It was brought to my attention that I may not have painted a full picture of my Grandmother's farm with my last entry. I'd like to correct that.
My grandma's and grandpa's farm was set on 80 acres in SE Minnesota. It was a picture perfect view of farming in the early to mid 20th century on the prairie. The small, neat farmstead always seemed freshly whitewashed and in excellent repair. It was a diversified farm with milk cows, pigs, chickens, duck, a huge strawberry patch, asparagus patch, garden, pasture, row crops, smokehouse (that was put up and taken down as needed). I learned how to drive a tractor on that farm- an Allis-Chalmers-- keeping what seemed like a big, green yard mowed. There were white wooden grain bins and even an orderly pile of miscellaneous parts and pulleys where I could spend endless hours "inventing."
My grandmother inherited this farm from her father, John Kording, who was, from all accounts, an outstanding prairie populist who helped out his neighbors and had a hand in organizing farmers into what is today Minnesota's Democratic Farmer-Labor (DFL) party. He left his land equally to his sons and his daughters 100 years ago, which says something.
Grandma learned Latin in a country school house and had read all the classics in Latin by the time she was 20. She taught in a country school until she married and became a full time mother and farmer. Grandma was well versed in politics and her cork board always had a recent article up that highlighted some aspect of the news.
Grandma's house was filled with heavy home made quilts, brewing coffee, frying bacon, a daily newspaper, and WCCO radio. It was a good, solid place to be. I was privileged to sew my silk wedding dress with my grandma, mom and aunt in grandma's dining room just 17 years ago.
My grandmother worked hard on her farm. I wrote an earlier post called Suffer No Illusions about how on a prairie farm, there were no illusions about women being "weak." It referred to my grandma and her basketball career. So, if during the peak of summer, after an evening of milking cows there were flies in the kitchen over a meal that came 100% from your own farm and effort, then I see that as a badge of honor.
My desire to farm came from what I saw and experienced on my grandmother's farm. Simply a good life of hard and handi-work, family, church, and active mind.