I believe the best place to start is to go back to the beginning, back to the first memories I have of life on a farm. I come from a large family of nine children; four brothers and four sisters. We grew up on what I consider a medium-sized farm, we always had a few of many different animals. We had chickens, goats, rabbits, horses, a cow or two and on occasion a pig. My parents expected us all to be contributing members of the family and to help when and where we were needed. They also expected us to be kids – to run, play and explore. I have so many fond memories of our big white farm house that was surrounded by corn fields and pastures.
My mind is swirling with all the things we were able to learn on that farm, all the things were able to experience and all the memories that will forever be etched within me. I think back to all my parents hard work and how there was not a thing they could not do or make with their own hands from things we had on the farm. Essentially the bulk of all our food was either grown or raised right there on that farm, by my parents, with a little help from all the kids. My mother could whip up a new dress for any of us girls at a moment’s notice, I don’t recall many patterns laying around so I assume it was all just part of her common knowledge. We would always have a newly knitted pair of mittens, a hat and a scarf waiting for each us every winter. My father chopped and stacked wood what seemed to be every day to ensure our home was comfortably heated throughout the cool days and nights of winter. Every single meal that graced our table was filled with vegetables from our garden, either fresh or canned, warm home-baked bread and finished off with a tall glass of fresh milk from our cow or goats.
I have come to realize how ungrateful and unappreciative I was to have such pleasures. I look at all the things I had taken for granted as a child, and every single one of them I now long to provide for my children. I hear myself making excuses why I can’t find the time to bake that loaf of bread or have a larger garden, and then I have to step back and truly take a look at how ridiculous I sound. Every new generation believes they have less time to do the things that need to be done and the things they need to get done are twice as hard as they ever were. How can that be true if we are supposed to be in an ever-improving society? If every new invention or electronic item is suppose to make life so much easier, than why does life always seem to just get harder?
I have reached a point in my life when I am doing some real soul searching, trying to find my true place on this earth. I am finding that all roads are leading me back to where I began, back to the beginning of all the experiences that truly defined me as a person, back home to my childhood. That life of hard, simple work that had true meaning in every single thing that was done. I have been blessed with the basic knowledge to get me going and the true love and support of my husband who stands firmly beside me as we venture through this journey to our “new” old way of living. We have realized that we no longer want to live behind walls of “maybe” and “never” but we are willing to step back out into the sun and allow ourselves to find and create a self-sufficient, self-responsible life. We have planted the seeds of change, begun to spread our roots and are anxiously awaiting our full harvest from our farm, family and life.