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Apr 9, 2014

Beauty Through Generations

I use to be quite the fair-weathered person. When it comes to the weather, nature and my surroundings.

The older I get, however, the more I seem to find beauty in my surroundings regardless of a situation.

There are times I feel guilty from when I use to complain about the old farmhouse where we started and all the trouble it put my husband through during his bachelors years. I've gotten to the point where I think about the fun memories there in the beginning of our life together. I was looking up my beginning posts on my blog last night and there's just so much pep and excitement in them. They're nerdy, but I can feel how happy I was through my writing, despite all the stress we were going through at the time as newlyweds during harvest season and building a home. I tend to associate the old farmhouse with those earlier posts.

I remember writing those posts in the back of my husband's great grandparent's old bedroom from my computer in the old farmhouse. I remember being surrounded by bookshelves full of all my husband's childhood belongings, lime green carpet and a breeze coming in through the single paneled windows.

That old farmhouse is now a ghost. And it's a memory that haunts our property daily. It's a good haunt, though. We've change so much about this old farm but the way it use to be is still clear as day in my mind. I wouldn't change a thing about what we did. Some of it had to go. But, I am glad the memories are still clear as day.

I really felt the haunted presence of the original homestead this morning. I'm not sure why. There's just a calming sensation in our life right now and these photographs I took really reflect that sensation.

I know the farm is much quieter now than it use to be. At one time, there were 7 kids running around, beef cattle, dairy cows, sheep, hogs, chickens, goats, cats, a dog, laundry hanging on the line, a full garden and much more.

Now, it's just us, a few tractors and maybe a barn cat or two.

It's hard not to stop and think about all the what-ifs as I walk around our little homestead. I think about my husband's grandfather and great grandfather a lot. What would they be doing right now? What would they say to us and how we've taken care of the farm?

If I could just have them over for dinner..... what would we talk about?

I may have never met those two men, but I sure have learned a lot from them through the stories our family tell and their possessions I've come across. I see a lot of them in my husband and father in law. They may not be here physically, but they will always be with us as we continue to farm and take care of the land where they once began their lives.

Everyday I am starting to find beauty more and more in the simple things. I credit that ability to this farm and our ancestor's history. You can learn so much from the past. You just have to learn how to apply it to your present.

39% of U.S. farms are in the same family for 3 generations. That's less than half. We happen to be a 4th generation. My husband and I are waking up to the same view his grandfather and great grandfather once woke up to. If that's not beautiful, I don't know what is.

Living on a farm is so much more than being a farmer and living outside the city. It can be a stressful, busy life, but it can also bring you peace, comfort and the responsibility to carry on a deep legacy. You either love it or you hate it.

I'm so glad my husband and I love it. I couldn't imagine life any other way.


  1. You are getting really good with your camera! Great shots!

  2. Your photography and words are beautiful! It must be a very interesting experience living on a family farm that was passed down, and evolved over the years. I can definitely understand the feeling of its history haunting the land - it sounds like there's so many stories the land could tell from over the years. It's sad that only 39% of farms are in families for 3 generations, and it's one of the reasons I'm working to start a farm with my significant other. I want something to pass down to my kids beyond a monetary inheritance from years of working in a business career, or a house stuck in the middle of a crowded suburban neighborhood. Farms bring families together, in my opinion. Thanks for sharing your story :)

  3. Kelly,
    A few more things you and I have in common:
    1. I can be a fair-weathered person or fan too.

    2. J and I live in Granny's Ole Ranch house, the house that J's Dad grew up in. The original house is the main part of the house. The house has 3 additions; additions that were made as the family grew and they got running water. It's a nice cozy home that is just the right size for us.

    3. When J was a kid his Grandparents and parents were on the ranch. J has one older brother and a younger sister. I think those 3 kept things lively around here. Most of the cattle work was done on horse back. J sold his mare, the last horse on the place, 8 or 9 years ago.

    4. J's folks are semi-retired. They are on the ranch during the busy seasons (calving and haying) and have a townhouse in the Black Hills.

    5. J and I are the 4th generation on this ranch. Gramp's (J's Great Grandpa) house is still standing and sits behind the folks' house and is used as storage.

    You're right there are a lot of things we can enjoy and learn from kitchen table stories about past generations.

  4. Love the line about how we can learn a lot from the past we just need to figure out how to apply it to the future. Great advice!

  5. The photography is wonderful Kelly! What beautiful glimpses of your farm. Thank you for linking up your post to the County Fair Blog Party! This post would be great for the Agriculture category and also a new Photography one we are considering adding.

  6. I love this post and all the pictures! I love catching glimpses of your farm in your writing and in your photos.

  7. I grew up in my great grandparents' house. I don't know who is going to live there after my parents (a thought I'd rather not trouble myself with at this point in time). There is currently no one living in my grandparents' old farm house, as my grandpa has passed and grandma was moved to a nursing home (big family controversy there!) I hope that yours stays in your family for 4 more generations. As always, beautiful words matched with beautiful images!

    1. Colby, these things are so hard to think about! Especially when some houses are so outdated that it would cost a fortune to get them up to speed. It's even harder when there are family homes available but no one suitable to fit them in because family has moved out of state, we all have our own homes we are happy with, etc. Even though we don't have the original farm house anymore, we hope to keep our farmstead in the family! Thanks for stopping by. Always great to hear from you!


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