Personal Narrative Essay: Living Like My Grandparents

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Living like My Grandparents.
Growing up, I was able to stay with my grandparents, Mammie and Daddy James, during the summer. I loved it, but I had wished they would get more modern, and stop farming. My Daddy James would get up at daybreak to feed and water the chickens, cows, and horses. Then he would come in the house with fresh milk and eggs and Mammie would cook breakfast. All day it seemed we worked in the garden. Then in the evening we would spend hours either canning, pickling, freezing, or smoking the garden’s bounty. At night to relax Mammie would knit, quilt, or sew, while Daddy James would whittle or work on a wood project out at his shop. They wouldn’t even get cable. “Why buy cable, when I can get it for free from the
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As an adult, with my own family, I have figured out that my grandparents were not crazy at all. In fact many families of my generation have reverted to living a lifestyle more suited to our grandparent’s generation than our parents. Why? There are literally hundreds of reasons. I can only explain my reasons for reverting to and learning skills that my grandparent would have used.

When my husband and I had our first daughter we were young, and broke. After buying diapers, we didn’t have a lot of money left over. It seemed in 2006 the cost of everything went through the roof. I started looking for ways to save money and economize. I was at a local store buying laundry detergent, and I remembered Mammie making her own. I put down the detergent, went home, got on the internet and looked up recipes for detergent. I found one, which I had all the ingredients for. It took me twenty minutes to make the detergent, and cost around $25.00. It lasted for six months! I had saved $65.00 over the cost of a name brand detergent, not including gas. I was hooked. I made a list of everything I remembered my grandparents doing, and enlisted my husband to do the same. The next spring we plowed up and set out a garden. Brought two
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It is hard and takes a good bit of time to prepare for a garden. I usually start planning the end of September for a spring garden. I have to take in to consideration what seeds work best, what vegetables to pant beside each other, crop rotation, the sun and water. I get my husband to plow up the land the end of January or beginning of February. I start my seeds in the house at the beginning of February, and finally plant in the garden towards the end of March. Then all spring and summer, my children and I are out in the garden pulling weeds and watering. But finally in June our hard work pays off. We have more vegetables than we can eat. I used to be so afraid to fail, but now I know that failing just teaches you. My children aren’t afraid to try something new, which I don’t see with many of my friend’s children. I also didn’t expect to learn how to enjoy little things, like watching your child’s face when a chick is hatching. It’s magical. Also, learning a new skill brings so much contentment. When, after what seemed thousands of attempts at making cheese, I finally got it right I couldn’t have been happier if I won an award. Another huge enjoyment is connecting and talking to the elderly. I have formed amazing friendships with my grandparents remaining friends, just by talking about different breeds of chickens. I have learned so much that

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