As my favorite time of the year approaches, Thanksgiving, I am more aware than ever of what it means to be thankful. I just received a delightful phone call which made me think of all my blessings.
I am indeed a wife, mom, daughter and daughter-in-law in this life. All I had ever wanted was to be a mom when I was growing up. As for being a 'farmer's wife' that is another story. I grew up around farmers and had aspirations of living in Europe one day. As they say 'life happens when you are making other plans' and it happened in a big way. Bigger than I could imagine. I have had so many privileges over the years. One big privilege is marrying into a family that accepted me as one of their own. What does this mean and does it matter? Yes it does matter and it means one simple word "respect".
When you farm you usually live in close proximity to your 'in-laws'. I have been told I am a rarity that a daughter-in-law would not only mesh within the family farm but also take the business to another level. This is a fact I have never thought of. I suppose we are able to do this because I let my 'in-laws' do their thing and vice-versa.
The piece of advice I would give is to respect each other's differences and even celebrate them. Know not everyone is like you nor should they be. We have a saying in our house and that is 'everyone brings something different to the table'. This makes for a bountiful meal. A meal of only potatoes day after day can be quite boring.
I try to treat my friends like family and my family like friends. Put the feelings of others first. In a farming situation respect each other's space. If you visit each other's homes consider knocking before entering. Or even calling first. The little things that can stir up resentment which lead to bad feelings.
I chose the name Cornell for the ice cream because I wanted to honor the beginnings. Cornell Dairy started with my in-laws and will hopefully end with my children and beyond. Cornell is derived from Cornelius, as in Cornelius and Luise Dyck. The couple that started this with five children and have grown the family to five marriages, 26 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren (so far).
My husband and I purchased the farm in 2001 and my in-laws have always supported our ideas with giving advice. Respecting our decisions along the way. My husband and my in-laws work together every single day. My husband considers it a blessing in life to have cookies & coffee with his dad everyday. I think that is something to cherish.
This Thanksgiving season I will be counting my blessings and giving thanks. Thanks for wisdom, respect and opportunities. Above all family.
"Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred" -Proverbs 15:17