Since the garden has been planted, the weather seems to have settled a bit and my farmer friends are all in the field, I can take the time to get out and do my next round of interviews.
Somedays my feet are draggin’ and my insecurities get the best of me; but once I arrive at someone’s home, set up the equipment and begin to visit…it all changes.
Oh the stories – everyone has one… and everyone is different. Sometimes it surprises me. This last interview was with Mary Ann (Werre) Lehr. We have some connections as both the Lehrs taught school in Linton back in the day when my cousin Deborah was still in school. Mary Ann’s life was quite different growing up on the farm her grandfather homesteaded. But I am going to save that for later…
She loves being outdoors and being on the farm and learning about things. The summer kitchen on the farm is packed with memorabilia from days gone by. It’s a miracle to me that her family saved the stuff they saved, unlike my mother’s family. When they moved in from the farm, Grandma said, I have had enough of the old, leave it behind. They gave it all up for a new life in town.
The video was amazing, the photos of Mary Ann were amazing and this project is amazing. I do not however know how it will end. Just like the cookbook project it is evolving as I go about filming and visiting. I’m still seeking willing women who would agree to being photographed for an exhibit and video taped for all posterity.
Our new http://www.dasguteessen.com site photo is from Violet Diegel who lives in Wishek. It is her husbands sister, of all things, plowing. I am delighted to be able to share that tidbit with you all in anticipation of the final exhibit in 2015. So, if you wish to participate by providing a name for an interview, or donating to the project… please feel free to join our preservation efforts anytime. Oh, and then there’s photos… if you have black and white old photos of your mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, etc. working on the farm, please send them to us. We are archiving this information for future generations interested in how life used to be – simple and hard at the same time.
But wait — there’s pie. That’s right. Nearly every interview ends with coffee and pie or kuchen or something sweet. It’s a German Russian tradition that explains why I look the way I do these days.
After Mary Ann’s interview we had crystal clear delightful well water that tasted like the wild water of my youth and pie… rhubarb pie and after the pie we picked rhubarb to go home and I made rhubarb ice cream and rhubarb tea. (Video coming – if you promise not to laugh. My makeup artist is permanently on vacation…)
My spouse was treated to some leftover pie and let me tell you – it was awesome… oh so awesome. Like all the wonderful women I meet and will meet.