We spent the past six nights at the farm, as in GriggsDakota. It’s where my parents, grandparents and uncle reside. In the planting and harvesting months, my brothers are there to farm with my parents. The rest of us get there are as often as possible. I always tell my husband, Nathan, it’s my goal to farm when we are 50. I had made a deal with my two cousins, Mark and Scott, when we were really young that when we were 50 years old we would all live on the farm. Mark lives 40 minutes away and Scott is already there. I have 166 miles to go. I also happen to love our corner of the prairie in my husband’s hometown. So…when I am 50 years old, he might have to build me cabin on the farm and we can travel back and forth from our prairie home to the family farm. That’s 16 years away and until then, we will continue to have family gatherings and fun on the farm at my parent’s home.
|Hunter and cousin Logan|
Family gatherings involve my mom cooking three major meals a day. It’s unbelievable the variety of food, the volume of food and the tastiness of her cooking. She did not cook the traditional Norwegian lutefisk this year. That is not tasty but it is traditional. My Uncle Nathan baked instead of boiled the lutefisk. It’s like white fish Jello. Smother it with butter, salt and pepper and it slides down without a problem.
We do some of our traditions to remember our ancestors. We also follow the traditions because it makes special people smile. Like Grandma Nola. She is the matriarch of our family. She loves lutefisk. The truth is, I only ever ate because I wanted her to see me eat it and decades later I continue to eat it for tradition and smiles.
|Great-Grandma Nola & Miss E|
Not everyone embraces our farm traditions like eating lutefisk on Christmas Eve. This is what Miss A thought of it…
But rule follower Miss E embraced not only a taste of lutefisk but also buttered and sugared her own lefsa (potato tortilla made by my grandparents).
|Singing with Uncle Jim|
|Two other traditions that we followed on Christmas this year were our family Christmas “program”, directed this year by Miss A and Miss E along with my dad reading the Bible scripture of Jesus birth from Luke.|
|Those microphones were free in Happy Meals in 1987.|
|My dad reading the Bible|
|The longest Miss A stood still except for sleep the entire 6 nights at the farm.|
|A visit to special Great Aunt Iris, age 107|
We ate breakfasts at my grandparent’s house a few mornings where four generations sat together, laughing and telling stories. We visited my Great-Great Aunt Iris (in above picture). The girls fed the cows with Uncle Jim. A 70 mile road trip to two different days to see Hunter play in a holiday tournament broke up the days. They won the first game and lost the second game by two points. The girls and I had a visit to the mall in big town, Fargo and lunch with good friends.
Throughout our days at the farm, there were stories, board games, playing in the hay and the girls were exposed to their daddy’s favorite winter pastime, snowmobiling.
This might become a new tradition. The girls loved their rides on the snowmobiles. The time with my family, with our traditional Christmas, away from our regular routine with little rush to do anything was the perfect vacation.
Tomorrow the sun will set on 2012. I have more to share and new exciting things in 2013, like a whole new blog look in January.
For now, I leave this sunset with you. It is raw, straight from my camera tonight in Logan County, North Dakota. My husband stopped the pick up for me to snap a few shots. I love the prairie. I love my family’s roots here, the wide open spaces, the ability we have to spend together, to find joy in the simple things and to follow the traditions carried on throughout generations.
Happy New Year! On December 31, I am going to capture some favorite sunset photos and have you vote again for your favorite.
What’s a favorite holiday tradition of yours?