Story Behind the Name

You may be wondering where the name Lightning Oak came from. It’s a unique name that seems kind of strange for a farm. Most farms are usually named something more soothing like ‘Rolling Hills’ or ‘Oak Hill”. The farm didn’t technically have a name prior to us purchasing it. Dad and mom never really thought about naming the farm and it was just always referred to as the Ford’s farm.

The story reaches back a little ways. You see, there were three oak trees in the end of the hay field. Dad always parked under one of those big oak trees and watched as us boys would work up hay. He was always ready to come to the rescue in the event of a catastrophe- which is almost guaranteed when you work with old equipment like we had.

Those three oak trees became pretty special over the years. We always knew that we could look over and see dad setting under his tree making sure everything was going okay. Dad was our rock in every sense and as a young boy (or shoot, even as an adult if I’m being honest), it was always comforting to know that dad was right there if we needed him. Dad was innovative and he could always come up with a fix when we didn’t think it was possible.

During the years that we worked out in the field we didn’t realize the importance of that tree. You know how they say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Well, that’s how this was. We didn’t know the tree had become so special to us until dad was no longer around to be parked under the tree.

Dad passed away in January 2017. Mom couldn’t stand to be at the farm alone so she was staying with my sister and would go out to the farm each day to check on things. My brother lived just a couple miles from the farm so he would go by each day as well to tend to anything that mom couldn’t do. We got a call from mom after a storm had passed on a cool March day that same year letting us know that lightning had struck one of the oak trees in the hay field and it was in shreds. Of course, my first thought was that it could have been dad’s tree that got hit. I was relieved when I found out that it wasn’t the tree that dad sat under- it was one of the other three trees. We didn’t move to the farm until the spring of 2018, but when we moved onto the farm it seemed only fitting to name it Lightning Oak.

Today there are only two oak trees setting there in the hayfield, but we’re grateful to still have dad’s tree. I miss dad more than I have the words to express. I see him everywhere on the farm, but the tree holds a special place in my heart and I’m so grateful that it wasn’t dad’s tree that was struck by lightning that day. Oh, what I would give to be able to look over at that ol’ oak tree and see dad setting there watching over us. I like to think that dad is still watching over us, it’s just from up above now instead of across the field. I hope he’s pleased with everything we’re doing with this sweet little piece of heaven on earth that we now call Lightning Oak Farm.