I am sure there are a lot of blogs out there that talk about self sufficiency, rural living or motherhood, but I haven’t seen any that I can really relate to. A blog that pulls all those things together. I will be the first to admit, I am not an experienced blogger. In fact, this is my first blog article EVER. So please bear with me as I try to articulate what I would like to convey with this blog.
I come from a very rural background. One where self sufficiency wasn’t a trend, a fanatic belief that the world is coming to an end or our government is going to collapse. Instead, self sufficiency is just what people did. We lost power a LOT, we lived 45 miles from where most people worked and shopped, we were fairly remote and just being prepared lent a sense of security and cushion from barriers we encountered on a routine basis. It wasn’t until I was in my mid 30’s that I had ever even heard the word “prepper”, and when I figured out what it meant it made me laugh. I thought, the whole county where I grew up are preppers. It’s just what we did.
It was also about that time that I began to understand what my parents had given me and how I had abandoned it when I reached adulthood. At that point I was 35 and had a 5 y/o son who was really starting to explore the world and become fascinated with “boy” skills. He had become interested in building fires, tracking animals, identifying plants and animals and generally anything outside. We are lucky enough to own 25 wooded acres and that is when I started thinking about planning our legacy.
Growing up, some of my sweetest memories involved summer time in the country; Shucking corn and snapping beans in the evening to the sound of crickets and frogs. Walking through the woods with my dad while he quizzed me on tree identification or bird calls. Going down to the garden every evening before supper to get some lettuce and green onions. Walking out to the hen house to gather eggs that were still warm and hearing the sound of the whip-poor-wills. And one of my FAVORITE memories was with my dad and brother taking me frog giggin’ and late night cleaning of our harvest. It was at that point I thought about the memories I was giving our son and really how they paled in comparison. I needed to plan that legacy, give him skills, memories and most importantly, my time. After all, self sufficiency breeds confidence and problem solving, and that contributed to the kind of adult I became. I felt obligated to pass those same experiences on to him.
I started with small things, like giving him a walkie talkie and sending him out in the woods “by himself” (really he was never far from my line of sight, but he didn’t know that). I taught him how to build a fire. I showed him what some of the leaves were. The next year, I had my very first garden. I was learning right along with him. Although I had grown up around all of this, I never really took it on where I was the owner. That first year, we didn’t preserve anything. I basically just had a salad garden. The next year, I planned to start pressure canning and I got my first flock of chickens. The year after that, I thought, heck I can do this and I jumped all in. I got dairy goats that were already bred. Let me tell you, I never had goats as a kid. We ALL learned a LOT that year. We started milking them and the next thing I knew, I learned to pasteurize milk, make cheese, butter, caramel and goat milk soap.
About that time, I also decided to go back to school. Mind you, I was also a full time working nurse in our local emergency department. Oh yeah, and I also became pregnant with our much wanted second child. Needless to say, the hobby farm I was quickly developing went on hold for about a year and our pets that produce just became pets. I graduated with my MBA 2 weeks before I delivered our daughter and all that just after I had taken a new director position in our hospital.
That brings us to now. Our son is 10, our daughter is 1 and I am ready to continue developing the legacy I feel so very obligated to pass on. My husband, who very much understands me, gave me bee hives for Christmas. I am expecting my first two packages of honey bees in about a month and our journey continues.
I am very much looking forward to sharing our journey and lessons. Really, this first article just provides the history of where we are and the why we do what we do. I also cannot complete this introduction to our family and me without talking about my husband. He did not grow up like I did. However, he supports every single hillbilly country girl pursuit I have ever had. He loves me, and I know that. This legacy is not just my nostalgia, but also his investment in a life he believes in, even if it wasn’t what he grew up with.
I hope you enjoy reading this blog. It is meant to share memories, lessons, emotional trials, and old time parenting in a new age. Please savor this journey with me as we plan and grow our legacy.