My favorite memories are being on the farm /ranch. I was (am) quiet, awkward, shy. I was (am) a reader, daydreamer, rule follower, & (my husband will testify) smart-alecky. Farm /ranch life fit me well. There I climbed trees and reclined in the dappled light humming songs or just listening to the leaves and wind. I rode horses, collected duck eggs, swam in ponds, ate fruit directly off vines and branches, picnicked under trellised grapes, drove tractors, canned and dried food, made soap and candles, felt grown up moving hand lines, turned (and, later, bucked) bales, read books draped over tire swings (or when I supposed to be napping). I learned to drive cattle, to shoe a horse, to change oil, and drive a nail straight. I also learned how to sew, and crochet, to cook and bake, and play cribbage. Grampa taught me how to garden. I still remember tears streaming down those crackled cheeks watching me try to pull Mallow (it has a taproot anchored in China, I swear) and ending up on my derriere when it broke free.
The farm was my summer home. It's where I became a very willing early riser, where I learned to care for & take care of, & where I first dealt with death and loss. There my values were solidified and the value of others was demonstrated. There the worth of all we had was doubled when it was shared or repurposed (and shared again). There I grew, flourished, thrived - as well as the garden, orchard, alfalfa fields, cattle and horses I helped to tend.
Do you remember your childhood?