You learned a bit about my school life…now I’ll tell you more of my home life. Here are some farm memories..in no particular order:
- My dad was a farmer when I was growing up. He was busy all the time. My parents did a good job of hiding it from us kids, but there was a lot of financial stress. It was at that time that my dad went to school to learn how to “talk fast” (to be an auctioneer). He also referreed basketball in the winter. He did odd jobs for other farmers. He worked hard (still does).
- I remember long, hot, busy summers. My brother helped my dad in the field…I helped my mom in the house. Often we had teen boys living with us during the summers to help my dad on the farm. I always thought that was fun. My mom didn’t. I think it was something about all the extra laundry and cooking they caused. :) Those summers, I would bake a batch of cookies every day. By the time I was a fifth grader…I could bake them with my hands tied behind my back (er, so to speak).
- I remember taking lunches to the field during wheat harvest. I loved it. My mom didn’t. Sometimes I would spend the day at my grandma’s helping her get food ready to take to the field. I also spent a lot of Saturdays at Grandma’s when my dad had auctions before I was old enough to help. I LOVED being at Grandma’s. I got my love for baking and cooking from her.
- When I was old enough to learn to drive, my dad tried teaching me to drive a stick shift. I have extreme traumatic memories of that. Driving a stick shift vehicle was harder for me than popping a balloon with my bootie….and we all know that the balloon never popped. Neither did I learn to drive a stick shift. I still break out in hives just thinking about it.
- Kevin and I were in 4-H…and raised pigs each year. I always started the summer pretending that my cute little pigs were my pets. After a long…oh, I don’t know…two days or so…the pigs weren’t cute anymore. They were big, smelly, and a lot of work. And one summer….they kept getting out of their pen. Sometimes I would be the only one home. Like I could get big, fat, snorting pigs back into a pen by myself? Oh the stress.
- And also….about the pigs? We took them to the fair every year to be judged. Have you ever tried to walk a pig around in a big pen in front of judges and before a big crowd of people? (hives, again) Anyway, one year, both mine and Kevin’s pigs looked exceptional to the judges. He got grand champion pig, and I got reserve grand champion pig. We both got Golden Pig Trophies (if you think I’m kidding, I’m not). It was one proud day when I walked away from the fair with my golden pig trophy. Wonder what ever happened to that trophy?
- Here’s my most favorite memory of growing up on a farm: Oh wait…that’s going to take too long to write. I think that will be a part of chapter three. :)
Sooo…did any of you grow up on a farm? Anybody break out in hives driving a stick shift? Ever have any pigs in your yard? Have any Golden Pig Tropheys to brag about?!
I didn’t grow up on a farm, but your memories sound a lot like my MIL. She grew up in Netawaka Kansas and her dad was a farmer. Oddly enough her mother also had cancer, but unfortunately that was before they could do much for it. I’m sure she would appreciate your farm and school stories. :) Oh, and my husband grew up in Hebron, NE and every time I read your blog I long to go back there. We lived in Seward and Lincoln for a while when we just had one child. Lovely state, especially when the corn is ready. Have a Merry Christmas!
Teen boys living with you for the summer . . . I can think of another reason that might cause your mom stress! Have to admit it’s an interesting idea, although we’re not so rural that we might need to have live-in help. Did I ever mention that this summer, we had a GIRL hired hand? She had just finished her vet tech degree and although her emphasis was equine and not bovine she could work cattle like nobody’s business.
My first car was a standard transmission VW Rabbit diesel. I always thought learning to drive on it might impress a farmer some day. I was right. :>) I have not gotten in the drivers seat of a grain truck, though, and I think I’ve moved tractors a total of about thirteen feet. (except for once helping pick up pipe.)
I never showed animals and I’m not sure I’d want my little one to do so . . . there’s that matter of selling them afterwards that I’m a bit tenderhearted for. I always used to joke that “I’d never make it on the farm!” and now here I am. (almost.) God sure does have a sense of humor.
Laura, my mom says her ‘prized posession’ she ended up with when my Grandmother died was the set of stacking aluminum tray thingies that she used to take food to the field during harvest.
I was a ‘tanner’ rather than a ‘burner’. Got my best tans laying out on the hood of the pickup waiting for the combine to come back around so we could give them meals!
Shannon Fowler says
I sort of grew up on a farm! LOL We always had horses, lots of barn cats, and dogs … and my dad grew about 3/4 – 1 acre of a garden every year! Next door was a big soybean farm, and around the corner was a pig farm. Across the street was a corn field, well there was either corn or soy beans EVERYWHERE where I grew up in Michigan! LOL
I learned how to drive a stick shift without hives, just VERY nervous!! My dh (boyfriend then) taught me in Florida on a winding, hilly road with water all around. It seemed like climbing MOUNTAINS in that little car with a stick shift! LOL I caught on pretty fast. :)
No Golden Pig Tropheys! LOL But Way to go for you!!! :)
My dad forced me to learn on a stick shift. I hated it at the time. I sat at stop signs and continuously stalled as I tried to get through the intersection. Traffic piled up behind me, and I just got more frustrated. FINALLY, Dad clued me in that I was in 3rd gear instead of 1st!
After I learned, I LOVED it, and I get so bored driving automatics now…but it is much simpler with the kiddo now. B and I used to argue over who got to drive the one stick shift we had…what do ya think about that? =)
Roberta Anne says
Just wanted to stop by and wish you and your beautiful family a
Andrea in Alaska says
My first (and fairly short) session with driving a stick shift was in my father’s cranky huge Ford truck. He couldn’t figure out how I could posibly keep killing the engine–until he realized that the parking brake was still on! I didn’t try again for another five years or so.
Then James (before we married) took me out to a huge empty (although unfamiliar) parking lot in his little Saturn, a MUCH easier car to handle. I was getting up to speed on the long empty stretches and finally made it into 5th gear. Then we crested a little rise and realized that the parking lot did not continue to the next stretch, but was unpaved dirt down a little hill before it met pavement again. I really think we were literally airborn. Thankfully that got me more tickled than terrified, but I didn’t feel like driving much after that.
Four years later, this summer, while James was on his first business trip (a week after graduating from college), I decided to rescue his poor abused college student car (the same one he had taught me how to fly in). I cleaned it out, washed it down inside and out, and took it to get the tires and oil changed. At first, I relied on others to come by and help drive it to someplace, but finally, I got the courage to drive it places on my own. I started around the neighborhood, then on the highway, and finally I drove a newly spic-and-span car to the airport to pick my sweetie up! I really think HE was more terrified than I was when he saw my “surprise” in the parking garage (although the ride to the airport was pretty harrowing!). I still don’t feel great about driving a stick, but I have the confidence that I can do it if I need to. And surely it can only get better! :)
Yes, I grew up on a farm–we got into showing cattle for 4-H eventually (I was always glad it wasn’t pigs.) :) And I bet it is my dad who gets hives thinking about teaching me to drive a stick. That first lesson was a little hairy. But I went on to enjoy driving a stick.
Before (and during) the cattle, we had a huge garden and sold produce at Farmer’s Market every Saturday. One year, really, we planted 2000 lbs of potatoes. Really.
Your memories are fun stuff!
I’m reading your post in order and laughing constantly. Ironically we have somewhat similar lives….Kansas, farm, 4-H, golden pig trophies! I’m on to post 3 and can’t wait!
I thought I was the only person on earth who was terrified of driving a stick-shift! My honey tried to teach me when we were newlyweds – it was the only car we had. He kept trying to tell me how great I was doing. And I was not! I cried so hard! Every time that car bucked I thought I’d have a heart attack! In the end I made him promise that I didn’t have to do that again and that we could trade our car for another. He must really love me, because we got another car pretty quick- and he loved his car! 12 years later he still insists that I wasn’t that bad and if I ever wanted to I could learn. I reply ” BUT I DON”T WANT TO!!!”He just laughs :) And I’m okay with never learning:)
That’s so funny. I grew up on a farm as well. My Dad tried to get me to drive tractors, but I could never get the stick shift either – still can’t. I was much more at home in the kitchen. I love to bake. I was also in 4-H, but I stuck to the home-ec type classes. Much easier!