There are days of stress. Days when things don’t go well. For example, cows only get out during a thunderstorm.
But I love it. Every minute of it. It’s just great.
I often write about how greatly we underestimated the challenge of living here because I want to caution readers who haven’t made the leap yet. It’s a lot of work. A lot of hard work. A lot of hard, dirty, sweaty, hot, broken fingernail, stained hands, peeling callous, rip in your jeans, leaky rubber boot, blood mixing with manure and dirt kind of work.
But I love it.
The real challenge for me, as we often relate to our readers, is that I forget that Julie doesn’t always love it as much as I do. And that I love Julie more than I love the farm. (And not just because she is hot.)
Julie liked milking the cows for about two months. Then Julie just milked the cows for another two months, sometimes dragging her feet. Tears were shed. Words were said. So now I’m milking the cows. She has had enough.
And who can blame her? It’s not a lot of fun being hit in the face with a cow tail for a few minutes each morning or smashed between them when they lean against each other in the stanchions.
But I love it.
This morning I let the chickens out into a new area then went to count the cows. The chickens ran and hunted and scratched in the early morning light. I would almost say they played but they were too serious about their work to “play”. They were working. But I think they were enjoying their work.
I enjoy my work.
Even when I’m walking the cows out of the neighbor’s bean field as a thunderstorm begins late at night.
Some of this thinking dovetails with a comment dad left on the blog a few years ago:
Just gotta say, I love putting up hay! I love cutting it, raking it, baling it, riding the wagon or driving the tractor, seeing a wagon full of well cured hay, putting it in the barn, going in the hay mow and smelling summer all winter, remembering which cutting and which field a bale came off of, and planning how I can put up quality hay in the future. I even love trying to outthink nature to get it put up.
Each morning I have to be finished milking by 7 so I can get to my desk on time. Also, pigs have to be fed, both flocks of chickens cared for, cows counted, self showered, eggs packed and children hugged. It’s hard to get it all done but I love it. Thank God for coffee. Gotta go.
Have you ever found yourself smiling and shaking your head in agreement as you read something? This was one of those posts. I LOVE everything about it. I can sit in the field and watch cattle graze for hours. When building fence I get some sick satisfaction in the more I hurt and sweat. Rena….not so much. But she sure is a good sport in it all. Every time I come up with my “good idea” I just think to myself, “what would Rena think?” Or more like, “what would Rena put up with?”….lol.
Without work, then joy wouldn’t have its depth. There is pleasure in walking in the dirt of a vineyard or field completing a task. Thanks for the reminder.
I think it’s a bit like raising children. The overall concept is pretty good. The nitty gritty of the thing can be a little gritty, frankly. But there are so many moments in between that are amazing and fun and beautiful and touching and inspiring that you get reminded often enough of why it you live your kids. Same with farming. Love your Dad’s thought process about the hay.
I think of how many men were not wise enough to listen to and cherish their farm wives.
I can relate to the love of it but my husband just tolerates our little set up. I can watch our chickens and work in the garden FOREVER. I don’t think I’ll ever have the true farm or farmette b/c it would be way too much work for a women in her 40’s to tackle. Not that he wouldn’t help, but you have to have the love and deep satisfaction to dig in day in and day out….so I gave my dream to God years ago. He’s good to take those desires from us that we aren’t going to get to realize. Glad you are getting to live the dream and are sensitive to your wife. It really isn’t a life for everyone.
It’s not for everyone. And it is nowhere near as easy as it looks in the magazines.
Chickens are a hoot. I would have chickens if I had nothing else…but I would start looking for a way to keep a pig.
A pig would be wonderful…a cow is my big dream but I don’t think it’s happening (even though the guy next door also wants one…our spouses aren’t down with cutting the fence and putting one cow on 1/2 acre ;P).
In your post as you describe what you are doing I can visualize it all. It’s a beautiful scene. I do the same things you do every morning and evening. It is quite rewarding and I thank god everyday for a loving, caring, hot wife that I have and the farming she allows us to do. I long for the day of retiring from my in town job so I can be on the farm all day, every day. Thanks for the great post!