Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Rural Life

I grew up on a small farm (7 acres, 4 barns, 2 horses and a whole mess of cats) in the 1970s. Recently, on a recommendation, I picked up Verlyn Klinkenborg's book The Rural Life. Immediately, memories of my childhood came flooding back, a result of Verlyn's descriptive and lyrical prose. He has the unique ability to describe the mundane and bring it to full-color life. The breaking apart of a haybale, with its dusty, grassy smell that burst forth was made as real to me as yesterday. He noted the many uses of a hank of twine from the bale, which we used for everything from temporarily tying up loose barbed wire to extending the low handle on the red Ryder wagon.

Growing up on a farm wasn't easy. Many weekends with my friends were sacrificed because a fence needed to be put in or the alfa alfa from the small field needed to be brought to the barn before it rained. However, I wouldn't trade it - the experience of sliding off a horse to the ground while galloping full-out, finding newborn kittens in the hay loft, or driving a tractor with my dad for the first time - for anything. You can easily see Verlyn's affection for this tough, and incredibly rewarding, life, too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Generations in the Workplace

Interesting little clip from NPR on January 4th: "Steve Inskeep talks with CEO Fred Miller and President Corey Jamison of The Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group, which specializes in corporate culture, about generation differences and conflict in the office." Wish they would've expanded on it a little; it was mostly Corey talking about how Gen X is different from the Baby Boomers. But worth a listen.