Thursday, March 19, 2015

Loaves and Lives 

In February we said good bye to Byron’s mom.  I first met “Mom” when I was 23.  If I had had even the slightest thought that she would someday be my Mother in law, I would have seriously tried to make a good impression!  Thankfully, in spite of my lack of good intentions, she somehow saw something in me, and suggested to Byron that he pursue me.  Am I ever glad for a guy’s mom that knew her son well enough to see me and believe that he and I were meant to be!  Byron is still the man of my dreams.   

In recent years, Mom has become known to many people as an amazing bread baker. And truly she earned that reputation fair and square.  She developed some extraordinary sprouted bread recipes.  And alongside Dad, turned their garage into the cutest little bakery in the county, and spent countless hours there perfecting her recipes and creating the loaves that our FarmBox members and many others have come to crave and love.   Believe it or not, she was almost 70 when she got dusted with the bakery bug! For a few years she and Dad were the only ones to do the careful crafting of the breads and other goodies.  Then a few years ago, she began to teach a few others the fine art of sprouted bread making.   And now our bakers here at the farm are trying their best to follow In her footsteps to carry the tradition on. 

This year, as we went through the process of her short sickness, her sudden death and then the memorial service all of us were reminded again that Mom was so much more than the finest baker we knew.  We realized that her  baking was just her signature of her lifelong passions.   She had chosen to selflessly immerse herself into the task of raising her kids the best way she knew how.  And just as she relentlessly pursued creating the finest healthiest bread, her passion for raising kids that would love and honor God and make a positive difference in their world was all consuming.  That journey for her and Dad included carving out a homestead in the wilds of northern British Columbia  and roughing it without electricity, TV, or even phone.  Byron didn’t even use a telephone until he was 15 years old!  It included growing a huge garden, goats , chickens, mountains of mud, chopping wood to heat the house, sewing underwear from old flour sacks, and much more.  In those days, Byron and his four siblings thought it all a grand adventure to live deep in the woods at the end of a rutted sometimes almost impassible road.  It is only in hindsight that they realize that the temerarious life their parents provided came at great sacrifice. A sacrifice born from deeply cherished convictions about what their children’s true needs were.

 One sunny afternoon in late February, just a few days after the memorial service, Aimee and Pablo conscripted Immian to bake with them so that they could soak up some of his baking skills.  You see, baking is in our family and Immian has worked with our sister company, Silver Hills Bakery for many years.  By the way, that’s actually part of the story of how he and Kymbrelee met.  And to connect the dots further, really the roots for how Silver Hills Bakery started stem back to Byron being a janitor in college….  But now I am so far off track…  That’s a story for another day!


Back to the story – next thing they knew, the four oldest of the little girls had woken up from naps and begged to be allowed to go bake.  So once aprons and hair nets were somehow attached to  their wiggling bodies the fun began!  As I watched them perched precariously on stools smearing flour and dough around on the once gleaming stainless steel counter in the bakery that their great Grandma had started when most great Grandma’s would be sailing on cruises, or enjoying bridge games with friends,  I realized the marvelous potential those four little ladies had to make a difference in  their world.  A big difference.  One life at a time.  It made me so thankful for the choices that their parents are making to raise their kids in the country on farms with all the “hardships” that build indomitable characters.  And I realized that just as Mom had prudently shaped one loaf and one life at a time, parents today can still practice the art of crafting change one life at a time.

4 comments:

Hope Obermiller said...

Beautiful story Janice! I wholeheartedly agree! What an honorable calling motherhood is!

Stacey Kline said...

This is beautifully written. Your mother-in-law must be dearly missed. How wonderful to know that you will one day be with her again in heaven.

I am sitting in my living room with my four children on a Sabbath afternoon doing what we have done on many Sabbaths for the past ten years...watching "Janice's Attic." They are my children's very favorite DVD's. What a blessing your efforts have been to our family! Thank you.

Ralph Graham said...

A most touching story, heartfelt, so well written :)
Ralph Graham

Ralph Graham said...

A most touching story, heartfelt, so well written :)
Ralph Graham