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? 


  1. What a thought provoking post Kris! I wonder if it is possible to be both original and a product? I think you are so right that our parents impact us and help to make us who we are, but I also think there are parts of us that are just us. In my family, for example, my parents both appreciate listening to music and the abilities of musicians, but neither are musically inclined themselves. I, on the other hand, have the ability, desire and need to play music as well as listen to it. It's very interesting to think about how many other qualities of mine are from my parents. And now, looking at my own children, I see pieces of my husband and I in them all the time.

  2. I agree with Robin, very thought provoking. Makes me think of a poem I've been dissecting and trying to use as a model for my own. It is called "Where I'm From." Here is a link to it: We are all from something bigger than ourselves, but sometimes we need to ask ourselves the question you pose in this piece: Are we original or a product? Love this well written piece that forces us to look at ourselves a little deeper than we normally do.