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by Tamara Hillman
October 2008

Ya may have noticed, I took some time off to concentrate on relaxin’ a bit. Even writers need time off, right? I’m back with bells on, and anxious to pound these ol’ keys again tho’… It won’t be a monthly column from now on because I got too dern busy to keep up with that, but you’ll hear from me now and then.

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Ah, October; time to get back to the old routine—Kids are back home with their parents, and we grandparents can finish up gathering in the late corn, and tilling our gardens under with lots of fertilizer 'til next spring. The canning is done and setting in neat, colorful rows on cellar shelves. I love that!


In the northern most states, leaves are golden yellow, and some are brilliant red. I hope someday to visit the New England States this time of year. I’m sure the colors are glorious to the naked eye.

Fall is my favorite season because in my youth it was always a time of rest for farmers and ranchers, especially after October when their cattle were herded back to lower grazing land. Soon snows began to cover mountain peeks in the distance, and a chill was felt in the morning air as we kids hurried to catch the school bus.

I was the eldest in my family with two younger brothers that I hovered over like an old settin’ hen. Mom gave me a lot of responsibility because I was a very independent, tomboy-type from the time I was knee high to a grasshopper, and I think I must have given her the impression—I could do anything. At times that has made life tough for me trying to live up to that standard, but I wasn’t alone in having responsibilities. We kids of the forties and fifties were taught from an early age that we dang near COULD do anything if we set our minds to it, and weren’t afraid to use some grit and elbow grease to achieve our goals. Whining wasn’t allowed, and I can still hear my teacher’s voice repeating over and over to anyone who used the word CAN’T, “Can’t didn’t do anything, but you CAN!”

I’m so glad I grew up in those days without all the electronics of today, and kids who think everyone owes them a free ride! I have yet to hear one of my grandkids say, “Let’s pretend” That phrase, in my day, was used in every other sentence. Now, the great professors of our time have done a study, (costing tax payers millions) and found; children are more well rounded, and use their imaginations and creativities far better if left to themselves (as we were) to play and not be in such structured activities continually where parents do all the planning and scheduling. My kids wear themselves out running their youngsters to soccer, Judo, baseball, piano lessons, etc., etc. Lordy, it makes me tired just hearing about it. And the kids seem immature, and ill prepared for the real world. I’ve always said, “Let kids be kids—you just be parents, and set the rules.” The only scheduling should be mealtime, and bedtime. Now, I don’t mean, let kids raise themselves, but GET OUTTA THEIR WAY WHEN THEY PLAY!

Hey, you farm kids, do you remember how runnin’ barefoot felt even when you slipped in a cow-pie? Remember catchin’ bugs in a fruit jar with holes punched in the lid? And how about seeing baby calves, or goats, or horses, born in a barn on a cool spring morning. They were hot and steamy when they hit the hay strewn floor of the stable. So cute too. Funny how we never asked questions about how they got inside their mamas in the first place. We took life, birth, and death for granted because we saw how it worked on a daily basis to make a full circle!

And remember how, by the time you were twelve, (sometimes younger) you could drive a tractor, muck out the barn, clean chicken coops, pull a calf, shoot a 22 rifle dead on, skin a deer, etc.? Well boy, I do! We didn’t need Driver’s Ed’ or gun range practice, or for that matter, (locked gun closets) as we called them back then. Most every gun or rifle in our house was always loaded, ready for any skunk, coyote, or other varmint trying to break into the chicken coop. We kids KNEW what guns were used for, and we KNEW death was permanent. No one dared touch those guns without permission or we'd have died from something other than a bullet—our father’s wrath! It was never tried or questioned in our house.

Now, I'll admit I’m a conservative voter, a Christian against abortion, and I relate much more to Sarah Palin than Hillary Clinton for the very reasons I've mentioned above of how great this country was in my youth, how down-to-earth and honest folks were, and friendly—not suspicious of every stranger. Don’t blame me, or call me narrow-minded. I just know in my gut, that the way America was at her best, (fifty years ago, after WW11) is what we ALL should want now for our kids and grandkids. Capitalism, freedom, and the Constitution of these United States being upheld are what made her great…..Socialism/Marxism (which has obviously failed in every country with that form of government) is NOT FOR AMERICA.


I won’t preach attcha, but think about it this November 4th when you go to the polls.

Heed my words!

Granny Tam

Here’s a poem to get you in the mood for fall:

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A country path meanders
deep in memory
thru’ the forests of my childhood…

Autumn colors—red and gold,
mingle near river’s edge―
Sumac, Oak, and Aspen wave
to me in passing

Leaves drift on the wind,
fluttering like butterfly wings,
swirling, dancing on air,
then fall down, down, to the forest floor,
crunching noisily ‘neath my feet

Languishing under leafy
sapling seeds await spring―
Mother Nature takes her rest
as Autumn Season holds time

© 2003

In closing I will add, “Life is God’s gift to you, how you live it is your
gift to Him.”

Granny Tam
Fall Farming




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