Moulton Barn  |  HDR

I yearn for family traditions that were passed down from generation to generation.

The idea of traditions and even culture keep meeting me head on lately. In meetings, in talking casually with others, in books, it keeps coming up. My gut reaction to the idea is that I have neither. My family didn’t really pass anything down to me. I don’t really have a single culture I can draw from – I’m a little English, a bit Scottish, a tad French, a smidgen Irish, a pinch of Swiss, with side of German, with some Dutch to wash it all down. I’m pretty sure there are some others in there, but I’m drawing a blank right now.

But if I look real hard into what I’m doing and what my grandparents grew up with there were some slight similarities – the most pronounced one being growing your own food.

My maternal grandfather taught me about growing food when I was a small child. He left my life very early on though. I would have loved to have learned more about his life growing up on a real farm. I did get a chance to spend time on his brothers corn farm in Iowa during childhood summers. I have lots of fond memories of that. I’m pretty sure that farm is still in the family.

My paternal grandmother also grew up on a farm. The barn pictured above is where she grew up. My dad used to play in that barn when he was a kid. Life was tough then and they lived very simply – no running water or electricity. It was, undoubtedly, a hard life.

I hope that my stepson can take something away from what we’re doing and learning a few traditions. 

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