020
Our farm has an interesting silo history. When we moved here in 1991, there were 2 silos
here, one had a top that was partially intact but
blew off shortly after we moved in. The other was
topless. To me, they were truly a troublesome eyesore! And, of course, not as useful as they could be since the rain could get in. Jim stored silage in them for a few years- sometimes with success, and sometimes the conditions just were not right for the silage to keep well. Eventually, the big 70 foot silo was taken down by the Amish and put up on their farm. A crew of Amish came and built us a new silo that better fit
our needs- it was smaller in circumference and what we needed at the time to feed our small dairy herd. But still the problem of no silo tops. I remember driving around and looking up at the silo tops in our area, searching for answers to the topless dilemma.
When you don’t have a lot of funds, you just have to do it yourself with what you have- and we have lumber. So Jim decided to take on the project himself with our son Levi, a strapping young man, and he also had the help of his neighbors. It was quite a feat to get the materials up there and get that top built. Both silos look the same at the top, sort of like a mini barn with a window. They are unique and serve the purpose they were intended for, and there have been no injuries. I always hold my breath and say a prayer when anyone is up there working. Here of late, we have not put up any silage, as we are no longer milking cows. So the silos stand tall and empty, but they are a part of our history and I like to see them when I am driving home, looking up at our farm.
Three years ago, the silos took on a new job. They became a beacon, a symbol of love to me, put there by my family. It was the weekend after Thanksgiving and my father had just passed away from a swift battle with that nemesis, cancer. We were able to spend Thanksgiving together and then he died that night. Jim and the family had come back to the farm and I traveled home later, weary and sad. When I got to the bottom of the hill that leads to our farm, I saw a star. They had made a star and lit it at the top of the silo. A testament to my dad’s shining life and to love that my family was displaying to me. They had decorated the house for Christmas and had a meal waiting for me. This does not have to do with horses, but it does have to do with love and family and all the important things in life.
Sadly, the lights did not stay lit continuously for the last 3 Christmases. Wind and time had their way with them. But today, our neighbor Owen was willing to climb up and put up some more lights to replace the old ones. I think this is a great time for the lights to be lit again, here at the end of 2020. There is darkness and uncertainty in the world. But the star will remind us that a little light can shine a long way in the darkness. Merry Christmas!