You don’t have to look too closely to see the farming community is tight knit. In a part of the state where farming was once a common vocation, entire generations would often grow up next door (by next door I mean, across the field), play together, go to church together, and work alongside each other.
Children grow up feeling as if they belong to multiple families. Where ever you happened to end up at dinner time is where you sat around the table, said your prayers, and ate your meal. As a child I hated ice tea, but one of my friend’s families always had it with dinner. Typically I would always gulp it down as fast as possible without complaint. In our house we were taught to eat (or drink) what was given to us, gratefully. I soon learned, however, to pace myself because the hostess would refill my glass as quickly as I could empty it! Then I would have to drink even more!
The generosity of love and support in these farming families runs deep. I will never forget the way my family was supported when Pake (my Grandfather) passed away. Casseroles started rolling in along with offers to take over the farm work for a couple days while we grieved. Families offered to take us kids (some even offered to take all four!), while my parents made the funeral arrangements. Multiple farmers and their families were willing to add to their own workload to make things easier for a part of their community who was hurting.
This generosity could be attributed to the fact many of us come from a similar back ground and heritage, therefore it’s expected socially. Part of it is also due to the friendships developed from knowing each other our entire lives. But honestly, it’s just who these people are. They are an honest, caring, and hardworking group of people who strive to teach their children to live their lives with the same amount of gusto as the generations before them. Even if those children decide to pursue other career options. 😉