Journal, September 27, 1977 PM

I’m in the process of cooking beans as I’ve been all too often in the last 5 months. It’s the closest to assembly line work I’ve ever been, and I sure don’t wish I ever get closer!

<Mom wrote to say there will be no problem with Sofia & I living at the family home for a few months after we reach the states.> She said Dad needs two operations for a double hernia he’s developed. She suggested he might wait until we were there to have the operation so that I could help out with the work.

All well & good. <As Sofia put it, that way we are there to help instead of being a bother (ayudar en vez de molestar).>

However, Dad’s condition started my brain speculating as to what would happen if his recovery is less than complete, and in general, what will happen to the farm as Mom and Dad become too old to run it? <Whatever the outcome of the operations, the time will be ripe to discuss the fate of the farm while Sofia & I are in residence there.> We will enter a potentially high-pressure situation down on the farm!

Everyone knows Dad’s favorite choice for his successor, and with Tom likely to go away to college next fall (leaving only Carla to help with farm work), I’m certain he’ll find the time ideal for #1 son to start taking over. I’m not afraid of the pressure. I can cope. The truth is my mind is bubbling over with ideas about what needs to be done to make the farm a viable enterprise in the next generation.

I’m not willing to give up my academic goals to farm full time just now, but I am willing to adapt my studying strategy to help out on the farm if it’s really necessary. I believe that at least 3 of the second generation (Bruce, Jan and I) are determined to keep the farm in the family. That’s important. If we take looking after the farm as a communal interest, we can probably meet personal goals, and keep the farm truckin’ no matter what happens to Dad’s or Mom’s health.

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