A few tractors are parked inside Dale Wiley’s barn that sits on his family’s land they have owned since 1919.
Wiley, a retired cattleman of 40 years, said he takes life easier now and uses his land for leisure. I caught up with Mr. Wiley this afternoon as he was scooting around on his John Deere 4x2 loaded with wood and chainsaws.
“I stay busy keeping this place in shape,” Wiley said, as he is still breaking the ground for a garden.
The farmhouse and outbuildings, along with a barn, sit on 170 acres surrounded by grass, pine and oak trees.
“Once, this was a field of soybeans and cotton, but taxes are so high on land today you can’t afford to grow those things anymore,” Wiley said.
We spoke about the weather, gardening and cattle as he showed off his many tractors. It was a great afternoon, and I felt honored to have met Dale Wiley.
As he drove up his driveway, I realized I had just met a man who is truly happy with where he’s been in life and where he is now. Traveling out of the city reminded me of those childhood memories at my parents: the long summer days, the scent of honeysuckles and chasing fireflies in the evening.
If you’re out and about today, take a little longer to look and notice all the things we often miss as life pushes us along.