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Mom, We’re RICH!

September 27th, 2011

Earlier this week, my sister and I took her kids over to my mom’s house. They love visiting great grandpa and the candy and snacks that he doles out freely- we always did too when we were young. They ate their fill of M & M’s, potato chips, and other snacks while all the adults enjoyed listening to my grandpa’s stories about gardening and growing up in the hills of West Virginia.

After the kids were stuffed with candy, and we were filled with stories, it was time to go. The kids gathered buckeyes, from the same tree my we did at their age. Little Orin was so excited and gathering as many as he could in his little hands.

He threw them in the box my sister was gathering black walnuts in and exclaimed excitedly, “MOM, we’re RICH!”. Then he explained that he was hoping to be able to play conkers when he got home. Don’t worry if you don’t know what conkers is, I didn’t either until he explained it (see link for explanation).

When I was young, candy was also one of the highlight of my visits to my grandparents, now that I’m older it’s his wonderful stories. As a child, I also loved walking through the woods with my grandpa learning to identify trees, animals and other plants. He definitely installed in my dad and in us a love of the natural world.

I must go over and soon and start documenting these stories for the kids to appreciate when they’re older. Preserving the Legacy of your family is such an important thing, head on over to the Your Day blog to read my post about my grandpa’s legacy . With the technology available today, it’s to easy and worthwhile to do, as this is truly one of the most valuable family heirlooms you can have.

Did you have someone growing up that shared their love of nature with you?

20 Comments to “Mom, We’re RICH!”
  1. daisy on September 27, 2011 at 5:27 am

    I just planted one of these buckeyes this past weekend. Never seen a full-grown one, so I look forward to seeing it sprout.

    Your grandad is a real treasure. Glad you are taking time to record all of his wisdom.

    Reply to daisy's comment

  2. Andrea Duke on September 27, 2011 at 5:55 am

    I live in WV. What area is he in?

    I bet he can come up with lots of fun and crazy stories from the ‘hills’ of West Virginia!! :)

    Nice post.

    Reply to Andrea Duke's comment

    • Susy on September 27, 2011 at 6:28 am

      He’s from Wayne Co WV, ironically he now lives in Wayne Co OH. He came up on a bus to work in the paper plant there many years ago.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. goatpod2 on September 27, 2011 at 8:44 am

    My Grandpa and Grandma (My Mom’s parent’s) used to take me on walks at the Nature Center near their home. All of us grandkids (it was just my Mom’s kids) sure do miss our Grandpa (he’s been gone for almost 6 years now).


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  4. Mich on September 27, 2011 at 9:15 am

    My grandparents were farmers; so from an early age i learnt about nature and country/farm life :)
    I still live and love the countryside, will never be a townie!

    As I live in England I had no idea what buckeyes were until I saw one of the photos and thought ah ha…..conkers! lol.

    Reply to Mich's comment

    • Susy on September 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm

      Too funny about the buckeyes & conkers – opposite of here!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. kristin @ going country on September 27, 2011 at 9:34 am

    My dad forced me on many a hike as a child. Unfortunately, I still hate hiking. Gardening and food preservation, however, was apparently HIS dad’s thing. We didn’t live near my grandpa, and he died when I was in high school, but it seems like anytime I mention anything to do with food, my dad says he remembers his dad doing that. Sauerkraut, jalapenos, corning beef, making root beer . . . the man seems to have done everything. He was extremely poor for most of his life, so I think it was more survival than hobby for him. Still, I sort of wish he was here to talk to now.

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  6. Donna B. on September 27, 2011 at 9:41 am

    What a wonderful post. Your family is very lucky to have such close ties with nature through your relatives!

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

  7. MAYBELLINE on September 27, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Please post something about buckeyes. I’m clueless.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

    • Susy on September 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      Oh sure, next time I head out I’ll get some photos and talk about them. Ohio is the buckeye state after all!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Sincerely, Emily on September 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    My mom is my teacher in nature and garden. I still learn from her. Have fond memories of visiting Gramps/Grandma and Gram. Popcorn was a treat at grams, so was fresh bread, colby cheese and cookies. Gramps – ice cream and all the interesting things in his yard – he was a ‘trader” and had a gas station, sold boats and LP gas and concrete statuary too, but traded for services, etc. Always neat things to look at. He traded gas for a few chickens once and also a ventriloquist doll. Emily

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  9. kathi cookk on September 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Those buckeyes look like something from Ct. I used to gather and play with as a child. We called them horse chestnuts. I don’t know if they are the same. Ours were wrapped in a prickly outer husk.

    Reply to kathi cookk's comment

    • Susy on September 27, 2011 at 7:44 pm

      Yep, same family. From what I read horse chestnuts are from eurasia, buckeyes are from here.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  10. Brenda on September 27, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Do get you grandfather to write his memoirs of his life, it is so valuable I have my great grandfathers, my grandfathers and, just 2 weeks ago I lost my father and when sorting through his things I found his memoirs, such a special gift. I find when they write their own they often put silly little things in that they wouldn’t if they were “telling” you and these are the bits that make it all that more special. Enjoy the moments, treasure the memories, xxBrenda

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  11. Sierra on September 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Hi Susy! It was wonderful to meet you and your husband at the wedding a few weeks ago! What a small world! My grandparents grew up in a “holler” in WV and though my grandpa doesn’t talk much, my grandma shares many stories of growing up and the many challenges she faced. Some day, I plan to write a book, in novel form, about her life in West Virginia. I agree, it’s so important to keep these stories alive for the next generation and those to come. Enjoy!

    Reply to Sierra's comment

    • Susy on October 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      It was great to meet you as well, a small world moment! What a great idea to write a book of your grandparent’s life!

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  12. alison@thisbloominglife on September 28, 2011 at 1:35 am

    What a gorgeous post. For my it has been my grandmother and mother. We always assumed my grandfather was the gardener until Gran died – we discovered he was the labourer but she was the brains behind the operation! As an historian, I urge you to get going on those stories – you won’t ever get them back!

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  13. KimH on September 28, 2011 at 5:35 am

    From the time I was a very little girl, I spent a lot of time with my father outdoors hunting, fishing, and surrounded by agricultural crops where he was always doing testing of some sorts. He is an entomologist.
    My dads entire family were outdoorsmen & gardeners, so I probably got my earliest association with them.
    My mothers mom & dad though, taught me the love of the land, of gardening, of ranching & farming along with the love of family and family heritage. My grandmother would tell me stories of her mother using wild herbs for healing when she was a little girl, which is what started me on my journey of love of using “weeds” for medicinal purposes, a topic I love deeply.
    Yes, thankfully I have many teachers who shared nature & her bounty early in my life, and I in turn hope that Im providing that to the little ones in my life.

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  14. itchbay on September 28, 2011 at 11:35 am

    My Granny was the one who gave me my love of living things. She would show us “pretty” spiders and help us catch crickets. She would bring in unoccupied paper wasp nests to use for holding little dried flowers and matches by the stove. We took lots of walks outside and looked at the world around us. She kept bird feeders by her bedroom window so she could watch her cardinals and bluejays. She always grew a bunch of tomatoes and kept them in a bowl on the counter just because she knew I loved to eat them.

    She’s been gone for 20 years now, but I feel her presence in my life every day when I’m harvesting tomatoes or watching the birds.

    Reply to itchbay's comment

    • Tammey on September 28, 2011 at 10:32 pm

      I love this post! Thank you Itchbay

      Reply to Tammey's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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