Thursday, October 7, 2010

Generational Jumpin'

Just the other day, I got an email from my Aunt Diane telling me how Grama would have loved to see all the things I do.  Aunt Diane, as well as a few of my other Aunts and my Mom, couldn't wait to...
"Get off that farm!"
Grama did everything!  She gardened, canned, quilted, raised chickens, sewed...all while raising 8 kids.  Grampa was a farmer, that's what Farmer's Wives did!  Later in life, Grama reupholstered furniture for a living.  Gee, who would have thought?
I realized, that just maybe it jumps a generation.  Could it be that Grama's girls wanted "off that farm" so bad?  Did they get tired of going out to the chicken coop, weeding, helping Grama work so hard?  Don't get me wrong, I have very hard working, talented Aunts!  But Grama was a force!

Later that very same afternoon, I ran to the fabric shop and overheard a sales clerk talking to a "Grama-Like" patron.  They were discussing the very same topic!  The clerk said she thought it must jump a generation....  Gee, didn't I just have the same discussion with my Aunt??

So I talked to the nice clerk on the way out the door and we both does seem to jump a generation!  Why should 'the kids' learn to do this or that...when MOM can do it?  But what about when MOM is gone?  And there you have it...the Jump.

The sales clerk had an interesting thought...back then, if you did all those domestic type things, it often times implied you were "poor".  Wasn't it a status symbol that you could buy one of these fancy new things?

Did it mean you were "poor" if you made your own?  Because today, one might think it means we are smart or more aware of what is being done to our foods.

I know my Mom has said several times, she got real sick of sitting under Grama's frames helping loop those quilt ties back up thru!  So is that it?  Did the kids just cut and run?

To this day, I laugh at my Mom on the few occasions she's gone out to the garden with me...she is always willing to help.  But - I find it funny that she doesn't know the difference between a beet or potato top!  For real!  I joke with her and say, "Hey, weren't you the one who grew up on a farm??"  I didn't!  I had several that I spent alot of time on as a kid, and of course Aunt Bena is the luckiest of sorts in my book -she has a beautiful farm!!

So again, was the perception of being "poor" part of it?  I don't know, but my thoughts are this:

I am so thankful everyday for the wonderful people and the things we do have!  If it truly does jump a generation, then Grama and I were cut from the same clothe!  I enjoyed my Grama immensely.  It's a shame she couldn't have seen things come around full circle.  I think she would have enjoyed 'hanging out' with me - teaching me!  

Grama had round about 30 grand kids all in all.  Can you imagine??  She made each and every one of us a quilt.  It's a treasure!
But I think the most wonderful gift Grama ever gave me...
 Sadly enough, she held my hand as she passed from this world. 
It was an honor. 
Surely in that moment, she passed her gifts.  
Thank You, Grama.
 I hope I do you proud.

One more hug, one more moment...use them up now.  


  1. It is wonderful you can carry on the tradition. My Mother hates doing all the things I do and thinks I am crazy and wont even help- at all (keep in mind she lives 4 doors down the street. She canned at one time but only because my Father wanted her to. ALL my other family members are gone so I have no one left to even ask how or why things were done the way they were. You are so lucky to have those Aunts. And I love the quilt.

  2. What a beautiful, thoughtful post, it is interesting to think about the reasons for the "jump". I love the two quotes you posted about being thankful.

  3. My mom and dad were successful suburbanites. But my grandpa did EVERYTHING with no money. Grew all their vegetables, hunted, fished, could fix anything. Grandma refused to live in the country because only "poor" people did that. So even though they lived in a small town, Grandpa was as independent in his living as he could be.

    One of the greatest compliments my mom ever gave me was once when she was visiting us in the early days of our homesteading. (Grandpa had died a decade before.) She said, "What you're trying to do here was your grandpa's lifelong dream."

    A beautiful, thoughtful post. You made me tear up. So well written. And so true.

  4. I think you've hit the nail on the head. My Grandma grew a large garden well into her eighties. She sewed and quilted and crocheted, and cooked and raised a large family along with a couple of milk cows and some chickens. I managed to do much of that while my five children were growing (no cows and only one rooster), although I've not continued with the sewing and crocheting in my later years. My mother cleaned house and grew a few tomatoes, but was never interested in cooking, large gardens or big families.

    I hope we can be as important in our grandchildren's lives as my grandparents were to me.

  5. Sort of off-topic but not really - the same could be said for breastfeeding vs. formula fed babies, back in the late 60's through the 80's it fell out of vogue on two fronts, first being that you gave the appearance of being well off if you could afford to buy formula, and the women's lib movement thought it to be "stifling", thank goodness that's no longer the case!

    I actually grew up on a farm and couldn't WAIT to get out, and now look at me, can't wait to get as far away as possible and provide as much as I can for my own family as we discover what's truly important in life. Sometimes you only need a decade or two instead of a generation! Nice post APG!

  6. Jane, the good have us! I think it makes a difference when you want to do something vs doing it because someone else insists. There is more joy if you do it for the right reasons. have us chickie!

    Heather, thank you! I am glad you liked the quotes, I think it is a great outlook!

    MamaPea, I can see why that was a great compliment! I think your Grampa does know and he is smiling down on you!

    Granny, I'll place money on your grandkids having very fond memories of all the lessons they can learn even if crochet isn't at the top! Hopefully they take advantage of what you have to offer. I know we sure do!

    Erin, I don't think that is off topic at all! I think that is another excellent example of things coming back around! And it is so true too! Sometimes burning our bra wasn't always the best I suppose! That's a can of worms that I don't mean to offend any one with, but in so many ways things have suffered when Mom left home. The almighty dollar doesn't always make you happy and certainly not healthy! Glad you 'came back around' to the farm dream!

  7. What a sweet memory of your grandmother. Thank you for sharing with the rest of us. I only had one grandmother growing up and we were not very close, due to long distance and infrequency of our visits. I didn't think much of it while I was growing up, but as I've gotten older, I find myself wishing for more family time and memories.

  8. Aww...what a cute post Di. I know your grams is so proud of everything you do and the woman you have become :-) And you are right...all the things that use to be for "poor" people are now the sought after commodities of the rich. I you know how much people are paying for a jar of organic stewed tomatoes at whole Foods? Yikes!

  9. Thyme, Time is always the issue...hope you get to make those memories!

    Jen...actually I don't know how much a can of organic stewed tomatoes runs for! But curiosity will lead me to it! I'd love to know how much my hard work is worth! Haven't bought and store brand ones in years!! :)

  10. That's a great thought of your Grama. She definately passed on great things to you Di.

  11. Hey...Madonna joined the commenters club!! Thanks Madonna, I love ya!