Sunday, January 19, 2014

Original or A Product?

Sunday mornings I love to watch the CBS morning news because instead of focusing on all the mayhem in this world they feature stories that make you think about your life. Today was no exception they followed Rosanne Cash as she went back to where her parents began their life. 

It got me to thinking about myself:

Excerpt from the CBS Morning News of Rosanne Cash:
Nearly 25 years ago, Rosanne Cash rode out of Dixie. But the road she left on has now brought her all the way back.

"In the same way you push away your parents -- you push away a lot of things, your parents' habits, the things they treasure. You go, 'Well, that's not me. I'm original.' We all think we're original! But discovering those things that really connect you to the past and your parents and where they came from . . . I feel stronger for it. I feel whole for it."

"You thought you'd left it all behind
You thought you'd up and gone
But all did was figure out
How to take the long way home."
It is so true that you spend half of your life trying to be original and denying that you are a product of your parents.  Making a life for yourself so that nobody can say you are just like your mom or dad. 

I can look back now and say that my parents truly shaped me into the person I am and I have learned to appreciate who they are. 

I can remember growing up on the farm and thinking that it is so unfair that while we got up early every morning (including Saturday and Sunday) to do the chores that all my friends were sleeping in, watching cartoons, going to slumber parties or the mall with their friends.  During the summer when most families are thinking about where to go on vacation we were baling hay, pulling weeds in the fields, picking rocks, or training our livestock for the fair.  I watched my parents work seven days of the week and we were expected to do what we could to help around the farm. 

There was one summer when my dad decided to raise navy beans because they were more profitable then soybeans.  It was also the summer of no rain.  Weeds of course don't care if there is no rain they are hardy!   We couldn't use herbicides on the navy beans because they are an edible bean for human consumption so my dad tried to use the cultivator behind the tractor to dig up the weeds in between the rows.  The ground was too hard because of the lack of rain.  So, the only way to save them was that we had to pull the weeds by hand.  For weeks we pulled and cut out velvet leaf, mustard weed, rag weed and every other weed in between.  It wasn't just a patch either it was a hundred acres worth of weeds. We would start early in the morning, break for lunch and finish in the evening.  I felt like an abused child at the time.  I was so jealous of my sister because she got to ride her bike into town to attend drivers training which got her out of doing some of the weeding.  I did realize though that this was our lively hood and my parents were counting on this crop to keep the debtors off our doorstep.  At the time I knew that times were tough financially for my parents but not until my husband and I started farming did I fully realize how devastating a crop loss can be not only financially but emotionally! What I did know though was that on the first day back to school after summer break I was too embarrassed to read my story about what I did over my summer.  Pulling weeds, baling hay and pitching manure just didn't sound as glamorous as going to Disney World. 

Even though  I missed out on some of those typical kid activities and I used to resent my parents for it  I can  look back now and realize what my parents were doing.  We were part of something important as a family.  We all needed each other and were being taught how work hard as a team to achieve a big goal. 

As my husband and I  raised our kids we expected a lot out of them.  They used to complain just as I did about not being able to sleep in, working through the summer, working on the weekends or not being able to go their friends house all the time because there was work to do be done on the farm.  They also discovered what it was like to be part of something bigger than them.  We worked as a family but also supported each other's dreams of accomplishing our goals. 

That is why I brag about my daughter to anyone listening or not :)  about how she has her own trucking company, owns several semis, manages employees, and takes care of her finances along side her new husband who does all the maintenance on the equipment.  In her spare time helps do the farming and does our book work. 

Do you think that she is an original or a product of her parents? 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Trent was an avid outdoors man.  And I say man because even at 15 years old he was definitely becoming a man.  He was beginning to be able to do so much around the farm.  The last trip we took up north was over labor day weekend.  Which was just a few days before his accident.  We were so busy (or so I thought at the time). I was preparing my classroom for another school year.  Ashley was beginning her first year of college.  We had just moved her into an apartment which was a life changing time for all of us.  Brad was swamped with the logging business and trying to get ready for the fall harvest season.  All Trent had on his mind was taking another trip to the U.P.  trail riding on our atv's.  He was so intent on going that he got the truck and trailer around.  Loaded everyone's quads and dirt bikes just so that his dad wouldn't have to try to fit it in to his busy work schedule.  He even had to fix the brakes on the trailer and change a tire.  Something is always broke around the farm. 
We went on that trip thanks to Trent getting everyone around. 
We had a great time together as a family that weekend.  Grandma and Grandpa Shrontz even went with ( their one and only time).  The one thing that sticks out to me that weekend was when Trent clogged the toilet .. he was always clogging the toilet wherever we went!  The toilet over flowed and when I asked if he did it all I got was one big shit eating grin and "I couldn't help it". 
I miss that shit eating grin with the dimples!
That was our last family event with Trent.
Our perspective has changed on what busy really is.