Living on a farm in the winter can make you question if ALL the hard work is worth it. The snow and the rain turn the ground into fields of mud and muck. I am lucky that most mornings my husband handles the farm duty to allow "The Queen of the Farm" her full dose of beauty rest. But there are those mornings when he is traveling that the farm chores are left on my shoulders. I don't complain, but it's not a walk in the park. It's a trek in the 9 degree, snowy, rainy, dark, cold tundra.
The animals depend on us and we depend on them. Therefore, I make my way to our mud room and put on the farm garb. My stylish attire consists of dirty bib overhalls, a ski mask, $5.00 down jacket (what a deal!), and my gloves. I grab a flashlight and head out the door. As I walk through the gate, I pray the cows don't hear me before I can dump feed in their troughs. Walking through thousands of pounds of beef as I get stuck in the mud is extremely scary for me.
I walk and have a conversation with myself. A little like Sally Field in Sybil, but I know you understand as I've laid out the visual in the previous paragraphs. Sybil and I continue our chores from the muddy (an understatement) barnyard to the chicken coop. I open the henhouse door and throw corn as I yell....Here Chick, Chick, Chick. The "girls" as we call them, are reluctant to leave their warm laying boxes. I can't really blame them.
As I make my way back to the house, I hear the cows who have now arrived at their troughs. If it's late enough in the morning, I can see swollen bellies filled with calves who will be dropping soon. Then it dawns on me that Spring is on it's way.
I begin to dream of putting my hands in the dirt. I can see Henrietta with her calf suckling in the field while Guido our bull is deciding whose next. The excitement of days to come of picking strawberries and peaches begins to find hope inside me. I can taste fresh tomato on bologna sandwiches and it is more than I can stand. Taking morning four wheeler rides with my husband to experience the day waking up before us are times that I treasure. And my oh my, rocking on my porch watching bird after bird come to the feeder is something you just have to experience for yourself.
When I was a little girl, living on a farm was no where in my plans for life. But, thank GOD I have this wonderful blessing. As I sit here and write this morning, I can hear the winds of winter outside and feel the cold draft in this old house blow across my feet. I'm reminded that good things are always better when you've had to work for them.
So we'll continue to work through the winter as we do each year. Because the mud, muck and cold are so worth it to experience the amazing blessings of Spring!