Why My Grandparents Farm Taught Me All I Needed To Know About Life
Today is National Farmer's Day. I grew up in a farm family. I'm celebrating the farmers in my life and how they taught me all I needed to know about life.
Angel here and I grew up in a farming family. My Granddaddy and Grandmother owned an over 400-acre farm in Oak Grove, Kentucky my Uncle George still farms today. My Uncle Joey also lives on the farm in his own log cabin home.
I've told you all I moved around a lot as a child 13 times to be exact. The only place that ever felt like home was my grandparent's farm in Oak Grove. The best memories of my life are held in the walls and on the front lawn and the fields of that place.
I am the youngest granddaughter in the Ballard family. My daddy had 4 brothers and 1 sister. Granddaddy and Grandmother Ballard only knew hard work. I remember watching them work the fields from the fence line and when Granddaddy would see my head peeking over he would immediately come out of the fields to see me. Momma said, "you know you were the only one he stopped what he was doing for." I'm not sure if that was true but I do remember him always coming right over and scooping me up in his arms. Granddaddy always made me feel special and if I would get in trouble while I was at their house he would magically whisk me off with something pressing to do so the butt whoopin' would have to wait until the work was done. Perhaps one of the most special memories I have is eating Cracklin' Oat Bran with Granddaddy in the kitchen at the breakfast bar by the window. To this day I smile when I eat Cracklin' Oat Bran and think of him.
Now, Grandmother was like the grandmothers you see in magazines her stove was always full of pots and pans with fresh vegetables and there was always a cake or yummy pie on the buffet in the dining room. I could always expect to find Macaroni and Tomatoes on the stove and all the corn I could eat.
The best part of their house was the front porch. It was a huge concrete porch that wrapped around the side of the house with a swinging screen door. Grandmother would get out in the yard with all the grandkids and play with us. We would ride big wheels down the front steps and screaming towards the giant oak tree.
When we were there we went to church and no one missed. I sat right next to Granddaddy and he always had butterscotch candies. And Lord Jesus don't you dare talk or act up in church that was the Lord's time.
No matter what was going on in my life I knew their house was my safe haven. My own parents never got along but when we were there no one argued and there was a lot of laughter, good food, and I felt secure.
Most of all I witnessed what true love looked like through my grandparents. They had a love most people only see in movies. They were high school sweethearts. Married young and completely devoted to one another. The way they looked at one another is something that should be bottled and sold to couples of today. Granddaddy honored Grandmother in the most beautiful way by respecting her and showing her how special she was. Grandmother adored Granddaddy's every move. When Granddaddy passed away in 2007 they had been married for over 60 years.
To be honest, if families were like my grandparents there would be a lot less divorce and dysfunction. I am thankful daily when I look back on my childhood for their example. It taught me about who I wanted to be when I was older. My momma loved my grandparents even though they weren't her own parents they always treated her like their own. Long after my parents divorced she would tell me what wonderful people they were and how blessed we were to have them in our lives.
I always dreamed of meeting and marrying a man like my own granddaddy and the good Lord gave me Joe. The first time Grandmother met him she pulled me into the kitchen and said "you know he reminds me of JB" (that's what she called Granddaddy) that conversation confirmed what I already knew in my heart, Joe was made just for me.
I'm forever grateful for lessons learned and memories made in Oak Grove. I sure love being part of a farming family.