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My Grandparents in the 1960’s. I’m often told I look just like her.
This post is very special to me. Several weeks ago we asked The Farmer’s Lamp readers to share their favorite farm stories, memories, and photos with us for this post. We were thrilled with the response from you, our readers. Don’t worry, if your story didn’t make this post, there will be future a sharing post in May or June. So enough of me, it’s time to hear from you.
Kathryn from Jackson, Mississippi shares: This is one of my favorite stories told to me by my great-grandmother, GrandMama. When GrandMama was raising her children, the friends of her children liked to hang out at her house. On one occasion, she served peas for supper and the visiting friend of one of her sons didn’t finish his. When she questioned him about it, he informed her that he didn’t care for peas too much. She told him that they didn’t waste food at their house and that he would eat his peas. Of course there’s only so much you can do with someone else’s child, so he left the table without eating his peas. The next morning she made the boys pancakes for breakfast. She puréed his leftover peas and added them to his pancake batter! As he gobbled up the pea filled pancakes, she couldn’t help smiling. When everyone had their fill, she asked them how they liked the pancakes, of course everyone said they were good, but she wanted to know how the visitor liked his pancakes. Well, of course he said he liked them just fine. “Good,” she said “because you just finished your peas.”
I can’t help myself; I laugh out loud every time I think of this! 🙂 She must have been some kind of spunky woman. There were times when my boys were growing up that I wish I had been ingenious enough to think of this myself. I’m sure she was a woman to be reckoned with and that she brought a great deal of wisdom and strength to her family, not to mention laughter.
Lorraine Griffith Jinks shares: In my family there were 4 girls, Momma and Daddy. The three oldest girls worked on our dairy farm. We all loved it. We would get up at 2 A.M. to get the cows to the barn for milking while Momma would get the dairy barn ready. The stars were so beautiful back then. The air was fresh and it was so quiet; all you could hear was just the animals. We were afraid of the dark, but not when we got the cows up. I bet we looked a sight when it was cold. We would have on big rubber boots and big coats with fur in them. We might have looked funny, but we were warm and dry. When the cows made it to the barn, we would help Momma get the cows milked. We had milking machines that had to be cleaned before and after each use. Part of our job was to set them up in the barn for milking. Before we started to milk, but after all the chores were done, we had our coffee. There was a big oak tree that stood beside the barn and this is where we had coffee. Momma had the coffee ready for us when we finished our chores.
There was a skunk family that lived there. We would watch them play. The mama skunk did not come to us, she just watched as we fed the young ones. I am not sure why we didn’t get sprayed. We never touched them, we just sat and watched them as they grew up. One day, they were just gone. It was sad, but we always got to see a new batch every year.
We would go rest for a while until it was school time. Oh, I can just smell the breakfast that was ready when Momma would call us. I sure wish I had one of Momma’s biscuits.
This is one of my fondest memories of us as a family. Not the only one because we worked together all the time. In the garden, in the house, out doing yard work. If one was out, all of us were and we enjoyed every minute together. We worked hard, but we were ready for bed when the time came. There was never any fussing, not even between Momma and Daddy, that I can remember. It was great. Us girls did get to go out and play, but after the chores were done. I wish I could just go back sometimes and get a hug from My Momma and Daddy. I sure do miss them.
Lorraine’s story brings feelings of joy, contentment, and peace to me. My eyes fill with tears every time I read it because of the pure love, thankfulness, and longing in it. She was blessed with a treasure of a childhood and she knows it.
Allen and Maryjane from Georgia share: My wife and I have lived on our farmstead in north Georgia for 35 years. I’m 73. I guess we have done most everything , we started as a fancy horse farm, but that part ended for us 20 years ago. We have had cows, 20 or so at a time, chickens, etc. We have about 60 acres, including 40 acres of hay fields. Now we garden for our own needs and cut lot’s of firewood for heat. All of our family are city people, so this can make us feel odd sometimes so we are on the internet watching for people who live kinda like us. We plan to stay right here till the end . We love our life style and all the hard work that it takes. We cut down and split about 4 cords of wood every winter. We stay three winters ahead. We keep it in the barn so it’s dry enough (we burn pine) to burn safely. Pine is a great firewood, much easier to saw and split than oak. We like to clean our chimney 2 times a year and keep a hot fire. We get most all of our food from our garden except flour for bread, that kind of thing. We fill 2 freezers for the winter, but grow spinach and collards during most winters for something fresh every day. We grow things that the deer don’t like . We never eat out except for maybe 4 or 5 times each year. We like to hike in the mountains, but do a 3 mile walk everyday down a dirt road here at home, if we don’t go on a hike. We have been lucky with our health which has been a Blessing . We enjoy reading farming sites and some YouTube videos because it’s just fun to see what other people are doing with their land and it keeps us connected to others and feeling good about our lifestyle.
What an inspiration Allen and Maryjane have been to me. I can only hope for the strength and grace to be so involved in our lifestyle when I am 73! I would love be close enough to drive over and glean their wisdom. They have corresponded with me over these past few months and I can tell you they are a delight and inspiration. These are the awesome photos of their farm, Leaning Oak Farm, they graciously shared with us.
Now that’s a woodpile, Allen! Way to go.
Allen and Maryjane’s Adorable Pack
Kris shares two experiences that show the intelligence and personality of cows (why we love them!): Years ago, we raised Gelbvieh cattle. A friend wanted to know if we would take care of 10 Holstein/Simmental cross cows of his that were bred and would calve on our property. Our Gelbvieh’s were all named and as docile as puppies. His were NUMBERED 1-10 and not used to personal human contact. Once they arrived, they were put in with our herd and I managed to tame them down. When calving time arrived, I kept a close watch. One day #1 was missing. Since #1 and #2 were ALWAYS together, I asked #2 where #1 was. She looked over her shoulder and mooed. I looked toward the spot where she had looked and saw nothing, so I asked her again and again she looked over her shoulder at the same spot and mooed. I decided to get in the truck and go check. At the edge of the pasture, down in a gully in the trees was #1 with her new calf!
In this same herd there was #5, she and I became very close. When she was calving, I drove slowly up alongside her with my window down. She looked at me and mooed. I replied (yes, I talked to her) that I would stay nearby and if she was having problems, to let me know! I knew how long it should take her to calve so I sat in the truck (far enough away, just so she knew where I was) and waited. It was past the time she should have calved and I noticed she was up and down, moving from place to place, and looking not too happy. Suddenly, she came out of the tree line, came up even with my truck and mooed at me. I told her to go to the barn. I went to the barn and by the time I got it ready, here she came in the barn. I got her bedded down and called the vet. It turned out that she had a twisted uterus and surely would have lost her calf and could have possibly died had I not been there and somehow communicated with her. This same cow would follow me in the barn when I would go get the range cubes. She would get behind me and breathe on my neck. I’d tell her to go away and I would feed them shortly. Then she would take her head and lay it on my shoulder and start to press down. That meant she wanted some range cubes NOW! How I cried when our friend decided to take his cows and calves back to his farm.
For those of us who have cows, we can totally relate to Kris’ experience. I have to say that I wish I had a neighbor like Kris who would help me in such a tremendous way. Way to go Kris for the Good Neighbor award! It’s amazing how well a farmer and their livestock can communicate with each other when there is the bond of a mutually beneficial relationship.
I know you enjoyed this post. Which was your favorite? Which is most like your own experiences? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below or you can Contact Me personally. Remember, we will have another Readers Share post in May or June with more great stories, memories, photos, and experiences.
Safe and Happy Journey,
Rhonda and The Pack