The Chores Must Go On

Winter mornings and nights on the farm bring special memories for me of growing up. There are moments the season brings that illustrate what it’s like to live in the country, both good and bad, that words can never fully describe.

I guess you have to be there to know what it’s like to be soaked to the skin from a heavy Washington rain on a late December night, or when the crisp frozen air hits your lungs when you take a deep breath on an early morning, or to smell Sunday dinner drifting on the breeze from Mother’s kitchen window.  Those moments make me wish I could stop the clock for a minute just to enjoy it.

As I grew up, I realized more and more how my lifestyle was not “normal.” Most kids my age didn’t milk a cow in the morning, spend more money on animal feed than their own clothes, or dress up calves instead of dolls (yes I did do that!)

It took me until college to see that most people woke up and got ready for the day – that was it, just getting ready, no chores first.

Christmas Day on the farm is just like any other. Your cows don’t know when the holidays come around on the calendar and count on you each and every day. I’ve not always wanted to leave the holiday merriment to pull on a pair of coveralls and head outside, but it must be done.

Once outside, you forget all about any complaints. The animals are waiting, as they usually do, for their evening feeding except Sis and I are in extra bright spirits and work a bit faster to get back inside.

There is an odd quietness in the valley, and the road is still. It’s just another day of chores, but the stars seem to know and always shine a little brighter. We head for the house with 12 hours to go until chores the next morning. It’s a good feeling to know the cows are cozy and everyone’s settled in for the night.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!