Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Roots

This weekend we took a trip out to where my parents grew up, my mom in town and my dad on a farm. A farm that my cousin still lives on and farms along with my uncle (his dad).

I have many memories of "the farm". We have always referred to it as "the farm". Not my grandparents (as it once was), not Perigord (the community in which it resides), not Ceslak's (my maiden name) but just the farm. We spent many a Christmas noshing on Grandma's homemade perogies and cabbage rolls waiting for Santa to drop the gifts of the roof. As an adult I wonder how they decided who had to climb up on the roof in the dead of a Saskatchewan winter to do the "delivery". Draw straws? Last one to arrive?

Just driving into the yard brings back a flood of memories. So this time, I toted along my camera and my renewed passion for improving my photography skills.

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A sunflower in my mom's garden - had to sneak this one in for a bit of sunshine. Seriously, does a sunflower NOT brighten anyone's day?

This barn, it is the trademark of the farm. To me, it is unique. Unlike any other barn I have ever seen. It's the first thing you see when you turn into the long narrow driveway. The peak just visible through the bluff of trees surrounding the road and as you approach, you see more and more of it. It is one of my favourite things.

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Apparently, it was built before my Grandpa purchased the farm way back when (guessing somewhere in the 1940's) and has had very little work done to it since. They don't build them like that anymore. Actually as I look at the photo above I recall a big jagged hole right below the peak which someone has patched.

I had fun with the weathered boards, they were a nice prop to practice with.

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So many happy memories of a wonderful childhood for me, that's what these pictures invoke. This barn is part of the tapestry of my history. A history that goes back through my dad (I am guessing he milked many a cow in this very barn) to my Grandpa who cleared much of the land surrounding the yard with a small bulldozer which coincidentally my dad has in his barn.

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I remember my Grandma milking cows in the left hand side when I was a kid. She had a little wooden milking stool that ended up on the house after the milking went by the wayside. It sat in the corner of the kitchen and she would often sit on it when there were more people than chairs at dinner.

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Dinners of fresh green beans and potatoes followed by raspberries with sugar and cream. Somehow, the simplier it was, the better it tasted. I loved being at the farm during harvest and watching all the men come in, dirty and sweaty from the field to eat the delicious, hearty fare served up by my Grandma. She was never happier than when she could feed hungry men. I think it made her feel useful. It was her role as a farmer's wife and she relished it.

Now I am hungry. I may have to go up and eat some of the leftover raspberries that my aunt graciously allowed my mom and I to pick from her garden. I made jam a plenty yesterday and there is a raspberry/stawberry/rhubarb pie cooling as I type this.

Before we went out to the farm, we stopped in town to visit the graves of my maternal grandparents and my mom's oldest sister. I didn't know my grandparents because they both died before I was five. However, my mom's oldest sister, my Auntie Vickie I knew very well. She was like my Grandma and I have many wonderful memories of her. Being around her, you couldn't help but laugh. She had the uncanny ability to call inanimate objects idiots and get away with it. She was vertically challenged and made no bones about it. When she had to get something from the top shelf of the cupboards she would say she had to go up to heaven. My brother and I still utter Auntie Vicki-isms and then laugh hysterically.

She was a hoot. And loved us like we were her own.

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Rest in peace dear Auntie Vickie, now that you are up in Heaven, no chair required.

It was wonderful to go back and show my boys the farm they have heard so much about. I think they were just in it for the tractor ride though, Jack exclaimed at one point, "Mommy, why do you have to take so many pictures!?"

Just because, that's why.

There are more photos on my Flickr account.

Photobucket

21 comments:

Jen said...

Great photos Kami! I love revisiting places that so rich with childhood memories and so fully of stories and character.

I long for those simpler times, simpler food, simpler days, simpler lives.

mamatucci said...

Those were beautiful stories. Some of my favorite childhood memories are with my Nonna and Nonno.Touching post Kami

mamatucci said...

I meant beautiful pictures ha

Anonymous said...

Kami, your posts always make me think. And today, you had me thinking of visiting both sets of grandparents with very fond memories. Life was so much simpler (or maybe I think it was simpler because I was a kid).

And you make me want to learn how to use my camera better. Tony seems to be the one that knows how to use it (funny, because our old point and shoot never left my side). You take AWESOME pictures. Keep at it :)
Jackie

Mrs. Wilson said...

BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS!!! This is what I love about the prairies - most people come from "the farm". Now I just have to visit one of those things!

Alicia W. said...

Your eye for photography is really good! You should venture out more often because you could turn this into art and sell it. Really! I would buy the picture of the barn in a minute! :) Ahhh... ETSY!! You could so make some extra money on what you love doing. Hint Hint!

Debbie said...

Kami, you just made me cry. I loved visiting the farm when I was young. Just the other day, hubs & I were saying how we need to take the boys out to the farm. and holy crap, is that ever a big barn!

Beautiful pictures.

Angella said...

Sigh. I wish we had a farm to go to...

Stacie's Madness said...

dude. seriously.
look at your pictures, you did an amazing job capturing and telling the stories...rock ON SISTA

Elaine A. said...

You're making me miss my grandparents' farms that we used to visit often when I was a little girl.

That barn is pretty cool and your photography skills are certainly lookin' good girl! Love that sunflower!

R Royal Family said...

Those are amazing pictures Kami. I love farm life and all it has to offer, though, not enough to live farm life full time.

Cheryl said...

fantastic story and pics Kami....nothing like a true farm....

teeni said...

Oh, this made me teary reading about your Auntie Vicki but in a good way. Cuz, you know, I have a special bond with Aunties, being such a great one myself and all. LOL. It was nice to hear that you had such a warm and loving relationship with your aunt especially since you didn't get the chance to do so with your grandparents. What a wonderful old barn. I'm glad it has lasted so long on The Farm. It is a testament that although material things may fade away, memories are inscribed on the heart forever. Loved this post!

Conor said...

Ahh, the farm. Hahaha gotta say, you make it sound way more exciting than it actually is, probably because you have more memories of it than I do, seeing as how you live in SK, but I was bored out of my mind when we were there haha.

Natalie said...

so much fun to share happy memories with the boys and even better that you are documenting it! love it. now i want to go to my parents farm with my camera and a renewed effort to get along with my dslr!

Kami said...

Beautiful pics, Kami! Thanks for the tip about Flickr, too.
I loved reading your childhood memories. It's like a warm, sunny, hug just thinking about it. It looks like you had a lot of good times on that farm.
And, um, can you fedex me a piece of that rasp/strawberry/rhubarb pie please? Pretty please?

Kristin said...

Great post!

Karen MEG said...

Kami, what lovely photos and wonderful childhood memories! This, this is what having a blog is all about...great job, girlfriend, and thanks so much for sharing these warm memories with us :)

Trevor said...

One of your best posts yet. We haven't been out to the farm for far too long, those were some great photos. I miss Auntie Vicki, Grandma and Grandpa very much. Hopefully Mom and Dad's ranch will kind of be our kids' "farm".

Amy said...

Wow, that barn is AMAZING! I have farm memories too, unfortunately, it -like so many other farms- is not longer in our family.

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