Trip Start Oct 20, 2012
Trip End Jul 11, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Minnesota
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

   ...But now I write from a cozy farm house in Norcross, MN, population 60 or so, on a family farm run by the Vipond Family, lifelong Corcoran friends including MaryAnn, a 83 yr old mom and five of her sons and one son-in law who farm "somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 acres." One of the other sons sells seed and crop insurance, but has an 800 acre "hobby" farm. They just had their best crop ever and they're winding down for winter, finishing up "tiling" some of the acreage. Tiling is essentially putting a drainage system in, much like the drain tile one might put around the house foundation, except on an enormous scale. Thousands of feet of perforated plastic pipe are laid about six feet deep in a grid that drains to a pit and pumped out to ditches, all of which not only improves the growing but significantly increases the value of the land.
         Mary Ann,  still cooks the main meal of the day for the boys when they're in the field, so we are about to sit down to a large, hearty dinner at lunchtime. We won't be able to continue this pattern of dining because we only have a 1/2 ton truck. But for now, damn the scales!

Arriving in my Father Lee Corcoran's Hometown of Herman and old stoping grounds of Norcross, Minnesota,  I stepped right into my memories and was flooded with comfort and warmth and reminiscences of childhood on through visits in my adult years.  

Our GPS “Gar” brought us to “The Farm” a route that I have no recollection ever having taken and as she told us directions we could see where we were headed in the distance.  It was dusk so the lights of the property shone ahead of us...  I was shocked at the enormity of it to the point that I thought it was a “new” farm… a new location. But it was still the same wonderful home!  With an incredible, massive, generational, family,  operation.  While they do not like to talk numbers, (in fact avoided them our whole visit) there a many pieces of awesome modern farming equipment that are more “spendy” than homes across America. They allowed as how this year, if not THE BEST, was certainly “one of the best harvests/years ever.  So cool to hear that “someone” is enjoying success and prospering today and especially cool that it is this hard working, fun, appreciative, loving, tight-knit happy, family.

While none of the Stan and MaryAnn Vipond family are blood relatives, I have always felt they were family.  This trip affirmed that. How perfect it was to start our trip there by also affirming that home can be so many things and that where there are bonds of history and friendship and shared experiences, there is real comfort and joy.

So, more of the day to day (hour by hour?) details of the Herman visit will still follow, I’m feeling a bit negligent, not posting  our trip in a timely manner,  so this will serve as the philosophical portion.  

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Mallery on

send me some food? :)

Connie on

I can do that...

Pete Briefs on

Damn!! J, you and Merr sure know a lot of interesting people....As usual, J wins again. Which means, Merr wins by proxy....YEAH!!! for you guys...Can't wait to read the next instalment.

Pamela, DQueen on

Love this Blog! Still miss seeing Mare pulled over on Hwy 209 and hope you will not be pulling over on Hwys on route. Travel safe. Love to both of you.

Joe St. Martin on

Great stuff Mare, keep it coming. Be safe and enjoy Hi to Billy.

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