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the other rory

It's not very often that I meet another Rory. It's honestly only happened a half-dozen times or so in all my days. So to meet one who is also lives on a farm. Who homesteads. Writes books. Loves the Lord. Has a wife named Rebecca (she goes by Becca) and an extra-special little one. And who has been given a platform, voice and heart to help families find their way back to a more home-centered life... well, it isn't just a good thing, it's a God thing.



I read Rory Groves' book 'Durable Trades' a year or so before I actually met him. It's all about the importance of the family economy and what jobs or trades through the centuries have lasted the test of time.


We first met in-person last April when he and his family (they have six kiddos) made the trip down to Tennessee from Minnesota to be part of a couple of events (one of them was a small gathering at our farm) in support of the book, and of Gather & Grow, a non-profit ministry they run. And from the first moment we met, it was if we were long lost brothers from other mothers. Besides our Irish first names, we both had so many other things in common, and even more than that, our families hit it off and we all so enjoyed our time together, even though it was only for a day.



On that trip, since he was here at our farm, I asked Rory if he'd give a talk on 'Artificial Intelligence, and the impact it's having on work, family and community' in the concert hall, and lots of folks came to listen to what was an enlightening and powerful lecture you can watch or listen to HERE.



Over the past year or so, we've crossed paths with the Groves' a couple times. Rory's wife Becca came down last Fall and was one of the speakers at the women's Homemaker Conference we put on, and then in late November, we all met up at a big Homestead Fair in Texas and got to spend some great time together, getting to know each other more and meeting lots of other wonderful folks there in that community.



Fast forward to now, and we heard that Rory had a new book coming out and was hosting a book-launch party in his barn. And since they've been down to our place, but we'd not been to theirs... last weekend, while everyone else was driving towards a spot to see the total eclipse, we decided to take a 14 hour drive north for a weekend of fun and fellowship, staying with the Groves in their farmhouse, just outside Northfield, MN.



I could tell you we had a great time, and we did. An amazing time actually. But I think I'd rather show you all that took place in just a couple of days...

First off their farmhouse and farm is just beautiful. We hadn't been there 10 minutes and felt at home. Which is a good thing, because I took over the nursery and slept in a room upstairs next to little Able's crib. Miss Rebecca took over the Groves' room (while they slept on a pull-out couch in the living room), Indy bunked with Elsie and Hattie in the kids room, while the other boys: Ivar, Alden and Elias camped-out downstairs in the basement.



Since there were so many of us, from morning to night it seemed like, there was lots of cooking and baking going on. Indy jumped right in and helped the ladies and the other girls with all the meal prepping and the clean-up afterwards.



There were evening walks down the lane for the grown-ups, while the kiddos did supper dishes, with the two Rory's and the two Rebecca's lost in conversation...



Like us, they don't have a tv and mostly try to find other, better ways to enjoy time together as a family. But on special occasions, when they have 'movie night', they pull out an old projector and cover the living room with popcorn, pillows, blankets, and kids in pajamas. It strangely felt appropriate that when we were there, the kids all picked an episode of Little House on the Prairie for us all to watch...



On Friday night, we helped set-up for, and enjoyed being part of Rory's book launch party in the upstairs of their barn. Lots of folks who get their newsletter or support their ministry came from all over to be there. Some friends of mine who make the magazine Homestead Living even drove down from Minneapolis and we got to catch up together.



On Sunday morning, the Groves invited a few families to get together for 'home church', again in their barn, and we all had a special time in the word and in prayer, then we all shared a meal and some great conversation afterwards.


There was lots playing outside and Indy especially loved the big rope swing that hung from their oak tree...



And on Saturday morning, we all pitched in to help pack-up and ship the hundreds of pre-orders of Rory's new book "The Family Economy", which took most of an afternoon...



Their house, like ours, is filled with books. They have shelves filled with them pretty much everywhere, with mostly the same kinds and subjects of books that we have on ours. So we all spent lots of time reading and talking about books we've been reading and things we've been learning. While the grow-ups read and talked, Indy and the kids did the same...


Little Able, who's just a year and a half old, didn't want to miss out on the reading...



And one of the other little guys, Elias who's four, took a special liking to me I think. He called me 'roryfeek'... all in one word. As in, "roryfeek, would you read a book to me?" Maybe because to his daddy, I'm the other Rory...



Their oldest son, 13 year old Ivar, plays guitar and leads their family worship time in the evenings. He recently wrote his first song and asked me to give him some pointers, which I was more than glad to do..



We all stayed up late and woke up early each day, and made the most of every moment we all had together.



Early Monday morning, we were on the road headed south, back to Tennessee. And though at one point while I was pumping gas somewhere in Missouri, someone mentioned that the once-in-a-lifetime eclipse was about to happen, we didn't really pay much attention to it.


Our weekend had already been one that neither of our families would ever forget.



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PS: Sometimes there are just too many special memories and pics for one blog post. But it would be sad not to include a few more, just to personally have the weekend captured to remember, all in one place...


Did I mention that the kids played and played and played together? Alden, Elias and Hattie wanted to take Indiana sledding and normally they'd still have some snow in Minnesota. There's nothing like way farm kids can't improvise.



They are a family who sings together a lot, and so when you stay with them, you will get pulled in to playing guitar and making a joyful noise with them. I think this was an impromptu sing-along of John Denver's "Thank God I'm A Country Boy"after breakfast one morning...



Indiana and Hattie asked Becca if she would go outside and play Little House On The Prairie with them, and she went all out. Elsie, who is 11 and learning to play fiddle, even serenaded us with the theme song...



Rory's new book "The Family Economy" is wonderful, as is his first one "Durable Trades". If you'd like to learn more about his books, or their family and their ministry, go to www.gatherandgrow.us












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