I spent last week with my 92-year-old grandmother. A lifelong dairy farmer, she grew up in a cabin with a dirt floor, deep in the woods of rural Wisconsin, so it's not surprising that she's extremely tough. Extremely opinionated too, as I learned 15 years ago when she visited me in Japan and heard her talking about WWII and her work in a bandage factory. On everything from politics to the economy to international relations and the environment, she has the fierce confidence of a woman who knows you need to chop wood to survive a sub-zero Wisconsin winter -- and thinks that what many of you talk about is a bunch of hooey.
She's cut back her coffee drinking in the last few years. I remember when she used to drink a pot before bedtime to "help her sleep". And what does she think about organic food? "Hah!," she says. "That's crazy." She remembers being glad that they could finally afford pesticides, and she would never go back. "You ever seen how many bugs you get?"
What about raw milk? She thinks pasteurization is fine for the city folk, but as someone who drank fresh milk straight from the bulk tank her whole life, she's never heard of anyone getting sick. When she was a girl, the woods were so thick that the bigger worry was finding pasture land for the cows. Be thankful for what you have.