Diane’s Naturally came about because of a grumpy older lady that I knew who used to live near the house that I grew up in. I don’t know if grumpy is the right word to describe how she was. I think a better way to describe her would be “stand offish” but be that as it may, she had a good understanding of how to grow, care for, and cook things.
Diane was her name and she was our neighbor. We lived out in the “sticks” and Diane’s home was the only other house on our road. I didn’t know how old she was but I overheard my parents talking about how she had to be, at the time, between 40 and 50. I really couldn’t tell because I was so young plus she moved around like she was my age. She lived alone and every now and then I saw people stop by her place. For the most part though, she was alone, moving about like she needed no one.
I would stop by Diane’s place from time to time because I thought she was pretty smart. She always gave off the impression that she didn’t want to be bothered but when she allowed you around, it would be guaranteed that you’d learn something.
She was a back to nature buff and said that everything that we needed can be found in the nature that’s around us. Diane seemed to be a bit radical. I probably called her crazy at the time just because I didn’t know how else to describe her passionate eccentric behavior. But whatever she was doing seemed to work for her. No one could argue that. She tended her own garden, which was quite large. She had cows, chickens, goats, and a dog that she cared for. She built stuff and did all of her own repairs.
As she got more comfortable with me coming around I realized that she had a thriving little business where she sold homemade salves, tinctures, candles, etc. She had her stuff in a couple of stores so she didn’t even have to set up a station at the local farmer’s market if she didn’t want to. She’d just spend the week bottling up her stuff and take it to a few stores in town. I don’t think she had any desire to see her business expand but it seemed like it was naturally happening people really liked what she produced.
To make a little money and to show my father that I could bring home the bacon too, I started helping Diane with many of her projects. What she paid me was way more than I needed and I also benefited from learning from her. Diane is where I got my work ethic from.