Sunday, January 01, 2006

midnight clear

Good advice to anyone moving to the midwest is to find a way to enjoy yourselves outdoors. Pick an acitivity - if you have the need for speed there's snowmobiling, skiing is available on small hills that sadly pass for "mountains". Cross country skiing will bring you closer to nature and you would be surprised at the diverse wildlife you'll discover while swishing along the trails.

You might ask yourself what happening in this photo. The gentleman with his back to you in the foreground is dreaming of hitting the trails tomorrow with his new snowshoes. Everyone has gathered in the 26 degree night to celebrate the New Year in our tiny community.

What is it? Why, it's the Corn Drop!

Our neighbor Bryan is a transplanted Long Islander. Years ago he was missing the famous "ball drop" New Years celebration in New York. Being a creative sort he devised the now famous "Corn Drop".

In his workshop he fashioned a five foot tall ear of corn, wrapped in thousands and thousands of yellow and green lights. The corn is mounted on a 35 foot pole and we spend a couple hours indoors eating, drinking and awaiting midnight. About 15 minutes before midnight we don our coats and stand out in the frosty evening, contemplating the year past and thinking about what the next year might bring. I mentioned to Bryan that in order to be authentic he would need to rotate the crop, corn drop one year, soybean the next. (It's an inside farmers joke folks). Bryan claims he wouldn't know how to fashion a proper soybean.

The best thing about living here is that we know our neighbors well. We pitch in when they need help, we celebrate birth and death together. We disagree, we work it out or we just leave it be.


Lorianne said...

Oh, I love the notion of a corn-drop...and how fancy it looks!

Happy New Year from a transplanted Ohioan.

farmgirl said...

I love it. What a kick. Thanks for sharing such a neat tradition. : )

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of a community being so close knit. I'm from California and there's not many places there that you will find this, believe me. I'm drawn to the warmth and commradarie of it. Interesting concept...people who care.

Give me the dropping of the corn ANY DAY over the likes of the scene ensuing in the Big Apple!

Happy New Year!

Zanne said...

Thanks for the all the comments. Having been born within spitting distance of one of the largest cities in the world, I made a conscious decision that it's wasn't how I wanted to live my life. So here we are.

And yes, we are a very tight knit community, but having said that there are some who prefer to keep to themselves, and that's OK too. We respect that. We are all very self sufficient but reserve the right to ask our neighbors for help!

Suzanne, the farmers wife

Rachel said...

What a neat idea! Sounds like a great area you live in!

Floridacracker said...

Cool, creative neighbor! How nice that you all get together for this event. Sounds like fun!

srp said...

What a great alternative to the ball. Much more colorful, appropriate for the cornbelt and looks like a lot of fun. I guess he tests it ahead of time. This is great, why haven't we heard of it before? Someone should notify CNN or some other media giant. No, that would ruin the community nature after all. Happy New Year.

Zanne said...

He's been doing this for several years, so he's got the system down pat.....and yes, they do a test run. It's lowered by hand - very low tech. HA.

As far as the news media....last year the local newspaper (circulation 15,000) ran a story on the corn drop. It must have made an impact because just before midnight at least 5 extra pickup trucks drove up to join us and watch the show!

pablo said...

If I were doing it, I'd do a giant illuminated round rock, but I guess that would look like the Times Square ball after all.

Senorita Stitches said...

Thanks for posting this. Tell your neighbor we California folk appreciate it too.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a terrific idea! I LOVE IT!

Whenever I visit you I get such a feeling of "The Place" you's really a wonderful gift you give to share in photo's and rememberences and 'now' things like New Years, your life there in and around, The Farm(s)...Thank you for that dear Farmer's Wife...And a VERY VERY HEALTHY, HAPPY, AND PROSPEROUS 2006!

KatKit13 said...

How cool is that!? Awesome!