Faith Grown in a Garden

Heritage flows through our veins with loyal patience. Seeds planted in our youth may take years to reach maturity.

The voice resonating from old black and white photographs commands attention. Yellowed by age with edges worn down by the vestiges of time, these windows to the past contain an earnestness not found in today’s studio portraits and urban alley photo shoots.

Our ancestors were not pretending. Strong and steadfast, the eyes looking out from time battered photographs contain a depth of living that would shatter the delicate psyche of today’s version of humans, myself included.

Grandma Maggie before we met — Author’s family photo

Her eyes lock with mine and we begin a conversation.

Grandma Maggie — Author’s family photo


Tammy Hader
Tammy Hader
Tammy Hader has no writer’s pedigree. With a BBA in accounting from Wichita State University, numbers are her history. The CPA exam was passed, because that’s what accountants are supposed to do, and thirty years later her accounting life ended with the desire to journey down a different career path. The compass turned toward words to create a new legacy beyond spreadsheets. Her nostalgic writing reflects on the past to explain the present and shine into the future the light of lessons learned. Growing up in a small Midwestern town, influenced by relationships, choices, consequences, and situations, her life is not unique. In her stories, you will recognize reflections of your own past, understand how you arrived at today’s version of you and gaze with her across the bridge into the future.

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  1. Selfies: a technology tool that has us focusing on ourselves more than on others. How do we label those who would dare jump into OUR picture? A photo bomber. It almost immediately communicates, “I am as important as ‘this'” – whatever “this” is, be it monument, statue, nature etc. The worst example I’ve witnessed is at the 911 Memorial in NYC where smiling individuals or couples or groups will take a picture of themself with one of the reflecting pools in the background. “Where were you raised?” I want to ask.

    OK, my rant aside, this was another beautiful piece. I love how you focus on one person – Grandma – and tell her story. I can see the slightly yellowed, bent, and maybe cracked photos.

    • I’m disappointed but not surprised about 911 Memorial selfies. Brad and I visited there a few years ago. We found it to be such a solemn place, not a place for smiling tourist pics. Rant understood.

  2. I love this piece Tammy! Thank you for sharing the photos along with your words. I am teaching my children about gardening the past few weeks and I hope they have these fond memories of our experiences. I do wonder about our generation and our selfies, but I also can’t help but think of this line you wrote: “Reminding myself that wisdom is learned from mistakes …”

    I like to think that our selfish selfies will be all our children need to learn to do it a different way. Mistakes can also provide wisdom to the generations that come after us.

    Your post makes me want to go outside and weed my garden!! BRB!

    • Ahhh … teaching future generations a different way would be an excellent use of selfies. Thank you for sharing this very positive spin on selfish selfies.

      Wonderful to hear that you are teaching your kids about gardening. Not a bad skill to learn and I’m sure they will have fond memories of the experience. They may not realize that for a few years, but they will get there.

  3. What a wonderful article, memoir, walk down memory lane that deeply resonated with my own recollections of my childhood and heritage. Yes, every potato bush had its quota, every hand-picked berry tasted sweetest, every egg lukewarm, every good night to welcoming morning with open arms and breakfast. Yes, after 70 years of life’s travels, I am still the little girl who walks in my parent’s work ethics and faith. Thank you for sharing your thoughts to remember my story.
    PS: I also don’t indulge in selfies, but old family albums are priceless.

    • So glad my story resonated with you, Annemarie. I always love to hear that my words have sparked someone’s memories of their own similar stories.

      I don’t quite get the appeal of selfies and I’m terrible at taking them. Selfies are most definitely not for me. Thank you for your wonderful comment.

  4. What a thought and question Tammy! What will future generations think of selfies? I’ve taken one selfie and I don’t really understand the craze of self obsession… I think it’s a sign of the times. The new generations are obsessed with themselves and don’t care about what their little brother or sister is doing.. or Mom and Dad, or Grandma.

    The only problem is will those selfies be somehow contained, preserved and shared as we have of our former generations in real tangible photos?
    Nice article.

    • I’ve only taken a few selfies, all of which turned out horrible. I clearly lack the selfie skillset and I’m okay with that. 🙂 Think I should stick with taking pictures of my cat.

      I don’t see how selfies could be preserved and shared. Sure those pictures will be out there on the internet and sitting in cloud storage on a server somewhere. Not quite as personal as a family photo album or an old boot box found tucked away in a closet.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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