Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Grandparents Day!

The Sunday after Labor Day is Grandparent’s Day. This year it falls on the 13th of September. Grandparent’s Day became a thing back in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter signed a presidential proclamation. Ever since then every Sunday after Labor Day is a special holiday to celebrate our grandparents. The day was made to honor grandparents and to give them an opportunity to show their love for their children’s children. It also shows the grandkids the strength, information, and guidance older family members can offer. That is most definitely true when it comes to grandparents that are also farmers.

Grandparents that are farmers are some of the most hardworking, knowledgeable, and best story telling people around. If you want to know just how hardworking your grandparents are just take a minute and look at their hands. They are more than likely rough and full of calluses and they might even be missing a finger or two. These usually large, rough hands show just how hard they have worked during their lifetime in order to provide for their family and keep the farm afloat. More than likely those hands are still being put to use; feeding livestock, wrenching on equipment, or better yet a grandma's baking hand still stirring the bowl! They have a true love for farming and some might have slowed down a gear or two but they are still getting those hands dirty and working hard every day. I am pretty sure my grandpa can still outwork my big brothers. He is in something or on top of something in the shop every chance he gets.

Grandparents also tell the best stories and they have countless stories about anything and everything because they have lived through so much. I think that you can learn just the same as you would in school by just sitting at their kitchen table and talking to them. They can make stories come to life and it almost feels like you were there living it with them.

Grandma’s kitchen table is at the heart of it all. It is the best place to listen to our grandparents speak, it has seen thousands of fresh baked cookies cool, held many Christmas meals, served as the workbench to fix anything in the house, and as the board room table for all family discussions. It is also the best place for a board game with cousins, becomes the back 80 for all the grandkids table farming with their small tractors and combines, and is the best flat ground around after contouring around the newspapers and glasses of water.

My favorite place to be on the farm is often just sitting at Grandma’s kitchen table telling stories, eating an amazing meal, or having a quick snack after school. It’s the stories and the laughs we share that will last a lifetime. They deserve a day - or even a week to celebrate just them. Happy Grandparent’s Day!

 ~ Kesley Holdgrafer


Some of you may know this but September 28th is National Good Neighbor Day. I honestly didn’t even know that this was a thing until last week. This day was made in order to create an opportunity for neighbors to get to know one another. In the early 1970’s, Becky Mattson of Montana created National Good Neighbor Day. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation for it. Well, I guess they are right when you say you learn something new every day! Farmers are and always have been amazing neighbors.

Farmer’s neighbors can be as close as next door or stretch even miles away to the neighboring town over and you would still be called a neighbor. Farmers are always willing to give a neighbor a helping hand. If anything were to ever happen they are the first one at your doorstep with a helping hand and a delicious casserole. If you are gone for the weekend, they will come over and help out with chores. If you are ever in need of any help in the field, they will jump right away to make sure your crop gets harvested. They are also good conversationalists and can talk farm talk with you for hours about anything and everything.

Farmers don’t need a special day to greet or meet their neighbors. They have known their neighbors and everyone who has lived on the neighboring farmsteads for years. As most farms stay within families, I am going to venture out and even say sometimes centuries. Bigger cities might need a special day dedicated to meet and greet their neighbors, but most farm families know everyone around them quite well.

It is however always a great reminder that we have these special relationships with our neighbors and we can count on each other whenever the need arises. As we head into the heart of harvest this year, we realize it will be a long one. The down corn is really slow going. The extra hours in the field are exhausting. The great weather is helping and we know if we have any troubles or need any extra help that our neighbors are there and willing to lend a hand. It goes back to that Iowa Nice as we take pride in helping out our friends, family, and neighbors. I simply love being raised in small-town Iowa. Give your neighbor an extra big smile, wave, or handshake on the 28th. It’s their day. Have a great safe harvest and remember those same neighbors always have your back! 

~ Kesley Holdgrafer