Doors opened

My husband and I started our logging business, Shrontz Farm Logging, shortly after we were married over 25 years ago. Brad’s philosophy is when a door of opportunity opens you have two choices:  either close it and always wonder where it would have taken you or youIMG_0520 walk through the open door and take a ride of your life.  The opportunity presented itself  when L.L. Johnson’s Lumber needed a truck to haul logs from their jobs to the lumber yard.  So, with about $20 in the bank and an old Meijer  1970’s Chevy Titan cab over Semi that we used around the farm our adventure began  Shrontz Farm Logging business started and we were unsure about what we were getting ourselves into, hoping we could make a living.  Brad started with hauling logs off the jobs and then they needed a cutting crew.   Brad knew nothing about the forestry business but this didn’t stop his determination.  I might have thought he was crazy.  We hired a true old timer lumberjack, Denny, and so began Brad’s apprenticeship.IMG_0507
Over the years we leaned from the best in the industry and our logging business went through many growing phases.  We upgraded equipment when the lumbering business was good and at one point had three crews cutting.  It was a great supplement to our farming business when that wasn’t as profitable.  Brad has trained other’s over the years to work in the woods.
As our son,Trent grew up he had the same passion for the woods and was beginning to run the skidder pulling out logs working with his dad to learn the trade.
We went through some good times and plenty of rough times; injuries, debt, breakdowns, weather, low pay rates, etc. Always managing to work through the hardships and celebrating when it was good.  We always hoped that Trent would want to join the business but it was not meant to be as he was killed in a quad accident at the young age of 14.  It was extremely hard for Brad to find that passion after Trent passed away but he pushed on.  It became more and more difficult to keep it going for a variety of reasons but as we moved through another phase of our life another door opened and we chose once again to enter.  We made a difficult decision to sell the logging equipment and accept the opportunity to expand the family trucking business with our daughter and her son-in-law.   Our daughter had always had a passion for semi-trucks and bought one for herself, hired a driver and began her business then we joined forces.  Along with expanding the trucking business,  Old Indian Creek Farm rustic wedding venue was born and now begins another journey in our lives.
Before, Brad hangs up his chainsaw and helmet though he accepted an unusual logginIMG_0541g job, one that involves skidding with draft horses.  A local farmer has a woods that needs harvesting so it can allow the young trees to mature.  They hired Brad to cut the woods because he was willing to work with them so they could skid their logs out with their own horses and the local draft horse club.  So, today I watched as he skillfully fell some large white oak trees and teams of draft horses pull the logs out of the woods.   One very special team was a pair of black and white drafts, Chance and Misty.  the owner behind the reins guiding the team, our daughter Ashley.
AltIMG_0476hough we dreamed of our son, Trent taking an interest in the logging business we never once thought that our daughter would one day be skidding out logs from her dad’s job site with a pair of horses.  IMG_0536
So, has a door closed or has it opened?
Maybe, it’s just a new phase!
Misty and Chance love the chance to work whether it’s pulling a wagon for IMG_0534a special event or skidding out logs.  And well, our daughter, Ashley loves the excuse to get out of the office at the farm and take a break from the trucking business to work with her horses. IMG_0495

A Day to Remember

Weddings are a day of magic and joy but when one of your loved ones can only be with you in spirit  it can be emotional for the bride an groom. There are many ways that you can include your heavenly loved one on your special day.  Figuring that out comes from  your heart. Never worry about what others will think because this is your day and remembering is part of honoring the special relationship that you had with your loved one who is no longer here on Earth but is your guardian angel.  Think about your loved one’s personality or passions and how to blend them together in your wedding theme. Allow yourself to be creative! It’s therapy!

Memorials can be just a small gesture or it can be more elaborate depending on what you are comfortable with.

Ideas:

  •  Photo charms on the bride’s bouquet, shoes, necklace, bracelet, or boutonniere
  • Designate a chair in honor of your loved one with a picture
  • Photo table – Mason Jar with photo inside – Rustic Screen door / Window / Chalk board with photos displayed
  • Favorite colors incorporated
  • Special songs  incorporated into the ceremony or dance
  • Artifacts or items that have special meaning included into the decor
  • Have the minister include a memory or message
  • Someone from the bridal party, bride or groom speak or have a moment of silence to remember
  • Light a candle
  • I collected ideas on my Old Indian Creek Farm Pinterest account for you  https://www.pinterest.com/kristineshrontz/remember-loved-ones-at-your-wedding/

At my daughter’s wedding she honored her brother and he honored his father.  More than anything they wanted them to be able to celebrate their day with them.  They had an outdoor country wedding theme.  We hung photos on Shepard hooks going down the aisle, they each picked a special song to play during the ceremony and I decorated Trent and Jerry’s boots to put on the head table.

It was a bittersweet day for both families, missing absent loved ones, and celebrating a special moment.  Trent and Jerry smiled down on them during the ceremony with a perfectly shaped heart cloud.