While the gang watched the Super Bowl last night, I amused myself with a stack of reading materials. My eyes would look up when the commercials came on and although not impressed with most of them, I did find two very heartwarming. The Clydesdale Budweiser commercial brought a tear to my eye, but the Dodge tribute to the farmer hit a nerve deep inside. I love the farmer’s life. Oh, I know there is hard work and heartache involved, but those things “build” a person; build a family.
When I was growing up, I wanted to live in the country and tend a farm. The idea bounced around in my head all the time. Not just when I was a little girl, but all through high school as well. When I was brave enough to share that thought, I did get a few raised eyebrows and some teasing as well – “I can’t picture you living in a little white house with a picket fence wrapped around it.”, but that sounded like heaven to me.
I guess it wasn’t too surprising to friends and family when I finally got married and decided to move to a small farming community, just north. At first, the adjustment was very difficult and nights were the worst. Trying to fall asleep in entire blackness (no street lights) and the sound of crickets (no cars or trains in the distance) took A LOT of getting used to. But nothing made me happier than sitting on my new front porch and watching the cows graze in the pasture in the distance. There was such a sense of peace with this life.
We moved into an old farmhouse that was converted into a few apartments, owned by one of the last dairy farmer’s in our area. Out of my kitchen window, I saw the sun rise over the field where the cows were. Stepping out of my back door, beyond a small parking area, is where my clothesline stood along with an enormous vegetable garden that we all shared. It was perfect!
Twenty-nine years have passed; the dairy farms in the area have been replaced with sub-divisions with much larger, grander homes. There are still some remnants of the quieter town I moved to and I’m blessed to see some of that, every day. When our landlord saw the decline in the farming industry, he too, started to sell off his land and we were lucky enough to be the first to purchase a little piece of land to start our own homestead; right across the street from our very first home. This is my beautiful view.
The farmer’s original property is still here and a wonderful family has maintained the farm to board horses, that I have the privilege of watching. I don’t have cows and pigs and horses of my own, nor do I have a white picket fence, but I am grateful for having a piece of that little girl’s dream come true. There’s something to be said for hard work. We started with a flat piece of earth, like a painter’s canvas, and began to create our own work of art. Blood, sweat, and tears were certainly a part of that process, but the rewards surely outweigh them.
I am grateful for being given the ability to be a caretaker of this piece of land, and having strong hands to work and cut and weed and dig. This little farm of mine has been a great place to raise my family, tend my garden, and watch my clothes blow in the wind…….a simpler, quieter life. Yep, I love the farmer’s life.