ENJOYING MY LIFE ON OUR FAMILY FARM

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Have you ever just looked up into the deep, dark cosmic abyss and gazed at all the stars twinkling back down to you?  Last night, my husband and I came home from church late, and when we got out of the car, my husband said he would show me where the Big Dipper was, if I wanted him to.  Of course, I said yes, because I always seem to get it wrong.  We stopped where we were and looked up to the sky and became mesmerized by the little jewels shining so bright on the night canvas.  He pointed out the big dipper to me and our littlest son.  We just stood there with our heads looking up toward the heavens.  We live way out in the country where we have very little light pollution, and the stars just shimmer like little diamonds in the sky.  We stood there, quiet and at peace, for a long while.  That is why I love living in the country on our farm.  We couldn’t hear anything but the frogs peep and croak in the far distance, and the wind blowing through the trees.  We all were as content as we could be.

Today we had a training at work, and the trainer began by asking us where we worked, our years of service with the department, and if we could be anywhere else in the world at this very moment, where would you want to be.  Most everyone said they would want to be on a beach somewhere or in some foreign country.  I thought about their comments, and it would be nice to be on the beach somewhere or in some random country overseas, but to be honest, I would not want to be anywhere else except on our farm.  I love to be at home on our farm.  I am content with working in the yard, taking care of my chickens, or just admiring the animals as they eat the fresh, green, tender grass.  There is nothing better than sitting in my yard swinging to my heart’s content.

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Farming is not only a form of income for us, but it is a lifestyle we have chosen.  I was not raised on farm, but I got here has fast as I could.  I married into the farm life, and even though it was quite an adjustment from the city life, I have loved every minute of it.  I remember wondering why my husband would rush out of the house and run to the field and take care of a cow that was down, when we first got married.  I didn’t understand the urgency.  Now I do the same thing.  The other night we got home real late in the evening and I was exhausted from the events of the day.  I went to bed and forgot to close my chicken coop door.  About four in the morning, I heard our guinea start to fire up.  When ole’ Sam gets excited he sounds likes he is screaming for his life. I woke from a sound sleep and listened and he did it again.  I then heard the other chickens start to cackle, but I knew by the sound of it that something was wrong; something was trying to get to my chickens.  So I jumped out of bed, threw some clothes on, and found my phone so I would have a flash light.  I ran outside and noticed that the guinea and one of the hens were out of the coop. I counted them all and thank goodness, they were all there.  Here we are, me and my husband, out in our yard at four in the morning, chasing one of the hens all around the yard so we can put her back in the coop with the other chickens.

I chuckled at the scene.  Here I am, years later, rushing out of the house to rescue the animals that I vowed to protect, just like my husband has been doing for years.  I realized that is what farm life is like.  These animals that we raise, does not only serve as a source of income, but they are apart of our family.  Living on a farm is a labor of love.  It is like no other feeling, and if you have never been in the presence of little calves running around so happy and care free, you have not lived life to the fullest.

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Sunday mornings my husband spends his morning in the yard with his coffee cup watching and inspecting the cows.  I am not really sure why it is, but the cows will come by the yard fence just about every Sunday morning before we leave for church.  It is like they are there to be noticed and to tell us to have a delightful Sunday.  This last Sunday, I joined him for a little bit.  The temperature was perfect and all the little calves were gathered around.  We just stood there side by side, talking and watching the cows nibble on the freshly grown grass.

I know farm life is not for everyone.  We get questions a lot about how we can live so far off out in the “boondocks”.  They wonder how we get by without having a grocery store five minutes from our house.  I understand why they think this way.  I was in the same mind-set a little over 20 years ago.  I lived in a city till I was 18 years old, but my husband has lived the majority of his 42 years on a farm.  For 23 years, he lived on a farm much larger than ours.  His family lived on a little over 1000 acres, although our farm is slightly smaller, only 77 acres, he’s just as content.  My husband lived in town with me when our older two kids were just babies, and hated every moment of it.  I was not too fond of it myself, but it was something I was accustom to.  After living on farm for the last several years, I could never go back to city living.

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I have grown at ease to the serene environment that has encompassed me.  Farm life has become my life.  There are approximately 2 million farms that dot America’s rural landscape.  According to the Department of Agriculture, about 97 percent of  U.S. farms are operated by families.  These families can consist of individuals, family partnerships, or family corporations.  Some of these farms are thousands of acres, but many of are less than a hundred.  The world needs farmers.  Whether it is a cattle farm, a crop farm, or a little bit of both, the world relies on the farmer.

In 1978, Paul Harvey couldn’t have described a farmer any better.  Here is the profound words from his “So God Made a Farmer” Speech.

And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, “I need a caretaker.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk cows, work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board.” So God made a farmer.

“I need somebody with arms strong enough to rustle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild. Somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait lunch until his wife’s done feeding visiting ladies and tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon — and mean it.” So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody willing to sit up all night with a newborn colt. And watch it die. Then dry his eyes and say, ‘Maybe next year.’ I need somebody who can shape an ax handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make harness out of haywire, feed sacks and shoe scraps. And who, planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, pain’n from ‘tractor back,’ put in another seventy-two hours.” So God made a farmer.

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain clouds and yet stop in mid-field and race to help when he sees the first smoke from a neighbor’s place. So God made a farmer.

God said, “I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bails, yet gentle enough to tame lambs and wean pigs and tend the pink-combed pullets, who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadow lark. It had to be somebody who’d plow deep and straight and not cut corners. Somebody to seed, weed, feed, breed and rake and disc and plow and plant and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish a hard week’s work with a five-mile drive to church.

“Somebody who’d bale a family together with the soft strong bonds of sharing, who would laugh and then sigh, and then reply, with smiling eyes, when his son says he wants to spend his life ‘doing what dad does.'” So God made a farmer.

I have a great appreciation for those who choose agriculture as their way of life.  I know it takes all kinds of people to make this world go round’.  I am just one of those individuals who choose to go round’ this world …..on a farm.

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