I grew up in a home where my parents were, and still are to this day, country folk. It was all about stretching the almighty dollar to support a growing family. My dad was in the Air Force so we moved around a lot until he retired from it twenty years later, ending up in Colorado. They bought a home on acreage and homesteaded it for years. Now they do the same but in Wyoming, and being older now, on a much smaller scale and not to the full extent (even though they own more acreage now).
Even before my dad’s retirement though, it was all about homemade and homegrown. We even had chickens in our backyard when we could. Sunday evenings were spent shaking Kerr jars while we watched the Wonderful World of Disney and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. My mom bought raw milk from the local dairy and skimmed the cream off when it floated to the top until there was enough to make butter. I remember complaining having to shake and shake and shake the jar. But the goodness that came from it always made it worth it in the end.
The funny thing is, being rich or poor wasn’t really part of my every day thinking. I thought we were the lucky ones because my friends never had things that were homemade or homegrown. They came to OUR house for fresh baked bread (that could be smelled from down the street it seemed) with homemade butter on it as our after school snack. My mom could cook, bake, or sew anything. My dad could build or fix anything.
I love that I came from such a grounded upbringing. It took me a while to come full circle and end up in the country myself. But there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for allowing me the priceless gift of a dream come true.