Sunday, June 22, 2008
Going to the Country
That's what my uncles would say when the family went to work in the garden at Mrs. Cole's place......
When I was a young child, my parents often told me that I was adopted. I guess this was to ensure that I was special in some way- believe me, this has its' own drawbacks. Later in life, when I found that my birth mother had been a farm girl it made great sense to me about why I had such a desire to be in the country, since my DNA was hardwired with the knowledge of how to deal with farm life- I instinctively 'knew' how to ride a horse and milk a cow. No one had to teach me these things.
One of my earliest memories was when we'd go to church on Sundays and then head out to Mrs. Cole's place near Warrior's Path Park. The whole family would go- even my mother's brothers and sister and Mamoo, my mother's mother.
We would take a lot of food with us and have a huge lunch at Mrs. Cole's farm, then the family would go to the garden and work there for the afternoon. I was very young, but I remember going to the hen house to look for eggs and getting my hand pecked by the hen and looking aound the other buildings. This was the very first time I had ever seen an outhouse. Mrs. Cole's house was the house of my childhood dreams- a white frame farm house with none of the modern conveniences, just what you'd expect from folks who lived a simple and blameless life, practiced 'right livelyhood' and lovingly fed their familes and friends.
Since I originally wrote this piece some years ago, my Uncle Bob has told me that Mr. Cole had a rolling store and would bring his produce into town each week. My mother's family would buy the fresh vegetables, butter and eggs, and also can the vegetables for winter use. Mr. Cole would also sell much of what he brought into town to the Golden Rule Grocery, which was one of those old neighborhood groceries that went the way of the world while I was an older child. So sad......
When Mr. Cole died, Uncle Bob says the produce was also gone, so I am pretty sure that's when our family began to help out Mrs. Cole. I remember the garden work very vividly, but I never remember my family getting their hands dirty! Yet, the freezer at Mamoo's was always full to the brim with the fresh produce from that garden.
The most vivid part of this memory for me was the day I got flogged by a rooster. It was then and there that I decided that becoming a farmer was what I would do when I grew up.
Mom and Dad were always puzzled to find pictures I had drawn of the digestive system of cows and the like- I remember them sitting me down to discuss how inappropriate it was for me to draw those pictures instead of seeing this as my calling to be a veterinarian or dairy person. Since I washed out in school and became an under-achiever, I became a dairy person instead of the vet that I could have been. It was years later as an adult that I found out that Pastor Sparks, who was originally from Parrotsville, TN (Salem Lutheran) and confirmed me into the Lutheran Church, had been raised on a dairy farm and grew up milking cows when he was boy.
In the present time, my goal is still very much the same as Mr. and Mrs. Cole- to feed my family and friends, to show them that that simple lifestyle and peace of the country is the best way to raise their children in an environment away from the unsafe cities full of toxic water, schools and people. I left the city and went to prepare a place for my cousins to come to so they can leave behind the false world of more money and instant credit, and go to a place where living deliberately is the greatest gift one can give one's children. I truly hope they see this, leave the city and buy land here to begin a life of fulfilled dreams- now that we have DSL, there is no reason not to come here and thrive, rather than just survive.
Come get your hands dirty and thrive in God's Garden.