This is a blog post I’ve been sitting on for over a year since I wrote it. What came about because of a class assignment just showed me so much more about my Gee Gee. I never really knew when I wanted to share this or how to go about it, but I think now is the right time. When I wrote this a year ago I never imagined that this is where everything would end up but I’m just happy that we’ve had the last month or so to spend with Gee Gee and that now she’s back with Grandpa John.
“I never wanted to be a farmer. I never wanted to live in Jeff City and I never wanted to marry a farmer and I did both, but I’m glad I’m where I am.” These are words you really would not expect to come out of the mouth of a woman in her eighties who has been living on a farm since she was married over fifty years ago, but it is something my grandmother Beulah, more affectionately known as Gee Gee, will freely admit. As someone who had never wanted or expected to live on a farm, being thrown right into the middle of a growing hog, cattle, and crop operation was definitely an adjustment that took some time to settle into. In the beginning, she mainly just helped with feeding the animals and handling the bookkeeping.
However, that all changed on July 4th, 1979 when Gee Gee’s husband John, my grandpa, died in a farming accident, leaving her with three children (my Aunt Vickie, Dad, and Aunt Elizabeth) and a farm to run. After that, she had to handle all of the decisions about the hogs, cattle, and crops.
“I had to make all the decisions and I didn’t like it but I made them anyway.” Gee Gee isn’t afraid to admit. With help from local farmers and neighbors, she continued to run the farm while having them assist in the day to day operations and tasks. In the mid-1980’s she finally decided to bring an end to the hog operation, in part due to the hog market, as well as just the commitment, becoming too much to manage. She continued to raise cattle until my Aunt Vickie and Uncle Kim decided to start their own beef cattle herd and she sold her cattle to them. Since then she has continued to rent out the land to local crop and cattle farmers while still living on the farm and helping with us crazy grandkids.
“I hope to be here until the day I’m called home.” Are strong words from a strong woman who didn’t want to be a farmer’s wife.
Its shame and reproach gladly bear
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away
Where his glory forever I’ll share
Till my trophies, at last, I lay down
I will cling to the old rugged Cross
And exchange it someday for a crown
Love you Gee Gee, a bushel and a peck.