The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

A Hailstorm, An Opportunity.

Visiting Oregon last week, we stopped through to visit the farm where my Grandparents lived and worked most of their lives. My grandparents have both passed on, but they are still with me each day.
Grandpa and his family lived in Nebraska until a hailstorm destroyed their crops and killed many of their chickens. Great-Grandma had enough and insisted they move to Oregon. The family of eight traveled in a car for six days before they arrived. My grandfather was a teenager then, but he did all of the driving. And what a beautiful future he built for himself there.

oregon farm, silverton

My Grandparents’ Oregon Farm.

“I met a man in Haiti who said:
” ‘My passport says I am Haitian. I can’t leave. Yours says, American. You can leave. Do me a favor, have fun in your life. make people laugh, make people smile, love people and do something you enjoy. Don’t feel sorry for me, but just remember the opportunities you have and make the most of them.’ ”

-Bassam Tarazi. The Accountability Effect

9 comments on “A Hailstorm, An Opportunity.

  1. applepieandnapalm
    November 9, 2012

    Such a beautiful post and photo, thanks for sharing this story. What a beautiful view from the house!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      November 9, 2012

      I had a chance to visit Grandpa’s youngest sister. She’s the only one from the family still alive and she told the story beautifully. When they arrived, the real estate agent’s family took them in–all 8 of them!–for days. Reminds me to be good, to be grateful, t obe productive and kind.

  2. Clanmother
    November 9, 2012

    And you have taken his advice – your blog shows that you have lived your life open to all possibilities!!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      November 9, 2012

      Aw! Blush! I do find that writing the blog makes me zero in on nice things and overlook the bad. Why waste time when I have to post three times a week?! 😀 Hugs to you, Clanmother!

  3. gonerustic
    November 9, 2012

    Love the photo and story about the farm; also the reminder to be appreciative and grateful for what I have (not American – Canadian/Australian, but the thought still fits)!

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      November 9, 2012

      🙂 I think the benefits of gratitude must be universal. We benefit when we pause to appreciate the small and large things, especially in a world full of cynicism.

  4. Alarna Rose Gray
    November 13, 2012

    What beautiful words! I do often wonder what life must be like for many people around the world, who don’t have the luxury of travel, or of moving from the lives they’ve built when things don’t work out. The feeling of being stuck in a place, no matter what. Easy to think of such a life as charming and simple, but perhaps that’s the view of the privileged…

    • thenicethingaboutstrangers
      November 14, 2012

      Yes, I try to be grateful for that freedom to move, to relocate, to reinvent myself. It also shows how I should and must develop myself and connect with others.

  5. anglophiletoad
    November 29, 2012

    My grandparents also had a farm, theirs in western Missouri, on which I had the great privilege of living during my first few years of college. Given the extent to which my family moved around the Western Hemisphere while I was growing up, I often feel that it’s the only place in my life that I can truly refer to as “home.” My grandmother died two years ago (almost to the day), and testamentary issues are in the process of dividing the farm between my mother and my uncle, which is sad, but I take great comfort in knowing that a few acres of that will one day come my way. So, no matter how far or wide I roam, I will always have a “home” waiting for me at the end of the road…

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This entry was posted on November 9, 2012 by in Blogging, Happiness, Inspiration, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , .

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