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Genre: Political/ Christian Fiction
Author: Robert V Baynes
ABOUT THE BOOK
This is a novel about an ordinary farmer who finds that his country is changing and it affects his own life. He loses more than he ever imagined and has to make some hard choices to save his family.
The main character is John Birch and he has a pretty good life. He has a great wife and children and is doing pretty well financially. He gets to do a job he loves and still spends time with his family. He finds that circumstances beyond his control change his world so that he ends up losing the financial security he worked so hard to build up. All he has left is his family and now he has to risk everything to try to save them from an ever growing government.
This book is very realistic and follows a line of thinking that many find very logical and possibly inevitable.
The wind coming across the open field still had a bit of a bite to it. John was thankful that his 10-year-old John Deere tractor had a heated cab. This was the first day he had been able to start planting corn this spring and it was already the 24th of April. This past winter had been one of the coldest that he could remember. It seemed to take forever for the ground to warm up and dry out enough for him to start working the ground.
Hunger was starting to make his stomach growl, but he was hoping to get this 80-acre field done before he quit for the day. At 54 years of age, he was still lean and in good condition. With his salt and pepper hair and lean muscular frame, he was thought of as handsome by women 20 years younger than him. He also still had the appetite of a 24 year old.
This field had been in the Birch family for three generations. He had taken over the family farm when his dad decided to change vocations nearly 16 years ago. His dad never did have the love of farming that he had.
The original farm that he took over was 216 acres and he had added to it over the years. At this point he farmed nearly 440 acres, most of which he owned. He never considered himself a big farmer, but he got nervous about buying more farm ground once the price went over $5,000 an acre. Maybe some of the really big farmers knew what they were doing buying ground at nearly $10,000 an acre, but he didn’t have the confidence that it would pay off.
The faint sound of a car horn interrupted his thoughts. As he looked toward the road, he could see Anna’s car parked on the side. He had just turned the tractor and planter at the end of the field and would be down there in a few minutes.
He knew His wonderful wife of 33 years would have supper ready for him when he got to the end. He was so lucky to have her! They had been high school sweethearts and they got married when he was twenty-one. She was a year younger than him, but she looked more like 33 than 53. She had auburn colored hair and though she dressed modestly, she could still turn quite a few heads.
After stopping the tractor near the road, he climbed down from the cab. She rolled down the window and hollered, “Hey, good-looking, do you have time to stop long enough for a bite to eat?”
“Boy am I glad to see you!” he exclaimed. As he climbed into the passenger side of the car, he could smell the warm food. Anna pulled out the covered dishes. Anna was one of the best cooks in the area and the aroma of her meatloaf was making his mouth water.
As he took his first bite, Anna asked, “So how’s it going so far?”
“Mphf, prett goo so fer,” He mumbled as he scarfed down his supper.
“Tommy called today.” At 19, Tommy was their youngest son. He was in college working on his teaching degree. “I asked him if he had met anyone he would consider dating, but he just doesn’t seem very interested in that right now.”
“Well don’t rush him,” John replied. “He’s got plenty of time. He’s certainly not a confirmed bachelor yet. The good Lord will bring the right girl along when it is time.”
“Yeah, I suppose you’re right. Will you be very late tonight?” Anna asked.
“Well, I want to get this field finished tonight. I figure it will take about 3 more hours. Then I’d better get started pretty early tomorrow morning. They’re calling for rain Thursday, so I need to get as much as I can done before then.”
“By the way,” he continued, “Will the kids be coming over Sunday?” He never tired of seeing his grandkids.
“They said they would be able to make it. Tommy may have to leave early to get back to school, he hates to make the 2 hour drive late at night.”
John managed to get 210-acres planted before the rain hit late Thursday morning. He spent the rest of the week working on one of his tractors that he used for cultivating. Ever since he went organic, he had to cultivate more.
He decided to go completely organic about 12 years ago. It made it harder to find non-GMO seeds and he had to travel a little farther to take his crops to market, but he got a better price for them. Besides, he felt better about growing things more naturally.
Another downside of organic farming was that he had more government inspections than before. Sometimes, he longed for the days his grandfather told him about, when farmers just farmed the way they saw best and then sold their crops for the highest price they could get.
A few years back, he had a couple hundred head of cattle also, but he sold most of those when the price of cattle got low and feed prices were too high to make it worth his while. Now he just kept a few head to butcher for their own use. He usually split them with his kids.
He had been hauling manure most of his life, but a few years ago, the government decided that farmers should take classes and have to get license to be able to spread manure. That seemed like a little too much regulation to him. He had also heard that the EPA was toying with the idea of regulating dust that farmers created.
With the United States Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies, he was getting tired of all of the regulations and extra paper work he had to do just to satisfy some bureaucrat somewhere. After all, it is not likely that anyone in the government knew as much about farming as he did.
The crunch of tires on stone interrupted his thoughts. He decided to step out of the shop to see who was here. Visitors out here in the country were fairly rare.
He didn’t recognize the pickup truck, but when a dark haired guy got out wearing jeans and a flannel shirt, he recognized him as a farmer he had met a couple of times.
“Hello Jim, what brings you over here on a rainy day?” John asked. Jim Rush lived about 3 miles away from John. Though he was nearly 20 years younger than John, he farmed nearly twice as much ground. John had heard that Jim was willing to take more risks in some of his business dealings than most people.
“John, do you have a minute? I’d like to talk to you about something.”
“Sure, come on in to the shop, and we can talk there.” John held the door and motioned for Jim to have a seat on a stool near the window.
“So what brings you over here? Anything I can do for you?” John asked.
“Well,” Jim began, “It’s a long story, but I’m planning on selling out and I was wondering if you’d be interested in buying my tractor I bought 2 years ago. If we don’t have to go through a dealer, I’d be willing to sell it for the same price a dealer would give me for it.”
“What gives, Jim? Are you tired of farming, or don’t you want to talk about it?”
“Well it’s kind of a long story, but if you really want to know, I could give it to you in a nutshell.”
John replied, “I’m just about done putting my tractor back together, so I’ve got time.”
“John, even though we go to different churches, I know from what I have seen and heard about you, that you are a Christian, so you might understand where I am coming from. I believe that it is time for me and my family to leave this country. I have 3 young children at home and I don’t want them to grow up here with what I see coming.”
“Now wait a second Jim, I’m not real happy with a lot of things that are going on here either, but this is one of the greatest countries that has ever been. There are still a lot of good people here. Don’t you think that leaving the country is a little extreme?”
“I’ve thought about it long and hard for over a year now. I’ve looked at the options and I don’t think I’ve got any other choice. I don’t think our national debt is a solvable problem and I don’t think many of those in power want to solve it. I also think the dollar is very shaky and it could fall drastically if anything happens to destabilize it.”
“On top of that,” Jim continued, “I think God has allowed us to have the leaders we have today to bring judgment to America. I think we have turned our back on God too many times and I don’t see any sign of repentance in this country.”
“I think before long we will have a major financial crisis and I believe we will see martial law here. At that time, I believe the government will begin nationalizing the farms and other property. I honestly believe that things will get worse from there.”
“I’m sure you think I’m probably crazy right now, but I have to protect my family, and this is the only way I can do that.”
“Wow,” John said, “That is a pretty big nutshell! I’m not sure what to say. I can see some of the problems you’re seeing, but I can’t imagine it could get that bad that soon. Not here with the constitution we have. But, I guess that is up to you. Where would you go that things would be better?”
“I’ve looked at a lot of places, but there are a couple of countries in South America that look pretty good. I will probably go down and check them out to see what seems best. I will definitely do a lot of praying about it.”
“Jim, if you are sure about this, I have thought about buying a new tractor but I hated to pay the prices they want for the new ones. I would be interested in looking at yours. Here’s my email address, if you do leave would you let me know how it is going for you?”
“Sure John, I’d be glad to. Not trying to talk you out of buying my tractor, but give what I said some thought. I’d hate to see good people caught in the disaster I believe is coming.”
As Jim left, John was lost in thought about what Jim had said. He knew Jim was a risk taker, but everything he had heard about Jim was that he was stable and pretty smart. Could there be something to what Jim was saying?
He heard the dinner bell ringing, so he headed to the house. As he was washing up for dinner, Anna asked, “Who was that you were talking to in the shop?”
“Oh that was Jim Rush. He lives over on County Rd 300.”
“What was he over here for? Seems like an odd time to come for a visit.”
As John sat down at the kitchen table he replied, “He wanted to know if I wanted to buy his tractor.”
“Well why doesn’t he trade it in on a new one if he needs one?” Anna asked.
John paused, “He’s thinking about selling out and moving.” Then John proceeded to relate to Anna everything he and Jim had talked about.
Afterward John said, “I don’t know if he’s crazy or not. It seems kind of radical to me. I’m not sure why, but I gave him my email address and asked him to keep in touch.”
“Well, he might be saner than the rest of us,” Anna replied. “He does make sense in some of his logic.”
“So do you want to leave the country too?” John asked.
“No, I could never leave the kids and grandkids.” Anna said.