My fondest memories from childhood, are waking up to a rooster crowing. While I was a city kid, my great grandmother lived in the country, in a home she built with my great grandfather. They made each brick by hand and dried it in the sun. It is there, that the love for country living sprouted in my heart.
My grandma, Helena also inspired this love for the farm. She had a cottage near the city and I spend many days with her. She grew everything, raised sheep, goats, chickens and rabbits. I remember springtime and trays full of chicks, tiny little lamb and Lizinka, the family goat. I was little and so my grandma would tie me on her back with a bed sheet and work in the garden. It’s is amazing, how I can still place myself there, through my memories. I can hear the chirping birds and the rushing creek nearby her farm, smell the cherry tree blossoms and the violets which blanketed her garden. I see myself, vividly playing among the tomato plants, many towering over me and I still taste the sweetness of her raspberries.
I love the country life because of these amazing women. It makes me feel closer to them.
Grandma Helena, passed away on Valentine’s day 2009.
I lived in Europe at the time and got to see her before her decline. The summer before she passed, we visited her for a week. Our kids loved her and I etched her playing with them into my memory. They shelled peas and pulled weeds, she told stories from war and her childhood. Our son could never get enough. She gathered old aluminum spoons and cups, dug out some sand for our daughter to play in and built little castles. We scavenged for old photos and farm diaries of my great grandfather and finally, she would tell me she is ready. Ready to go home and be with her beloved husband, who died too young, at only 27 years old.
The country means a lot to me. I am a world away from where I was born, but it doesn’t matter. Our little farm, reminds me of her and all that she has taught me. It makes me want to share this life and knowledge with my children and most certainly with theirs, one day. Ultimately, that is all I need.