Over the years……..
Where did it all start? How did I reach this stage in my life still clinging to a name that was a “spur of the moment” answer to an impromptu question from a five year old? A five year old in my daughter’s class at school in the 1980’s. Fancy still being recognised by this well-worn title, Farmer Jane, as I greet my 70th year and settle into retirement.
Well I have reluctantly divulged my age, I am still involved in farming, still happily connecting with another generation of inquisitive youngsters and hoping to share some of the fun and laughter, the tears and heartaches, that have coloured every day of my journey through this amazing industry of agriculture.
“Tell us some stories, Nan” has been a familiar plea from my grandchildren, as they grow from exuberant toddlers to teenagers embracing the rigours of high school and approaching adulthood.
“Tell us some stories, Nan” now prompts a concerted attempt on my part to stay relevant and interesting, while passing on the yarns and memories that will equip all of us with purpose and satisfaction – you can always find the future in the past.
Born in 1948, to parents facing the challenges of post-war farm life in south-eastern Australia, I was named Jane Anne after my two grandmothers, and carrying those obligatory references to the past, I represented the start of the generation of hope, later to be known as the baby-boomers. Life in the late forties wasn’t easy, but even harder if you lived in a regional or rural area where returning servicemen struggled to re-connect with the farms they had left to go to war, where tired parents had shouldered the burden of “keeping the farm going”, and women reluctantly let go of the new freedoms and responsibilities they had embraced so capably during the war years. Against this backdrop, nice things for little girls, were hard enough to find let alone afford, so I still cherish the baby-boy, blue shoes that were purchased with ration cards for my baptism, after frantic, unsuccessful attempts by city Aunties to find white or pink alternatives.
So my Blog is me daring to ask you to join me on this journey, as it winds it way through the laneways, overgrown tracks and dusty paths of a farmer’s memories. Lets have some fun, let’s wipe away the occasional tear and see where the road leads us.