I grew up in lush, green, rural Indiana. My dad is one of 13 kids; most of his siblings had lots of children of their own. I grew up in a little community with lots of cousins around to be best friends with. Sunday was family day at my grandma’s farm which was located just a few miles from my house. Grandma popped red and black popcorn on the stove and served it in cake pans with lots of salt. In the summer we ate watermelon outside on the picnic tables. My grandpa had me convinced that if I ate a seed, a watermelon would grow in my stomach. He would pat his belly and say “See!”
Aunts and uncles would sit around and talk on the porch swings while us kids ran and played. We played hide-and-go-seek and ghost in the grave yard on their large property. If we weren’t playing a game, the other girl cousins my age and I would be picking all of grandma’s hollyhocks to make “potpourri”. We would try to hide our flower concoction somewhere on the farm to dry out until the next Sunday. We played late into the evening until the lightning bugs came twinkling out and our parents drug us home.
It was a happy, safe place to grow up surrounded by family.
I moved to Utah to go to school and my family stayed in Indiana. I married a Utah boy. Now I have babies and they live hundreds and thousands of miles from my family and their cousins. One beautiful thing about marriage, though, is that you gain a family. I gained one of the best families I could have asked for; they are strong, active, smart, and kind.
So even though my kids aren’t near my family, they are near our family. And even though they won’t have perfect Indiana summers with lightning bugs to catch, they will have gorgeous red mountains to explore. My Indiana roots have been transplanted to Utah and I’ll bloom where I’ve been planted.
Husband, Mother-in-law, and Sister-in-law Sammi
These pictures are from a hike that they went on this summer. This is the starting point which is just a few miles from where The Shanty is. Amazing, huh?