August 17, 2011


You may have read my mention last week that I was spending some time with my grandparents, on the farm and in the Snake River farm country of my childhood. It's a place I've visited many times as an adult, but, I think, never with the stillness and openness of heart and mind that so overwhelmed me on this visit. Never with the willingness to sink into the flow of memories and their meaning, to let them wash over me and change me and remind me who I am.

I live in the mountains of Montana. I love the mountains and I sometimes get so caught up in my life here that I forget I was once a flat-lands farm girl. But last week I remembered my roots.

I remembered...

...summer evenings in space so open and wide you can see the desert twenty miles away, but you're surrounded by rich farm soil where you stand. Wheat on one side of the road, flowering potatoes on the other. The ditch banks adorned in thistles and wild asparagus gone to seed.

... my childhood home, just a field away from my grandparent's farm, and all the sites of childhood adventure at both homes and in between.

...the treehouse-on-stilts that Grandpa built in Nebraska and hauled to Idaho forty or fifty-ish years ago.

...the cool of the hammock in the evening

...all the bridges and paths and 'secret forests' where little bare feet belong

...the canal where, as a child, my sisters and I swam nearly every summer day, and where I with my children swam again. 

I never forgot, but was reminded why my adorable Grandma is my #1 style influence with her vintage thrifty eclecticism...

(these are her laundry room cupboards, and she can tell a story about every scrap)

But most importantly, as aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandchildren gathered to say goodbye to my grandfather, I remembered the roots of one branch of my family- the branch that, for several generations, knew no life but the life of soil and crops, cattle and sheep and land.

Goodbye Grandpa.

Thanks for helping make me who I am.


p.s. Thanks to my awesome hubby for some of the photos in this post. You can see more of his work on Flickr or his blog. I LoVe this one.


  1. I relate so much to what you have wrote...Lost my grandpa recently.
    Loss of loved ones somehow awakes ones memory and makes you appreciate all the things that you are blessed with. My deepest Condolences for your loss.
    I love the way you write so simple yet deep. And the beautiful photos leave nothing to the imagination.
    Looking forward to reading your book about your travels around the world. Hopefully soon ;)

  2. sorry to hear about your Grandpa. [hugs]

  3. Oh Amber,

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I know all too well how it feels to lose someone we love so very much. My thoughts are with you and your family.