Some time ago, my mom showed me a little book my grandma had created – one that listed so many recipes I couldn’t count. I don’t know if she made all of them or if they were ones she had seen and thought sounded good. Most were in her own handwriting, but a few were clipped out of a newspaper or magazine.
Since the book was so old and worn, I took it upon myself to start copying the recipes into a computer/digital format. One day I put it down on a side table next to some nick-knacks and ended up taking a picture. This was that picture:
The recipes listed are arbitrary, but the significance is not – my grandma’s recipe book and a picture of my grandfather with some sort of geese. He used to be the head of the poultry building at our fairgrounds.
While I don’t exactly have a love of poultry (though I wanted some chickens, and low and behold Dad brought some home!), it has always been a special, accidental picture – two things my grandparents loved and passed down to me.
I think those of us who grew up on the farm have a different perspective on life – not just the nostalgia, but the fact that our forefathers fought for their land, their livelihood, and something to pass on to their children and grandchildren. That we get what we put into something, be it our job, family, project. People coming into homesteading or farming without much prior experience get a rude wake up call when they realize that no matter the weather – you have to go to “work” feeding livestock or keeping the house secure of frozen pipes and broken windows during nasty winter storms.
I admire those that leave their city life for one in the country, trying to carve out their piece of land. It’s not easy to leave the comforts of what you know for something idealistic yet incredibly difficult. I can understand why the “city” or even a “town” is appealing – security of someone next door, restaurants for when you’re too tired to cook, nightlife or at least something in town to pass the time, convenience of stores and theaters nearby, less driving time. Whereas when you live “in the middle of nowhere” – if there’s an accident and you scream for help, you might not have someone hear you; if you’re too tired to cook, you either don’t eat or have to drive and spend more time getting to and from a restaurant, (or you find the fortitude to cook!), if you forgot something at the store, you either have to spend an hour to get the stick of butter you forgot, do without, or find an alternative; your entertainment is your imagination and various projects that need completed.
After a while, you adapt – to remembering everything to get at the store, (preferably once a week); to being prepared for the worst and expecting the best (especially when it comes to safety and potential accidents); to watching sunsets and cherishing family time instead of running around town.
So here’s to my grandparents – who instilled simplicity in me, who gave me a love for a few amazing things, and who helped shaped my parents who in turn shaped me.
How have people in your past shaped you? Let us know in the comments! Are you new to farming or homesteading? Has it had quite the learning curve? Tell us about it!