a story of Southern agriculture

Relationships Don’t Matter…

Relationships don’t matter as much as you think they do.


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Because as magical as I think farmers are, I have still observed that they can only be in one place at one time.  They only have so much energy to spend.  Their capacity for stress and obstacles is greater than most, but even they have a limit.


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And so it turns out that a farming community is utterly necessary.

We are so blessed with great neighbors. 

That’s saying something when your farm is surrounded by subdivisions, split down the middle by a state road and situated a mere 7 minutes from Target and Starbucks.  It’s the geographical story of farming/ranching in the South – when you can raise one cow/calf pair on 2 acres, you can probably manage to continue your 5th generation cattle operation amid land development.

And persisting in your family’s legacy in the original location won’t drive you crazy…

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…if you have good neighbors.

Stable people are among my favorite neighbors.  Coop, dog and cat people all rank high, too.  Gate checking, only a cell phone ring away, utterly dependable neighbors can’t be found – they’re a gift.  It goes without saying that donkey people are exceptional neighbors. 🙂  Then there’s the ones that let us mow their acreage for hay each year.


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This guy in these pictures trains cutting horses.  Cutting horses are special equines that just love to work cattle.  Working cattle is important.  A sick cow walks to the barn for doctoring a lot easier if a well-trained horse calmly encourages her in the right direction.

I think he thinks he’s getting a great deal – lots of cows and acreage to add to his training regimen anytime he wants.  He has a day job, but his heart is with his horses.


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Turns out we’re the ones getting a great deal – of blessing from him – just like all our close community who are polite about hoof tracks in their yard occasionally, who answer their cell when we need to put an eye on a certain pasture or light the heater in the well house during our absence, who trade eggs over the fence and talk family and life in our very own Mayberry.

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That’s just how good neighbors make you feel…like a heaping portion of Divine geography arrived, helping your days be better…Helping the farmwife breathe easier, knowing that since extra is nearby, enough can be enjoyed.



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Extra eyes and extra hearts put into caring for the herd (and for us) = a priceless blessing.

In fact, we’re so blessed I’m declaring our neighborhood our extra special Valentine this year.

Our sincere thanks to all of you.
Emily Grace

117 Responses to “Relationships Don’t Matter…”

  1. Shane Francescut

    An incredibly well written piece with equally captivating images. I’m so glad to have found this piece, and your blog through the Freshly Pressed page… congratulations.

    Though I now live in the big city of Toronto, I grew up on a horse farm, so I have a special place in my heart for everything country. I loved my neighbours growing up, even if they were a quarter mile down the road. It’s funny how close you can still be with such a distance between you.

    Looking forward to reading more posts and seeing more of your wonderful countryside.


    • Emily Grace

      Hi Shane,
      Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for stopping by.

      You’re right – geography is relative – valued connections span a hop, skip and a jump quite easily and consistently.

      I have never visited Toronto, but I have a dear friend who went to seminary there – we sent her boxes of wool clothing. 🙂 Her Southern wardrobe was no match for your winter!



  2. Frank

    My Grandfather was a horseman and loved cutting horse competitions. These pics are beautiful and remind me of him. The sense of community you seem to have is comforting. We live in a very populated area and it seems that, for the most part, attitudes are polar opposite. This is a much needed change of perspective for me. Thank you!


    • Emily Grace

      Hi Frank,
      I’m with your grandfather! Cutting horse competitions, draft horse pulls, etc. – they thrill me, though I am no horsewoman in the saddle.

      You’re so welcome. Just come on by anytime the traffic and indifference are getting to you.

      Thanks for your visit,
      Emily Grace


  3. W E Patterson

    Beautiful pictures and your words address them perfectly. Sort of takes me back home. Watching a well trained horse work cattle is something to behold.


  4. billgncs

    we picked up a cow horse many years ago, she was too small to rope from so she came cheap. We rode her for pleasure for twenty years and she was the best horse you could want. The man who trained her shared a treasure with us. Thanks for reminding me.


  5. floodcollc

    My WordPress mentor advised me to ‘find a blogging voice’. You have obviously found your voice through this marvelous blogsite and what a voice you have! Today my day was made with this special post found through Freshly Pressed. Will look forward to more chapters of your story so very well told.


  6. nancyerobinson2014

    I am a farmer /rancher/cowgirl and nothing, I mean nothing in the world replaces looking into the liquid brown eye of your loyal loving horse and connecting on a soul level. Love your blog.


  7. mechristandchronicdisease

    Loved the imagery on this site we have a ten acre farm and know first hand we could not of made the transition from city slicker to farm owners without the endless kindness of our neighbours



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