I came from strong roots. Growing up on a farm. Those deep roots were planted by my Mom and Dad. My mom stayed home to raise the kids, keep the house tidy, dinner on the table and all the household chores needed tending to. My Dad had a job outside the farm, working as a tool and dye maker for an aerospace company. As soon as he was done with his day at work, he’d come home to muck out pig pens, weed the garden, feed chickens or bring my brother and I to a 4-H meeting. You could bet each and every weekend we were outside, busy. Whether that meant splitting firewood, washing sap buckets or helping harvest bucketfuls of tomatoes to can up sauce- we were busy. If we weren’t splitting firewood (which most weekends we were!) we would be outside in the garden or making sure pigs were fed, pens clean and fences mended.
If a neighbor needed help, my Dad was there. Whether that was spending the weekend lending a hand to put a new roof on their house, sand a vehicle, weld something that was broke, he was there. We learned strong lessons of helping others, being responsible, doing things yourself and excelling at whatever you did. One year, a family friend had pneumonia and couldn’t get out of bed. Their furnace was on the fritz and the only source of heat was a wood stove. We went as a family with a bunch of family friends and spent the weekend splitting firewood for them. It’s what you do- drop everything when others are in need. Our family would lend a hand when another farm needed help during their growing season. In return, when we needed an extra set of hands (sometimes two) during sugaring season, they were there for us.
Times are tough. Things are different than they were then. Time to go back to our roots and do things for ourselves. Grow our own food, make our own jams, marinara sauce, baked goods. Besides saving our family a big chunk of money, you’ll know what went into what you made. Hard work, sweat and love poured into everything you do will reward you. I can attribute most of my creative talents to both my Mom and Dad. They taught me everything I know.