Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter On The Farm

Winter on the farm. 
Not a season for the faint of heart, soul or mind.
It's a rare breed, those who can wake up to -30º windchill and still look forward to the opportunity that the day presents 
before them. Somewhat

Winter on the farm. 
It is wondering how in the heck cows can walk across broken, frozen lots in hooves when Mucks boots are barely saving your ankles. "That broad gives a whole new meaning to sound footed," you think to yourself, tip-toeing as though your life depended on the next step. Which, it might. 

Winter on the farm. 
It is defined by the shrieks of pure Christmas morning joy when the youngest opens a new pair of Carhartts or a conditioned show halter. Nothing pink, chargeable or begins with "i". Rather something to be grown into, both in size and spirit

Winter on the farm. 
It is staying up late to figure rations on your bred heifers' feed plan, meticulously planned so they don't over gain.... then not thinking twice about the frozen pizza
- Or two frozen pizzas -
that your family just devoured. 

Winter on the farm. 
It's trying to follow tracks in the snow then feeling small when your legs don't quite make length. Winter on the farm is the first place you learn this lesson: Staying on the path is important; each time you stray it shows. 

Winter on the farm. 
It's being certain you'll know no other pain than when snow gets packed between your glove and your coat, convinced the ice will erode your veins. 

Winter on the farm. 
It's all about blame. 
It's about trying to remember who was supposed to drain the hose. 
Because, obviously, no one did. 
And this has ruined your morning routine. 

Winter on the farm. 
It's electric blankets, extra insulation, stacked straw, constant weather watching and chili. It's spending three hours moving snow just so you can get down your long lane in order to go shovel the neighbor's drive. Winter on the farm is losing your head because your husband bought a heated water bowl for the stray cats in the barn. It's slamming the door in his smiling face once you hear his claim that it was 75% off.

Winter on the farm. 
It's bedding expectant mothers nightly. It's pitching frozen manure and spreading dusty straw and- through your sneezes - wondering about the last time you changed the sheets on your own bed?

Winter on the farm. 
It's sitting in the warmth of your own bathroom and trying to teach a newborn calf - half frozen - how to suck. It's exhausting your patience and heart while breaking your back as you force feed a baby who was born early in arctic temperatures. Winter on the farm is talking to God: "I know I ask for a lot, but please, please God place your arms around his baby and warm her up. God, let her live. God, please, save this calf." Winter on the farm is wondering how parents with sick children get through it. Winter on the farm is falling asleep against a washing machine holding a 70 lb. "baby".

Winter on the farm.
Winter is trading fashion for function. It's strategically layering cotton under wool under waterproof. It's being so bundled up that - unless you're going to be in the house for more than two hours - you don't unbundle until you're done for the day. Winter is replacing your image with warmth. 

Winter is also following the BYOHH rule: 
Bring Your Own Hot hands

Winter on the farm. 
It's rolling over to realize you'r husband is gone. 
And for a second you're concerned - but then you wake enough to remember.
You know he's gone to check on things in the barn, too tired to sleep

Winter on the farm.
Hay is like gold and it's treated that way. Stockpiled, rationed and  sought after. 

Winter on the farm. 
It's not being mad that the winter weather alert blasting through your stereo speakers interrupted your favorite song as you blow out heifers. 
Winter on the farm is spending extra time in the barn at night because you  know you won't have school tomorrow. Winter is that confident excitement. 

Winter on the farm. 
It's waking to the dark and breakfasting in the dark. 
It's working in the dark.
It's feeding in the dark then sleeping in the dark. 
Winter on the farm is dark

But winter on the farm brings great light. 
Fresh snow. 
Young life.
New year. 
Soft beginnings. 
Another notch on the belt if you don't play your cards right. 

Winter on the farm. 
Not a season for the faint of heart, soul or mind.
Rather, one worth bundling and blowing through in order to get to something different. 
Something warmer. 

Something like spring mud. 

Have you read about the life of 

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