Friday, April 30, 2010

A Trip Down Memory Lane

In acknowledgment of the reminiscences of a friend of mine about her childhood home in "The Valley," I decided I'd venture writing my own blog post on the subject. During the last few weeks I have heard a song on the radio that brought back some good memories from my childhood, and although the song has a melancholy tune that doesn't quite match my attitude, I think it captures the nostalgic feelings that many of us may have for the "good old days," days in which your home life protected you from many of the ugly blights of society and the bitter political wrangling over just about anything you can think of.

While life on a farm definitely had its challenges, it was a simpler life that taught the value of hard work and integrity. On a small family farm in south-eastern Idaho, my family of nine shared the responsibility of running approximately 1,400 acres of land. The chores were always suited to my age. I fed the chickens and gathered the eggs, or I would help make cracked wheat for the dogs and cats. Other chores included weeding a large garden, mowing an equally large lawn, or working in the fields. We would pull wild rye out of the crops, haul rocks off the fields, drive grain trucks, plow and weed the ground, thresh the seed grain for planting, etc. We even went hunting once a year to provide us with meat until the following hunt the next fall.

Looking back at those years, we probably could have gotten by without doing quite that much work! I can't think of a single farmer in the whole county that put as much time into hauling rocks or pulling rye as our family, but the older I got, the more I appreciated a good day's work and the the things that can be accomplished in that time.

About nine years ago, a little after my grandpa passed away, the farm that had been in my dad's family for generations was sold, the proceeds divvied up among his children as part of the inheritance. He had wanted to keep the farm in the family, but as often happens with inheritance, another small family farm became a statistic.

I will always look back on my childhood years with fondness because of the values I learned. While I would have liked to have raised my children under similar circumstances, the family farm served its purpose in my life. Physically the farm has changed since it was sold, as evidenced in this video, but in my memory, it will always be the farm where I grew up. And when times get hard I can think back to the lessons learned on the farm.

Paraphrasing the words of the Scottish poet, James Barrie, one author writes, "God gave us memories, that we might have June roses in the December of our lives."


rantipoler said...

Thanks for this post. I envision something of a simpler life for myself one day. Something involving a horse ranch . . .

cking said...

Nice. This is cool. Thanks for putting it together. It makes me want to go find all the old photos and do something cool:) Yeah for memories and home.

HegstromPrattFamily said...

Really beautiful video, Errol. What a wonderful childhood. I had the great blessing of visiting my grandma for a week every summer. At her house, life was different--so completely different--from the suburbs I grew up in. It was magical.