Home School Moms: The Original Hipsters

I’ve had a bit of a revelation about my parents, all of our parents actually: Are you ready? They were cool before we even knew what cool was.

Actually, I’m not sure, but I think they might have invented cool.

All you have to do is flip through a few old photographs of your mom and dad when they were young and the truth comes bleeding off the page—they were the original hipsters and we but humble clones.


{My mom being all hip and awesome without even trying}

You know how they say the older you get the smarter your parents get? They aren’t kidding. My parents are practically a couple of geniuses at this point in my life and I’m starting to wish I had occasionally listened to them at some point prior to yesterday.

My mom for instance, was so hip and cool and ahead of her time that my mind is actually blown when I stop and think about it.

She raised us in the country close to nature and let us grow up free-range. She had a garden. And home schooled. And surrounded us with books. And cooked from scratch…all back when people were telling her she was crazy instead of writing blog posts about this being some kind of ideal.

Scan0001{My mom and two oldest brothers}

And my dad totally had a ‘stache from like 1970 to 1997 before moustaches had overrun the whole entire world and were “tastefully” {cough} plastered on everything. He loved photography and had a black room set up in the house to develop his own film. No Instagram filters needed.

He published his own work from home like some kind of indie artist before “indie artist” was even a thing, owned his own bookstore for a while, and sold and collected vintage beer cans for a while too {and is probably not pleased at all right now that I’m putting any of this on the internet because he’s way too cool for that}. Also, he still has way better taste in music than me—which is annoying.

So you know what I was doing while my hip parents were gardening and developing their own photography?

I was rolling my eyes.

Because my parents were just soooooo weird and annoying and I wanted to go to a “real” school and eat Happy Meals and live closer to civilization instead of being tortured by these crazy people who obviously.didn’t.know.anything.

And you know what everyone my age is now doing? Everything my parents did back when they obviously didn’t know anything.

I stand corrected.

My parents are awesome. They know everything.

At least my kids will recognize right away that I am the embodiment of wisdom and awesomeness and won’t roll their eyes for 28 years like I did. What a relief.

Johnny Appleseed

DSC_0488One of my favorite things about the farm I grew up on was a giant Red Delicious apple tree sitting in the middle of the orchard. My dad planted lots of fruit trees when we moved to the farm but that particular tree was there long before that and all the others were simply added around it.

That tree was kind of my spot, the place where I would go when I wanted to think, pray, or be alone. I would climb up and sit in its scruffy branches or pace around beneath it when I couldn’t hold still.

DSC_0496I remember picking hundreds of apples off it one year when the snow had already come and my dad was trying to save the fruit before it was ruined and gone. I remember my dad climbing around on the branches like a monkey and dropping the apples into my nine or ten year old hands one by one. He gave me a dollar at the end of the day for helping him in the cold and we had more apples than we could ever use that year. I wonder if he remembers that day as well as I do.

My parents put a park bench under that tree and I remember sitting there talking with Darren when we were dating. It’s a sweet memory sitting there under the shade of the trees getting to know the man I would spend my life with.

DSC_0497That tree is gone now along with the rest of the orchard and the house I grew up in. It will always be one of my biggest regrets that I didn’t take any pictures of it before I left home but of course I didn’t know then that I would never see that place again. You never do know how life will work out.

My dad did something very special for me recently; he bought me two baby apple trees and promised to help me plant them at our new house when he comes to visit this summer. Darren and I picked the trees out one night in the rain and came home with a Red Delicious and a Mcintosh that now sit on our front porch waiting for my dad to plant them. The Red Delicious is going crazy with glossy leaves and lots of delicate pink buds.

DSC_0476I slipped outside today with my camera and took pictures of the papery pink buds blossoming in the sunshine. I won’t have any regrets about documenting this very special tree.

I wasn’t able to plant a garden this year, what with moving and a baby on the way. But the cheerful buds on my apple tree brighten my day and gives me something from nature to enjoy until I have flowers and garden next year.

DSC_0478Trees and blossoms will always be some of my favorite things. Just call me Johnny Appleseed :]