Monday, June 22, 2009
Growing Up in Northwest Ohio
Most days I don't miss the country. I can do without big yards and vegetable gardens and the real possibility of smacking into a deer whenever I drive after dark.
But I do miss the smell of freshly-mowed grass, the sight of stars late at night and the taste of leftover soybeans after the bulk have been combined and carted away.
I didn't appreciate any of that 10 or 15 years ago. In fact, I was surprised to meet people in college who didn't even know what a soybean stalk looked like. I bet I could find a lot more people like that today.
I grew up on what looks like a typical farm, minus the animals. My parents have the pond, the big red barn. My dad even did a bit of farming when I was a little girl, and I remember riding (and falling asleep) in the combine.
But my mom and her four siblings were raised on a real farm, livestock and all. Many were the Sunday nights we would gather at my grandparents' home, a short 4-mile hop from our own house. I would occasionally venture into the barn, but I mostly kept my distance from the chickens and cows-- especially on butcher day. I took the typical sights of a farm for granted.
On my recent weekend fling to the flatlands of northwest Ohio, my Grandma and Grandpa were baffled about why I would want to photograph their barn or elevator. Mom said I must be a city girl now if I wanted to capture a bail of hay on film.
Maybe. But I can still tell the difference between corn, wheat and beans before any are ankle-high, and I certainly know which of the three should be knee-high by the Fourth of July.