Custom – a group pattern of habitual activity usually transmitted from one generation to another.
That sounds really cult-like doesn’t it? “Habitual activity” – I would prefer “common activities taught throughout generations” or something like that.
What’s the point?
10 years ago, when I graduated high school (yes, it’s been that long – what?!) I would have never thought that I would be a farmer’s wife back in Central Montana. I’m not exactly sure that I knew what I really would have said if you had asked the question “Where do you want to be in 10 years,” but I’m pretty positive that I wouldn’t have said where I am now.
But I am happy that what I thought might have been didn’t happen. The saying “You never know how good you have it until you miss it” was very true for me. I enjoyed going away for college, experiencing a different type of lifestyle – “big city” so to speak – but I missed home. I missed running through our small town for track practice and not having to worry about stopping for traffic (because there was none) and I missed going to basketball games with packed gyms and the pride of a small town that came to support those players even if they weren’t directly related to those participating.
I missed being on the back of a horse behind lazy moving cows as they made their way to summer pastures, but then going after that one crazy one who thought she could beat us back to the gate.
And even though I don’t like to admit it, I missed spending time “bonding” with my brothers via walkie-talkies while sitting in a tractor.
But I think at the root of all of that, what I really missed were the customs I learned while living in Central Montana. The customs to supporting your community, work together, and family comes first – just to name a few. And now I am back to it, but the teacher is my husband and I believe he is thoroughly enjoying teaching me the lessons and customs that he grew up with.
While I grew up chasing cows on horses, he grew up zooming around them on a four wheeler or motor cycle. He grew up “farming” all spring and summer, while I was in the tractor for MAYBE a month in the two summers I helped my older brother with haying. Those are just two of many different customs that I looked forward to learning when our relationship began.
While I am no where near finished learning these new customs (I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting lessons for a while and probably from my oldest son at some point I have a feeling!), I am learning to enjoy these lessons. However, my favorite Central Montana custom and the one I am most looking forward to teaching to the next generation is the importance of having a good, hard work ethic in everything we do. I know that this custom is sacred to all those who love this area as much as I do.
Thank you God for helping me to realize my love of Central Montana and all of the difference customs that are learned while living here – I can’t wait to see what new customs we come up with to teach to our family!