Life is a Journey

I Grew Up and Turned Into My Mother

I grew up and turned into my mother . . . .

Anyone who knows my mom knows that that’s a really good thing.  My mom is one of the nicest, gentlest, and smartest people I know.  I hope that I take after her a little in all those wonderful traits but that’s not really what I’m talking about.  (Truth be told, my personality is much more like my dad and that’s a pretty good thing too.)

This gradual lifestyle change that we’ve been on has been pretty exciting.  I’ve learned so much about trying to live a simpler and cleaner life.  I’ve been working on my first garden, a beautiful new quilt, preparing more natural whole foods for my family, and learning how to use medicinal herbs.  As I was thinking about all of these different aspects of “homesteading”, I realized that I’ve turned into my mother.

She was homesteading before it was even a cool byword!

I credit a lot of my knowledge to my mom.  I love to sew because she taught me how at a young age.  She was adamant that I should know how to cook and patiently taught me from early on.  Unfortunately, when I was younger, there were many things that I didn’t care to learn about from her.  And oh, she tried!

My mother is an avid gardener and has been for as long as I can remember.  There were so many times that she would point to yet another herb or plant she had grown to tell me it’s name and I would nod and pretend to care.  In one ear and out the other.

My brother and I were the only kids that I knew that had to take echinacea drops during the long Michigan winters.  Of course, that’s not a fact we would share with our peers.  When we did get sick, Mom would give us some herbal concoction that we’d protest but it always made us feel better.

When I was in high school, we had about 12 laying hens in a little chicken house in our backyard.  I was too oblivious to really care about the monetary and health value those farm-fresh eggs would bring us.  All I knew (I thought) was that chickens were dirty, lots of hard work, and just plain dumb.  At one point I vowed that I would NEVER have chickens!  Now that I have to shell out $4/dozen at the local farmer’s market for some quality eggs – I long for a few “girls” of my own.  Just a few, mind you.

These are just a few examples of the knowledge that I wish I had learned from my mother as she tried to teach me.  Luckily, she loves me enough (she has to – she’s my mom) to re-teach me as I call her for help.  She has talked me through some of my garden woes, discussed virtues of different chicken breeds, and is truly supportive when I call excitedly about my new “discoveries”.

Which I’m sure she already knew about.

Now, as I go about sharing these things with my young sons, I wonder just how much they’ll take away with them when they’re grown.  Hopefully, I can give them a passion for a healthy, hard-working life but maybe they’ll be like their mom.  They might be enticed by a convenient lifestyle of Tuna Helper, Spaghettio’s, and microwave dinners when they leave my house but I bet you, they’ll come around just like I did.

5 Comments

  1. Just reading through some of your blogs. 🙂 I love this one. My mother and I are very different but I had a realization about a year ago. I have turned into my great aunt. She lived in Florida. She taught me about composting, herbs, gardening, recycling,(way before recycling was common place) living a simple life and appreciating what I have. My uncle was in the military and they traveled all over the world. She always knew that you cannot take stuff with you and the stuff you do have is left behind for others to deal with when you are gone. As a kid, I thought she was nuts. Now, I try to live that way everyday. I am so thankful for all of the things she taught me. Of course, as a kid-my parents thought my aunt was nuts too so you can imagine what they think of my family! 🙂

  2. Back in the day, I heard you promise to never have chickens! But it’s funny how life experiences and growing up can change our convictions! BTW, I’d love to hear more about your discoveries with medicinal herbs!

  3. I feel the same way about having a garden and chickens (which I have already decided to have once I have a place a little bigger then what I have now). Love the new blog you have!! 🙂

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