When I left my rural Connecticut home for the excitement of living on my own in south Florida, my mother cried, “I’ll never see you again.” My father sent me a subscription to Yankee magazine with a note “Don’t forget where you came from.” I never have.
I grew up on a small subsistence farm with one cow, two pigs, a lot of chickens that provided eggs and Sunday dinner, berries of all kinds, a grape arbor and a beehive. My siblings and I had chores to do since my parents both held other jobs. We may not have appreciated that at the time, but later on one of my sisters and I reminisced about our early life and agreed it was the perfect upbringing. We learned the value of hard work when we picked strawberries and that night my mother made strawberry shortcake, or we husked it and then enjoyed corn-on-the-cob for dinner.