Last night I was out "partying" with friends (a ladies tea and devotional) and did not arrive home until midnight. This morning at 5:00 a.m. my sweet husband was nudging me, "I hate to wake you up, but it's time to get ready for butchering". The feeling was a familiar one. It was time to pull myself up by the boot straps, suck it up, and get moving. Any family that lives on a farm knows what I am talking about. If we are out late having fun with our city-folk friends, we know the price we will pay later. There is no sleeping in (or at least not much) around here. The animals are always waiting for your care, no matter what other things are going on in life. Working while tried and exhausted is not uncommon on the farm because, at times, you simply don't have a choice.
So I pulled myself out of bed, made my way to the kitchen and got started on making a pot of chili to feed my hungry chew after the butchering was over. Some left-over oatmeal was heated up for breakfast and a pot of coffee was brewing. At 6:00 am our helpers arrived. Bundled up, while standing under lights and a heater, we got started processing our chickens for the customer who will arrive this afternoon. The air was filled with the joy and anticipation of a job to get done, as we began our routine of working together as a team. You learn to enjoy it all, because like I said, you often don't have a choice in what needs to get done, and who wants to be miserable all the time! :)
This reminds me of a conversation I had with a customer this summer ( I may have blogged about this already...I can't remember). She was telling me about their cabin that they go to every weekend in the summer, which stirred up that longing in me for those vacations and getaways that are often rare when you live on a farm. I told her that I have always dreamed of having a cabin. Then she said something profound, "Well, having a family cabin is a romantic notion". She said it's hard having two places to maintain. Then she went on to tell me that they have been thinking about selling both places and moving out to the country. She said that they would love to do something like we are doing. Then I smiled and said with a twinkle in my eye, "Living on a farm is a romantic notion!" :) We both laughed.
We meet many families who are longing to move to the country. Often city-dwellers believe that farm life is the answer to all their problems. ( I used to be one of those people.) And it's true, it will solve many of your problems, but I can guarantee that you will also have a whole new set of problems that you didn't have before. :) As green as that grass looks on the other side of the fence, it is just a figment of your imagination. That said, I don't want to discourage you from farm life. It is the best place to raise a family! But I also do not want to deceive you into thinking that it is a type of heaven, where all your challenges and hardships go away. You have to learn to take the good with the bad...or should I say, the wonderful with the not so wonderful. :)
|Our family and helpers butchering at 6am|
|Me and our helpers, Evan Mahlstedt and Tim Mathison (other helper not shown - Jacob Mahlstedt)|