Never forget where you came from: this I believe.
It was an amazing farm. There was an old smokehouse to the east of the main house and a barn where hollyhocks grew in the summer; the shades of pink and white and magenta so strong against the reddish brown of the barn wall. Not far away were three old apple trees that bore the most luxurious white blooms in the spring. And when the leaves and apples were long gone you could look through the living room window and see through the branches out into the plowed fields where the black hard earth had been turned over to form perfect rows ready for the heavy Iowa snow.
Driving up the gravel lane past the old windmill where Black Angus cows milled about in the pasture, you knew you were in for a very special treat of a home cooked meal, time in the garden and a game of cards. It sounds simple to those who hurry and scurry about today, most terribly disconnected from the ones they truly love and treasure, and in ways it now seems like fiction to me. So perfect. People who didn’t work in their fields on Sunday because it was the Lord’s day and they truly honored that for what it was – a day that was bigger than them; a day that they showed gratitude and were humbled by the power that nature had over everything they had and everything they did.
Now that my mother and father are gone and I reflect on my life and what I believe, I know that when my grandmother decided to sell this farm after my grandfather died and move to town, she was creating a new and different life. Remembering that this was her husband’s family farm where she created a family of her own – built on the values of hard work, faith, laughter and humility – she never forgot where she came from. Today, I have the good fortune of enjoying the picture of this farm in my home and I believe that those values – hard work, faith, laughter and humility – will lead me as I continue to create my life.
This I believe: never forget where you came from.
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