September 20, 2008

The Dahlias

These flowers are my heritage.

When you think of your heritage, what do you think of? Perhaps that your great grandfather immigrated from some faraway land. Or that generations ago, an ancestor fought in the Civil War? Maybe your great, great grandfather was the founder of a small town in the midwest.

My heritage, at least on my maternal grandfather's side, is in the country and in the land. My grandfather grew up on a Pennsylvania farm that has been in my family for generations. This is him on that same farm. His brothers became miners and farmers, and some moved away to seek adventure that a rural life could not provide. He grew up to love that land, but moved away for education and a life in the military. But like so many, he never lost the love he had for the rural life and he settled not far away to raise his family. He would have lived on that farm if not for my grandmother, I think, who didn't want to live in the country. He passed the love of the land, the country and the farm to my mother, who lives there now.

What do these flowers have to do with my heritage? These dahlias are planted in the flower beds of my family - and have been for many generations. This year, I was given a box of tubers for the very first time and it was such an amazing gift. When I was in high school, I used to dig the tubers up in the fall and re-plant them in the spring. When I look at these dahlias, I don't see just a beautiful flower. I see my family heritage - a love of the land, an appreciation for hard work, and the beauty of rural Pennsylvania.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for entrusting some of them to my care.

(I should point out that the vase was my grandmother's. Because even though she didn't care for the country, she did love beautiful things.)

7 comments:

Cheryl said...

Wow - that is so cool Jen.

Lorna Arlett said...

I love those flowers, neat story, thanks for sharing. sorry I missed you, come visit :)

Korie B. said...

Dahlias are my favorite garden flower. I grew up in the Southwest (where nothing grows) and dahlias were the first flower I grew when I moved out here.
Last year we totally forgot to dig up our dahlias, and now this Summer/Fall we're dahlia-less.
Thanks for sharing yours with me!

Leslie said...

I think those flowers are gorgeous! I would take a picture of pastures...you know those fields of waving wheat in Oklahoma LOL. but really I'd love to know more about my heritage; I think I need to research it.

Jenn said...

They are gorgeous,Jennifer!

We are hoping to instill that love of the land into our kids. That is why we had to get out of the city and get them out in the country.

Louise Maine said...

Your parents loved the fact that we both cut them to enjoy. I am deciding where to plant more next year - they are so beautiful!

Leslie Herbert said...

Those are beautiful flowers Jen! what a beautiful story too.