“Interview with my Grandmother”
June 1, 2026, by Jemma Waldron Haley – age 7
First I just want to say that my Gram, Deb Waldron, created a really cool home called Weatherwood Farm. It’s not like what you might think of when someone says “farm”. It’s a whole neighborhood! Lots of families have homes here.
You can tell you’re at the right place because, at the entrance, by the sign with the farm’s name on it, is a 3-foot tall Inuksuk stone sculpture – stacked-up stones that look like a person! It welcomes everyone to the farm. We decorate it for the different holidays and we build little ones all over the place with stones we find. Some families even have them at their own houses too. We do!
There is a pasture on one side of the road and the woods and lake are behind it. Near Gram’s house is the barn where we usually see a few horses grazing in the pasture. The big barn belongs to the whole neighborhood, so not all the horses and animals are my Gram’s. She has a smaller barn on her piece of the property and it connects all the way from her garage and studio to her house!
Sometimes we play in the hayloft with the barn cats. Then, without going outside at ALL, we can walk through the barn into the room we call “the cats’ house”. This is a colorful, fun place where once in a while Gram raises litters of kittens for a rescue group! They’re always so cute.
And Gram also has what she calls “grandma and grandpa” cats, who live here like a retirement home. (She has retired horses too. I love them lots!)
Her pottery studio is next, where we get to make stuff out of clay. Gram is usually working on something. My favorite cereal bowl is one she made just for me! Sometimes she teaches classes here too. My friends and I took a class once and made ornaments for Christmas.
There is a small greenhouse that smells warm and wet and “green” next to the studio and her workshop is at the back of the garage. That’s where she fixes stuff and lets us build things with the scraps! Finally, there’s the door to the house through the mudroom!
Oh, and did I tell you that Gram’s house has flowers and stuff growing on part of the ROOF? And solar shingles that make electricity? There are more animals in the house too! Gram really loves animals – and so do I!
I asked my mom why Gram has a farm like this and she said I should ASK her! So I did! Plus, we had to interview a relative for school, so I can do two things at once!
Here goes: OFFICIAL INTERVIEW
ME: “Gram … You created a very different kind of home here. Where did you get the idea for this? Did you always live on a farm? How long have you lived here?”
GRAM: “It IS different! I have only lived here for 6 years. You were just little when I moved in. I did NOT grow up on a farm but I wish I had. When I was really little, my grandma and grandpa had sort of a small farm in Medina. Grandpa had chickens and rabbits, and barn cats. He grew corn and we rode on the tractor, but I never had a pony or anything like that.
I remember walking down the lane after dinner with a coffee can full of the day’s table scraps for the barn kitties who were fed in the tractor shed. When it was really dark out, they sure made me jump when they just appeared out of nowhere at their dish for their treats!
When I was 5, Grandpa turned the farm into a street and we built a new house, so then we were “city” kids, with only one dog and one cat.
ME: “You have way more animals now! How did THAT start? Mom won’t let me have that many.”
GRAM: “I got 2 kittens the first year I was a teacher and I’ve just had a bunch of pets ever since. I think they’re happier – when they have friends to play with. When your Aunt Kara was in second grade, and your mom was about 2, we got our first dog – a Golden Retriever named Coty. Your mom loved playing with Coty’s puppies.
When she was in high school, we got some new kittens and your mom REALLY had fun watching them play! You should have heard her giggle! You like to play with the kittens in the cats’ house, don’t you? YOUR family does have a few animals too! Supper and Eire love it here at the farm, don’t they? And the kitties?
MEY: “Yah they do. But … tell me about the FARM, please?”
GRAM: “Ok! You know I like LOTS of different things … like buildings that all connect together. Art and Nature. Animals of almost all kinds, except maybe spiders and snakes when they startle me! Mostly I love using my IMAGINATION.
Well, I decided when I retired from teaching and had all the time I wanted, that my dream was I would design my very own dream place to live. AND I would have enough money to make it just the right way – and have it be a place for other people to live and love nature and be on a farm too.”
ME: “So how did you GET the farm?”
GRAM: “I imagined it.”
ME: “I don’t understand. How do you do that exactly?”
GRAM: “I REALLY imagined it! For years and years, I closed my eyes and I daydreamed and imagined and pretended and thought and thought and thought about my farm ALL the time. I pretty much lived on the farm in my imagination.
In my mind it was real, and I could see the grey, rough wood that the barn is made of. I could hear the horses nickering, smell the sweet hay, and the warm smell of the horses. I imagined Sebastian and Patrick living in that barn and going out to the pasture. We rode on the trails around the farm, and I built fairy houses under the trees.
I saw myself in the workshop, smelling the wood and sawdust, building and fixing things there with all the tools. Some of those tools belonged to MY father – your great grandpa. I worked in my pottery studio – my hands in the clay – making pots and bowls and mugs … and firing all the pieces in the kiln – including the pieces you kids make.
I imagined the fun and creativity of teaching art classes in the studio and outside, all over the farm. I even invited some of my artist and art teacher friends to come to teach classes too!
I imagined watering the plants in that little greenhouse. I could smell that green, warm wet smell in there and see the sun coming through the glass and water drops trailing down the windows. You know what I mean?”
ME: “Yah! It’s really THERE!”
GRAM: “Yes. It. Is. because I imagined it! I imagined myself coming into the mudroom with dirty dogs and giving them showers, doing the laundry in the laundry room so everything was clean and smelled better! I smelled the wonderful food cooking in the kitchen your mom and dad helped me to design! Everything smelled amazing!
I’d get something cold out of the refrigerator or hold a steaming mug of cinnamon coffee while I looked out all the windows in the sunroom at the back of the living room and watch the wind trees on the hill twirl round and round making electricity for the farm They hypnotized me in my imagination and they still do for real!”
ME: “Me TOO!”
GRAM: “Then while I did all this imagining, I made plans for HOW I could really make this come TRUE. I started a business, worked at it every day, and it kept getting bigger and bigger and that’s what gave me the money to turn my IMAGINED farm into a REAL one. And the reason my business grew and grew was that I worked more on helping other people make money than I did for myself.”
ME: “I don’t get it. Didn’t you want the money for yourself?”
GRAM: “Oh yes, I did. But, let me ask you a question. How hard would you work on a project with someone, if they only wanted YOU to help THEM get the credit?”
ME: “Well, not very hard at all.”
GRAM: “Exactly. You’d want to work with someone who really cared about YOUR ideas, and who was willing to work together to HELP you both make those ideas come true, right? You’d work really hard yourself because you knew they were going to help you. I used what I learned in a lot of good books, and courses and people I talked with all the time.
I learned that EVERYTHING we have in our lives comes from things that we THINK about.
So we can have ANYTHING in life that we want – if we REALLY want it, if we THINK about it all the time and then we ACT on the ideas that pop into our head with love in our hearts for other people.
I practiced that and practiced that – and helped other people in my business do the same thing. I helped THEM make THEIR dreams real – and that helped me make MY dreams real.”
ME: “So now that you have the farm, are you done imagining?”
GRAM: “I’ll bet you already know the answer to that, don’t you?”
ME: “I say you’re not done! What are you dreaming NOW?”
GRAM: “Well, since the farm started as an “agri-neighborhood”, I’m always growing dreams! We have a group that meets all the time to think up new ways to make the farm better and ways to help more people. The big barn has lots of animals that are taken care of by the farmers and many of our families.
We have gardens that the farmers use for big crops they sell in the farm market. Some of the things they raise we share with the families who live here because they volunteer to help with the work and the cost. There are garden places each family can use for their own crops too. We have cooking classes and we’re planning more ways to co-operate!”
ME: “We do that! Mom and I help in the farm garden and with the chickens. I’ve helped take stuff to the store. Dad teaches cooking classes at the big barn, and Mom teaches desserts! Yum!!”
GRAM: “I agree with you! We also have people who help keep the lake healthy and stocked with fish. The woods have lots of trails that everyone can walk or ride their horses. I love how those trails go ALL around the farm!”
ME: “Those trails are fun in the snow in the winter too!”
GRAM: “Have you seen any fairy houses there lately?”
GRAM: “So my dream of having a farm for myself grew into having a farm with neighbors. This farm has become a place for all kinds of families to create and live their dreams, and help each other. I’m especially happy that your family, and Aunt Kara, Uncle Andy and Will moved here. That was part of my dream too!”
ME: “This is an awesome place to grow up. We can just walk to your house! What else are you’re dreaming?”
GRAM: “Oh another dream I have is about YOU!”
GRAM: “Yup! I’m imagining about everyone in our big family. I know I have healthy, happy children, grandchildren, family and friends!! I see us all creating the lives we want most and then sharing our gifts and talents with the world all around us. I imagine that this is the BEST life EVER on the planet and we get to live it together. What do you think of that dream?”
ME: “I think I’ll dream that too. That way, if we do it together, we KNOW it will come true. Thanks for telling me this story, Gram. I love you!”
GRAM: “And I love you right back!”
So, I learned a lot from my Gram about how she started her farm. I’m also pretty interested in how all the things we think about somehow become things in real life. I guess I’ll have to watch what I’m thinking, huh?
I’m going to write down a dream of my own, and start imagining it right now. Well, when I’m done with this homework report… and gathering eggs… and eating a fresh cookie… and playing with the kittens…
Jemma Waldron Haley