Connie Oney combined a lifetime of writing and photography in her new book, Cultivation of a Lifestyle, Preserving the American Dream.  Here are just a few excerpts from her heartwarming book:

From the Introduction…

We bought our farm when we were very young and, in doing so, had the courage (or was it foolishness?) to take on a huge monetary debt.

Those early days were filled with great peace and joy, even though we seemed to work endlessly – Gerald, with mountains of farm work, and I, with the major load of raising five children.  There was an old rusty water pump close to our back door and, lacking the money to buy extravagances, I decided that with a little paint it would make a great focal point to our back entrance.

I vividly remember the lovely spring day that I sat on the well top and gave the pump the first coat of bright red rustproof paint.   Gerald was across the road plowing a small field with our old orange tractor – itself covered with rust.  Birds flocked behind him picking up insects and worms that the plow turned up.  Silky, our soft black dog, ran behind him scattering the feeding birds.  Our little children gathered around me and played as I painted.  The warm sunshine rimmed their blond hair, painting it gold.  It was a close and wonderful feeling making our living, just our family, in this way.

Now, many years later, I’m adding another of many subsequent coats of red paint to that same pump, but typical of changes in farming, a hired man I hardly know is working across the road in our field in our huge, cabbed tractor.