When my grandpa died, my grandma wanted a fresh start. So in 1974, we moved from our farm in Oklahoma to Seymour, Missouri. My sister, who lived in Fordland at the time, had a bad horse riding accident. So in late 1979, my grandma bought a little house in Fordland so our family could take care of her. It has been in our family for almost 40 years now.
When Grandma passed away in 1983, she left it to me. Now, the old house is part of the shop [I own with Ryan Rosenquist], Grayson Home. I have a lot of memories of gardening with Grandma. She and I planted most of the shrubbery and trees there back in the day, like the old apple tree out front. For Mother’s Day, I would always buy my mom and grandma a tree or a rose bush, and those are still on the property today.
When Grandma moved from the farm in Oklahoma, she made sure to bring her chickens and her Jersey cow with her. So we had fresh eggs, milk and butter, and she always shared with her friends. She believed in living simply. She always told me, “If you live simply, you stay home to make a living.”
And she was right. Making my living off the property was what she always wanted me to do.