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Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Musings.

My, my, my.  What a long and winding road my life has taken!  This week I have been doing a lot of rather heavy-duty musing.  This always happens when my environment gets quiet.  As quiet as it can get with two dogs and three cats.  And dump trucks.  And cows next door.  I was sitting at the dining room table watching the Joneses vacuum up the bird feeder, and started thinking about how this all began.  This Homesteading Thing.

Was it the Easter chick, Peeper?  Was it the lure of the pearl-capped snaps on my Western cowgirl shirt?  My first riding lesson?  I think, all these things.  My formative years were spent in a housing development that had been carved out of a grid that had been carved out of farm land.  One long road with many perpendicular streets jutting out of its western side.  All of the streets dead-ended into a wooded area.  To the north was Lake Erie, and to the south was a large expanse of farmland, bisected by a railroad track.  There was an elderly couple who were clinging onto their little patch of farm - I was drawn to them like a moth to flames.  It was to Mrs. Youngblood that I brought my exiled Easter pullet.   She joined the Youngblood's flock and I was introduced to chickens and the magic of a freshly laid egg (that you had to hunt for!)  She had a huge flower garden, as well as a large vegetable garden.  Mr. Youngblood plowed with an ancient horse named Old Tom, who was a big old draft horse.  Every once in a while he would let me sit on top of Old Tom while he plowed.  It was the only time in my life I could do the Chinese splits naturally.  Mrs. Youngblood would make homemade donuts and we would sit on the porch steps and she would name all the birds that flitted about her flowers.  I wanted to live there.  Unfortunately, as will happen, they got older and older, their barn caught fire and Mr. Youngblood was almost trapped in it.  Their children intervened, carted them off to a retirement home, sold all the antiques and then the house and land.  I remember hiding behind the chicken coop watching as their belongings were packed up.  I threw rocks at their son.  I was a terrible aim and had skinny arms, so no damage was done.  I was just that mad.


17 comments:

  1. Not all changes in life are good, are they? The Youngbloods sound like such wonderful people. What nice memories (well, not when they got carted off to the "home")

    My wish would be that all kids get to experience life in the country. I'm sure not ALL would care for it, but it might just interest enough to keep this way of life going.

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  2. I enjoy hearing why people make the choices they do it life. Sometime it just seems like things happen but if you look back, who you were plays such an important part of who you are. Thank you for sharing and I am glad you chose the life you did.

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  3. I think that all children (sometimes secretly) yearn for and love life in the country. That's my experience, anyway, with all children who come to our place. Friends, relatives (we have 1 grown son, and now he wants to be back on the land) grandchildren...are transformed when they come out here and especially when their parents leave. The wonder on my youngest grandson's face when we found the turtle down by the pond digging a hole to lay her eggs- he was almost religious. At 8 years old, he knelt down and got very quiet and talked about it for months after...

    Must be the time of season for all this musing....lol

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  4. What wonderful memories (well, except for the part you were chunking rocks at the son.....but I guess I don't blame ya!).

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  5. What a wonderful couple they were to take the time to nurture your interest in all things "country!"
    I think my love of the land is hereditary. Both sets of grandparents were farmers in Kansas but my dad chose the Air Force life. I think the "farming" gene must have skipped a generation! :)

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  6. Sue - They were just the loveliest people. I don't recall that their children/grandchildren spent any time there, but I can't remember that much detail (it was a 'few' years ago...)

    Rea - Oh, so am I. It would have been nice to have headed down this path about 10 years ago, but I am happy to have found my way at any age.

    Arkannie - I would have been right down there in the mud with him. What a wonderous thing to experience. We get to see the beautiful side of nature. And sometimes the not-so-beautiful.

    CR - It's lucky for him that I didn't have the aim I do now...

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  7. Aw shucks, the Youngbloods sound like the kind of granparents I yearned for. I had instead, a wonderful great uncle & aunt. Many was the time I was 'lost' on their property, only to be found squatting in the hen house, communing with the birds. Their place left it's mark on me, and one day......I'll be doing the same as you.

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  8. Camping did it for me. It was about 35-40 yrs ago that I started camping and was totally enthralled with the woods and mountains. I kept coming back to a campground across the river where I live now - I promised myself that I would someday "live" over there --- I now live over here, but it took me about 22 years to accomplish it, but I am so happy and relaxed - it was definitely worth the wait.
    Yvette

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  9. How sad. I fear that soon the ' little farmers down the road' will only be things kids can read about in the history books.

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  10. Candy - I think you're right! My grandfather bought a farm and was as happy as a clam. My mother was raised on it, but then they lost it in the Depression. The farming gene skipped her generation and landed smack dab on me!

    Betty - I am the poster child of "It's never too late"! It did take me a while to manage those 50# bags, but I can rassle them around without much trouble now.

    Yvette - How wonderful to know what you want that early and work your way to it! I envy you...

    Jane - Not if we can help it, right?

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  11. Oh, Susan, what wonderful, wonderful memories. Talk about "a seed being planted!" I firmly believe we are NEVER too old to learn, to change, to grow, to get better. Maybe those 50# bags were hard for you at first, but don't you think your whole body is better for being able to handle them now? I've even read that an overweight, flabby-skinned 80 year old (yes, 80!) can get back into toned shape by starting a "natural" lifestyle with plenty of fresh air and exercise.

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  12. Mama Pea - Yay! There's still hope for me!!! I feel I have quite a few good years left in me - maybe we've found the clue to un-aging! I do feel that I'm in much better shape than I've ever been before. A lot of it comes from really loving this lifestyle, too.

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  13. Susan, that's a book summary right there, what you wrote about the defining moments of your childhood! Write it!

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  14. I sighed with tween disgust when my parents moved "back home to the country" from Seattle when dad got out of the Navy. They were happy as clams to be back on the farm, me not so much LOL. After spending what should have been "prime fashion years" of high school freezing my butt off wearing Sorel boots and insulated pants on a farm I couldn't wait to leave when I joined the Navy, now I'm at the exact same place my parents were at - can't wait to move my kids back to the country LOL!!! I just love your musings, they never fail to bring up some good memories and lots of truths! :)

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  15. What beautiful people! I love our older generation. They have so much to give, so much to pass on. I was all eyes and ears when we went to my aunt and uncle's place. They had 30 acres of almonds, and a little house in the middle. We would gather mustard greens (when they weren't popular) and my aunt would cook them to eat with dinner. I thought we were so smart for living off the land. We would wait until after dark to take a flashlight out to the orchard, and, "look for eyes." It was always fun to see them at different levels - the deer, and then the little short ones that were maybe raccoons or possums. Oh, my. Maybe I can help pass on the same things myself!
    ~~Lori

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  16. I really enjoyed reading this post. I have a similar experience. It,s amazing what sticks with us.

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  17. I think Michelle's on to something regarding the book idea...

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