For Every Thing There Is a Season

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
It was billed as a “step back in time,” and it didn’t disappoint. You could sense it even in the air around you. You could literally breathe it in, the subtlest hint that somehow time had been stopped and rolled back for the briefest of moments. I first wrote about this event in my post “Summoned by the Queen,” but even I could not have envisioned what a sweet weekend we were in for. Maybe I wasn’t even fully aware of what we had been invited to participate in.

But it all hit me as I walked up onto the Sawyer Mansion grounds early in the morning on Saturday, May 15th. I thought that I actually felt my heart stop, then leap out of my chest in sheer delight. My mind scrambled to take it all in. While I am rarely accused of being without words, this time I truly was. I was stunned into silence, left speechless and breathless. And in that moment as I looked around, I could hear my heart tell my head…it is everything the queen said it would be.
I found myself excited throughout the day, as my eye caught those of others who were there to assist the queen. We all donned like attire–black slacks or skirts and white shirts–making us stand out to those looking for assistance or needing answers to their questions. And although there were many of us, to the onlooker we were one. It has been said that we assisted 2000 or more guests through the Sawyer Mansion that weekend, not to mention those who came to help for some or the entire event. Sixty volunteers (all of them friends of the Ericksons or Prosserfarmgirls) helped as docents for the house, and that many or more were on hand to assist in the outside gardens and lawn. Had people not known what was going on, they may have thought that they had fallen into a time machine and landed dead center in 1910.
I should make one thing clear, I suppose. When I use the title “queen,” it isn’t because Mrs. Erickson is lofty (nothing could be further from the truth). Rather, she is a servant’s servant, one of those rare people who live by the rule that the last shall be first and the first shall be last. She, her amazing husband Fred, and their children all wore the servants’ uniform–black slacks and white shirt. And had you not known them, you would have suspected that they were volunteers, too, as they weaved in and out of every task. There was no throne for these royal people; their feet were as swollen as the rest of ours when the weekend was done.
There were three moments that stood out to me as I contemplated how blessed I was for being included in this amazing weekend. The first: As I stole a moment to sit down and eat lunch, it was Pat and Fred’s son Robin who came to offer me more water, just as he had done to countless other guests the past two days. The second came when I was short a couple docents; it was Mary, their daughter, who stepped in to take on the chore. May I just say, the crowds were thrilled. She was such a delight, and it’s no wonder why Nordstrom will not let her go. And lastly, it was about mid-afternoon on Sunday when Fred walked by and said, “You look a little tired.” I chuckled, gave him a knowing nod, and went about my business. Moments later, he hunted me down to present me with a cup of coffee that he had gone and made especially for me.
As my friend Linda and I headed home from this HUGE weekend, we were too tired to form a sentence, yet blessed beyond measure. I will forever be grateful that somehow I was given this opportunity to watch a mansion become a home and a queen become a servant.
This week I was reminded “for every thing there is a season, and a time for everything under heaven'”, so it is true of my time at MaryJanesFarm as Sisterhood Coordinator and Rural Farmgirl Blogger. This will be my last post here. I want to thank you, the reader, for sharing with me my adventures in life… my trips down the dirt roads of life exploring the unexpected things I find there. I cannot believe my good fortune for having landed here at the farm, and will always hold it as one of my life’s great adventures. I hope that by reading my tales it encourages you to live life a little harder, laugh a little louder and love a little deeper….Thank you for being my “traveling” companions.

  1. Shery says:

    Oh Rene`, My heart stopped at the end of your lovely article. I came to the blogger team late. Reading your MJF blog served as a shining example for me to follow. It has been a tutorial about good blogging style, the content is always filled with meaning and all things heartfelt. I will sorely miss your unique voice, your gifted sense of perspective and your magical way with words. You weave a fine tapestry girl! Wherever your next adventure takes you…Godspeed my friend. I know it will be joyful because you’ll take that with you.
    Shery Jespersen

  2. Debbie says:

    Dearest Rene’,
    Let me just start by saying another great post here! The event looks wonderful. I have been fortunate to be part of creating and enjoying days such as you describe here and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of comraderie and accomplishment tossed in with a lot of hard work to create a magical day such as this. It’s great you got to be a part of it… Just like it’s great you have been a part of the magic and spirit of Mary Janes Farm too! As you know, you hooked me with the first post I read of your’s titled First Love… All I had to see was the photo of the beautiful palomino horse and I got to reading in a hurry.. Like all of your posts it went straight to my heart.

    I’ll never forget the fun we had on the " connection over Oreo and Scooter " and how you shared my humble litte place in blog land with your readers here.

    Rene, as this door closes and the next one opens, I wish you many blessings and more opportunities to share your wonderful healing words.

    A devoted reader and friend in blog- land


  3. O'Dell says:

    Hello Rene’…..well, we will miss reading your stories…sorry to hear you are leaving the blogging…always enjoyed hearing from you! Sounds like this gathering was a real special one. I hope that we’ll still hear from you, from time to time, thru MaryJane’s magazine? I too, am going thru some major changes in my life…some good, some difficult. Life is like that, don’t you think? We must get used to life changing, sometimes when we least expect it. I want to wish you much luck in whatever you pursue next!
    All the best….nonnameme

  4. Tina says:

    Thank you and I wish you much happines and good fortune in your future endeavors.
    The best of everything to you and your family.

  5. sharon says:

    I’m sorry to see you leave "the post" as I find we often vibrate at the same frequency. Your thoughts have serendipitously been parallel to my own, as if we had been catching the same fragrance on the wind.
    Thank you for your Rene fibers now firmly woven into my self-tapestry. God’s blessings on your future.

  6. bobbie calgaro says:

    Dear Rene,
    Since becoming a subscriber to Mary Jane’s Farm this last year, I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog. I will miss it but have been privileged to be able to share in your thoughts.

  7. CJ Armstrong says:

    You truly have a gift for writing and for "bringing" us all along on your journeys. You will be very missed on Farmgirl Connection/Sisterhood and this blog will be missed.
    But, as you say, "for everything there is a season. . ." We all have seasons and we all have to know how to let go, move on or whatever it is we need to do. We need to do it with grace! You, my friend, are a lady of grace!!!
    CJ Armstrong . . from the Farmgirl Sisterhood

  8. Amy Kingery says:

    How fortunate you are to be so blessed with friends and family. I am a newcomer to this site. I recently moved from California to Virginia, to a rural community and I do not know many people yet. I suppose the way to do that will be to get involved in local matters. I have noticed that rural people are so much more "real" that what goes on in the big cities and the burbs, or maybe I am just finally finding myself in these parts…The beauty, the nature..all are astounding. …even the bugs that I am getting used to (ha). I have already put in 1 peach tree, a cherry, 2 apple, 2 plum and 2 crab apple trees, along with some ornamentals…Raspberry canes, blackberries and blueberries too…..maybe next year I’ll have some fruit….how exciting to coax food from this clay soil. If any of these readers get the chance, I say "go for it!" Country life is BLISS!

  9. PAULETTE says:

    Ahh, Rene, it has been a delight to get to know you just a bit through your posts! I have missed something along the way, as you said you are to not continue with your posts…
    What is next for you beautiful sister/farmgirl / friend?
    Best wishes, and thanks for sharing!
    p.s. and I still want to join in the with the fly women!

  10. julie jo says:

    oh bummer, I barely started reading your blogs, but I do certainly enjoy and look forward to them and don’t want them to end… but it is true there is a time for everything. So whatever it may be for you next, enjoy! I am not yet in the sisterhood, but I am at heart of course. anyhow, thanks for sharing, perhaps one day we’ll have a group of gals here on the pacific north coast of Cali and I’ll be posting someday. enjoy the summer and all the time that follows.

  11. Heather hansen says:

    What a beautiful journey you took me on through that lovely house and the even lovelier people who came to serve and bless others that day 🙂 🙂 I wish I could have been there. That looked like just the kind of fun event I would want to participate in and visit 🙂 🙂 🙂
    I’m a little sad this is your last blog post. However, you are moving on to bigger things…and you have to go where you are led 🙂 🙂 🙂 You’ve been a real delight. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your blogs 🙂 🙂 Have a blessed time. Much love, hugs and good wishes from Oregon 🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. I wish I could have been there. I am new to Mary Jane’s Farm but am absolutely enthused by everything. I lost my husband last Dec. of 23 years and I am rebuilding my life and trying to find my next path. This "time for everything" is so inspirational to me as I contemplate my next journey in life. Thank you for giving me a piece of peace.

  13. Shiralyn Yates says:

    I cannot believe that I won’t be reading your blog anymore. I so look forward to hearing about your adventure and most always they touch my heart. This site, to me, just won’t be the same without you. I never have taken the time to tell you how much I do enjoy your writing. If you ever start another blog, please include me. I feel so sad that this is ending.
    Shiralyn Yates

  14. Jan Inman says:

    Your story was inspirationsal. I would like to challenge everyone to put on a servant’s heart every day and ask God to guide you in serving other’s. It saddens me to hear that you are leaving and I wish you many blessings in your future.

  15. I read this with so many mixed emotions. I wish I could have been there to enjoy ‘stepping back in time’ with all of you (Prosser Farm Girls)at this delightful event.

    I am so saddened to hear we will not be seeing your posts any longer, I will so miss them. I love your wit and humor, it just carries me through another day, each time I see (read) you!!! But knowing you, this will not stop you! I am glad for that! No dust gathers under your feet!

  16. Deborah Todd says:

    I must say that I will miss your posts. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us and enjoy the rest of your adventures.

  17. kay says:


  18. MaryBeth says:

    Well thank you Rene’. It has been fun knowing you through your articles and such. Good journey to you. MB

  19. Grace~katmom says:

    So true!

  20. Jo says:

    I have only this past year found your posts. They allow me to share your life vicariously. I can see, smell, feel, and touch all of the things you see, smell, feel, and touch in your life. Your writing style is so alive.
    I am so sorry that your time as "The Rural Farm Girl" has come to an end. The very best you you and yours as you move on to something new.
    God Bless You Always

  21. Jo says:

    I have only this past year found your posts. They allow me to share your life vicariously. I can see, smell, feel, and touch all of the things you see, smell, feel, and touch in your life. Your writing style is so alive.
    I am so sorry that your time as "The Rural Farm Girl" has come to an end. The very best you you and yours as you move on to something new.
    God Bless You Always

  22. Linda Atkins #583 says:

    Rene, on behalf of the Prosser Farmgirls, we hope that you know that we are truly blessed to know you and be the benefactors of all that you do and share with us and your "followers." You are loved and appreciated. It is fun to watch you grow and blossom into your designed creation, you are a reflection of His greatness. One word: (you are) brilliant!

  23. Cheri says:

    umm wait- i need to know more abt the weekend and HOW can u leave us?

    Thank you for your comment, Cheri. Rene accepted a full-time position as Community Relations Coordinator at Prosser Memorial Hospital. It was unexpected for us too, but we wish Rene the best in her new position.

    In an e-mail to us the week prior to THE big campout/trailer rendezvous weekend, Rene said "Would you want me to snap some photos of our “farmgirls on the loose” event here in Prosser next weekend, for display and brochures? I am also hoping to get some video footage." With her photos, we were planning on a spread in the next issue of our magazine, but Rene somehow missed getting high resolution photos. Darn cameras anyway! So, the photos you have here will be all you get for the time being. Wende Wagner’s "Farmgirl on the Loose" event is coming up and we’re hoping for some photos from her. Stay tuned! Here’s Wende’s blog all about her June event:
  24. It has been my pleasure although only a short time reading your blog. It makes me sad to hear you are leaving. I have enjoyed the chats and all the news from your place. Since I have become a farmgirl at Mary Janes Farm I have really felt I know these girls personally and have become part of the farm. I don’t live on a farm but I have an acre and it is my dream farm, I love trying to live green and doing the thing my savior wants me to be and living the way he expects me to,although I fall short many times and I pick up and try again. It is a blessing to have known you even for ashort while Rene, may god bless you so much and many good wishes to you in whatever you do from now on. Love Juanita Massey, Virginia

  25. Marcia says:

    Thank you Rene’ for presenting to me a door which I chose to open and walk through. I shall not close it because on occasion I glance back, recall, and smile. May you also enjoy the same as you walk over your new threshold; glancing back and seeing all of us that you have inspired!! 🙂

  26. Terrye Lenzini says:

    I will be very sad to see your postings end, I have loved reading each and every one and seeing the beautiful pictures that go along with the stories. Thank You!

  27. Bonnie says:

    What! It can’t be true – you have traveled to the end of your blogging road? I feel I was just getting to know you! And I have loved every tale and empathized with and/or rejoiced in many.
    In case you won’t change your mind, I wish you much peace and happiness in whatever is next.
    You will be missed!

  28. katie paxton says:

    I have loved reading your stories.
    I wish you all the best in the future.
    I am sorry you are leaving.

  29. Debbie says:

    Rene’, One of the highlights of checking my mail just left. I enjoyed and was inspired by all of your blogs. And just as much by the comments of your readers. I will miss them almost as much as I will miss reading your blog. But, you will still write won’t you? It is in your blood you know. LOL

  30. Hi Rene,
    I too was so blessed to be at the mansion…and get a second chance at standing on the widow’s walk! It was so lovely and elegant. Many thanks for the opportunity to share in just a snippet of the weekend. So sad this is your last post, as I too, have enjoyed them. But, so happy for your next step and the fact that I’ll still get to hear your fun stories (and your contagious laughter)in person occasionally at the farmgirls meetings. Blessings!

  31. Pam deMarrais says:

    Rene’, It has been a true delight reading your stories. I feel blessed that our paths crossed for a while on this page. I have come to know your tender heart, good values, and a sense of humor.
    God bless you as you continue your journey.

  32. Dear Rene – I’m going to miss you sweet girl. Your blog is the one I ever truly look forward to reading. I mean it. I guess it felt like you were a back door friend, stopping by for a glass of ice tea and a visit.
    Best of luck to you. ((((BIG HUG))))

  33. Mary Anne says:

    I have enjoyed your stories so much, thank you for sharing them with us! I hope what ever is in your present and future is sweet SWEET SWEET!
    I will miss you!
    Mary Anne

  34. Jennfer Barker says:

    Thank you for allowing us to live vicariously through your ranch girl life. Although I will miss your posts- I understand that sometimes in life you have to let some commitments go so that you CAN have a life! Best wishes to you!

  35. Carol Branum says:

    Hi,I am so sorry, I felt like I was just getting to know you too.I wonder why?I am upset about this.Are they cutting expenses,or have you found greener pastures,e-mail me and let me know I am worried about you believe it or not.

    Thank you for your comment, Carol. Rene accepted a full-time position as Community Relations Coordinator at Prosser Memorial Hospital. It was unexpected for us too, but we wish Rene the best in her new position.

  36. carolj says:

    Rene, yours is the first blog I’ve ever read. I will miss you. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with all of us.

  37. Reba says:

    Hey Rene, I will miss you so much! It is hard to believe that a year has gone by since I first sent a comment to your blog. Thank you for the kind words that you replied to me. They let me know that you were sincere and really "listening." You truly are my idea of "Farmgirl at Heart." I wish you many blessings as you make your journey down a different country road. Sincerely, Reba

  38. Brandy says:

    Ohhhh…no,no,no! It can’t be:( I truly felt as though we were "kindred spirits"! Yes, all the other farm girl blogs are great…but yours was my kind of farmgirl. My heart is soooo sad. I do wish you well…but can’t you find just a moment to still share your stories w/ us????Farmgirls can work at hospitals too….

  39. Valynne says:

    Well, that last paragraph hit me like a ton of bricks. Obviously, you/your blog will be missed very much. I hope we keep in touch, Rene! XOXOXOXO to you,

  40. Colleen says:


    thank you for the joy and making us all part of your life by sharing so much with us – your blog has always been the one that makes me stop and click to read it no matter what else is going on.

    I will miss your insights, kind words, love & caring that came through your words & stories.

    much success to you and I hope you will come back to check in from time to time to let us know how you are doing!

  41. Joan D. McGuigan says:

    Rene, How I’ll miss you! Your blogs were truly letters from a friend. Each one was savored. Each inspired me. Congratulations on your new position at the hospital. It sounds like the perfect niche for your skills and talents.
    Peace and All Joy, Joan

  42. You will certainly be missed here Rene’ but I will look forward to many other opportunities where our paths will cross! Bless you, my friend! Elaine

  43. Roz says:

    Renee, My heart is so saddened but each article I "treasure" and each one will remain in my heart! You have filled me with much JOY! I sincerely wish you much happiness in your new adventure. You will be sooooo missed. When I think of "MaryJane", I grin and with much comfort of knowing I will be reading "Rene’s" musings. I uplift you with a "Banner of LOVE" and you will remain in my thoughts and prayers! JOY JOY JOY JOY JOY!!!!! Mega Hugs for ya……….YOU are loved…..Always….~roz~

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