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Dropping the ballsDropping the balls

Happy Thanksgiving!

Shelley E. Huguley

November 25, 2020

2 Min Read
My son helping my farmer ready the planter this spring after school was converted to online learning. Shelley E. Huguley

It's Thanksgiving. I hope by the time this reaches you, you're gathered around a table playing cards with the kids or grandkids or soon to be talking over each other at the Thanksgiving table. What a wonderful time to be together, to thank and eat, of course! 

When I think about Thanksgiving, I think of my mother's stuffing. Nothing like it! Moist and flavorful after cooking inside the turkey all day. My farmer, on the other hand, thinks of dressing, made with cornbread and cooked in a large "cooker," the way his mom made it. I've decided I like them both.  

As I think about 2020 and for what I'm thankful, it would be easy to complain, wouldn't it? Why is it that our thoughts so quickly go to what hasn't gone well this year? Or what was sacrificed, cancelled or lost? The list of "those" is long, I admit. And some more painful than others. But what went well? What's been the blessing in the chaos? The beauty from the ashes? 

For the Huguleys, it was a spring with kids at home (the chaos) but a son who reported to the farm each morning to help my farmer prepare, plant and replant the 2020 crop. He was a tremendous help. The time spent, the skills learned, the load lifted, the mistakes made and learned from and working through the occasional relational conflict that comes when family works together, are invaluable. (We can say that now! Ha!) 

I'm thankful for laughter. Moments on the driveway as my oldest daughter gave my son and farmer COVID-19 haircuts as she assured them she knew what she was doing because, "I've trimmed pigs before." Not sure it's quite the same but it worked. We laughed a lot and were grateful for my farmer's closet full of caps. 


I'm thankful for how my girls took over the house, relieving me from cooking and a large portion of the cleaning while I worked. I even got to holler from my office for another cup of coffee or a snack, which I'm sure drew some eyerolls, but I appreciated it none-the-less. 

I'm thankful for a couple of months that I didn't have to look at my calendar. Everything was canceled so nothing had to be planned, appointed, squeezed in or overlapped. It was hard to let some things go but I enjoyed the break, the mental release. For a short time, I got to drop the balls. I'm back to juggling.  

Mostly, I'm thankful for time. Time to stop. Time to start. Time to spend together. Time to say goodbye.  

It's been a strange year and no doubt, some of it very difficult. And yet, there's blessings. What a gift! Happy Thanksgiving. May your home and heart be filled with love and gratitude this season. There's blessing in the chaos! 


About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions that have to be made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such a Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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