Growing Up on the Farm

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal 6 Comments

The last couple of weeks I’ve invited you readers to ask questions about my books, writing, or whatever. I answered most of the questions about writing last week on Wednesday. Hop back a couple of posts if you missed them. And if you’ve got more questions, I might be able to come up with more answers.


Emily threw in some different kind of questions. She asked about funny stories about chickens after I featured chickens on my blog. So I told her about the bantam rooster when I was desperate for a pet. Emily also asked me for my best memory growing up on the farm. So that’s the question that gets featured today.

What’s Your Best Memory Growing Up on the Farm?

I can’t really narrow it down to one specific memory. Living on a farm seemed like the only life to me when I was a kid. We had chores. Had to carry in wood for the stove in the winter. Feed the animals all through the year. Of course I liked feeding the chickens as I’ve already told you. I wasn’t that crazy about feeding the pigs. I was always half afraid of them since an old sow chased me when I was a little kid. We bottle fed calves now and again and sometimes lambs. That was my favorite. The lambs were fun to feed and I loved rubbing their curly woolly heads. Then we, my two sisters and I, always had pet cats to love on and after I got a little older I begged and begged until one of dad’s friends brought me a pup. So then I had my first dog and I couldn’t have been happier. A farm is a great place to have pets.

We did have to work in the fields. Dad raised tobacco like most of the other farmers in our area did then. I can’t say that working in tobacco was a best memory. No fun at all from pulling plants and setting it out to stripping off the leaves in the fall. Sometimes we helped in the hay, but Dad often did that by himself. Working was part of being in a farm family. We had a big garden too. Picked peas and beans and helped Mom get them ready to cook or can. We gathered and shucked corn. Dug potatoes. Picked strawberries and got to eat them sweet and juicy off the vine. We had apple trees and my aunt had cherry trees. In the summer we went out in the fields and picked wild blackberries. In the fall we picked up hickory nuts and walnuts. The best things about all that was we did it as a family.

But it wasn’t all work and no play. We spent the night with our aunt every Friday and then visited with our cousins on the other side of the family most Sundays. We played games and baseball and hide and seek after dark. That was always a little scary for me since I was the youngest and had a very vivid imagination of what might be in the dark.

I had time to read and dream and walk in the woods. The same as now I especially liked walking among the trees with my dogs and spotting the gifts of nature. I liked hiding out in my room and scribbling my stories down in notebooks.

Those are just a few of my childhood memories, but perhaps the very best memory of growing up on the farm was the love I knew from my parents and my aunt who was like a grandmother to me. They gave me the freedom to be me. I learned to work but I also learned to love the outdoors.  I felt the sunshine on my face. I saw the stars unhindered by city lights. I made tracks in the snow and played in the rain. I splashed and tried to learn to swim in ponds. I swung on a swing made from a tree branch. I had a good time.

Thank you for asking your question, Emily. It took me down memory lane and made me realize how blessed I was to grow up on a farm.

So how about you? Did you grow up in the city or the country? What’s your best memory?

As always, thanks for reading. And if you have a question, ask away.



Comments 6

  1. Karen L Chaudoin

    I did not grow up on a farm but since I was 8 years old and saw farms on family trips it was where I wanted to be. Seeing the land and the animals and the buildings seemed to my imagination ideal. All kinds of things could happen and to me cities and concrete held no appeal, only hardness and hot sun and heat and too many people. So once I did live in the country in an old house from 1900 with very little plumbing, no central heat or air, but lots of silence and trees and birds and wonderful smells. My favorite place to be is in the woods or fields. Thank you for sharing your farm life and experiences.

    1. Post
      Ann H Gabhart

      Karen, I think we could be country girl “sisters.” I know what you mean about the silence and trees and wonderful parts of being in the country. Out here on the farm it’s not as quiet as when I was a kid since they put a parkway about a mile away to keep traffic noise a constant. I let Michael, my hero in the Hidden Springs mystery consider the loss of silence in one of books. Sometimes when the snow is deep, that silence is still there. Thanks for sharing how you were always drawn to country living.

  2. Sandi Keaton-Wilson

    Ann, I loved reading your answer about your life growing up on the farm. It brought back so many similar memories for me. We had lambs, too. It still bothers me to hear someone talk about sheep being dumb. The sure were eager to take the bottle, often pulling the nipple off!
    I named them after the Kennedy’s, which is strange considering “we” were Republicans! What adventures could be had on the farm, as well as really good eating!
    After work, we were a porch sitting family, relaxing in the twilight until the delights of night lulled us to go in to sleep!

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      Ann H Gabhart

      I love that part about being a porch sitting family, Sandi. What a great place to hear family stories or to share adventures of the day. In my imagination I’m hearing the murmur of your family’s voices and maybe the creak of a rocker on that porch. Maybe you had a swing so that the chains are adding their peculiar squeak or creak. I think I want to come sit on the porch with you. 🙂

  3. peggy clayton

    Wow I was in a foster home that was on a farm and it really taught me about responsibility and chores. As we had to get everything done and also i had to make lunches for everyone and still catch the bus on time 7AM . The only good memory i have is meeting a lot of kids that were in the foster system. Many kids came to our home and within the first week went back to the recieving home as being on a farm and doing chores was not for them. They didn’t like being way out in the country and noone lived close.

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      Ann H Gabhart

      Having chores on a farm can teach you how to work for sure, Peggy. But it doesn’t sound as if it was any fun for you. Bring part of a loving family does make those chores not so hard. You feel like you’re helping the family. I doubt that was true for you. Hugs. Wishing you could have had more good memories from your childhood days.

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