When you live on a farm and work long farm hours, itís important to keep in touch with
the family to keep that closeness intact. Now, my family lives anywhere from 15 minutes
to 30 minutes away. I can pick up the phone anytime and chat without it being long
distance, or just run into town to visit. Leeís family lives much farther away and long
distance phone calls are costly and the hours are not available to just up and go visit. So, I
have found letters to be very important in letting them know what is going on in our lives
on the farm.
I have a feeling my family believes that I tell them a little too much about what goes on in
farming. My phone calls run something like this, "Hey, sis, you canít believe what just
happened! One of the does was having trouble kidding and I had to put my hand in clear up
to my elbow and grab a little jawÖ..What? No, not the doeís jaw, sheís not that short
bodied, remember it was up to my elbow?! It was the kidís jaw. Yeah, still there? Well,
then I had to turn it around, using the jaw. You know they have teeth in there?! And, then
ease that kid out. Boy, by the time it was over we both were covered in the slimmestÖ.
What? You gotta go? Where? The bathroom? Whatís that sound? You gagging?"
You have to remember that my family is a town family and have little dealings with farm
animals and their peculiarities. Now, Leeís family is mainly town people too, but, when I
write letters, no one interrupts me, and my thoughts and feelings on what we do on the
farm has free range. Hereís an example of one of my letters to Leeís family.
Dear Favorite Relative, (I find they like that)
How are you? We are fine here on the farm. (see what I mean about a letter being able to
flow?) Leeís tongue is feeling better after he bit it when the wheel on the tractor fell off. It
gave him quit a jerk. We will both remember to tighten the bolts on the tractor wheel better
My leg is feeling much better. That fall over the hill was quite an experience. I will
remember to walk on the up hill side when I am walking beside our livestock guard dog.
Sometimes he gets so excited about seeing me that he bumps me to get attention. Iím sure
it was an accident, though he did have a lot of fun chasing and barking at me as I rolled
down the hill.
The new rooster is starting to fit in. He was learned that it is not nice to ambush and flog
the person who is feeding him. He just never realized before that I wear boots all the time
and that I can punt a rooster with the best of them. It took him a while to get back over the
fence to his hens after his unexpected flight into the next field. Iím sure the limp and the
funny little twist to his neck will go away with time. Maybe even tomorrow, I just saw him
hanging upside down on Leeís pant leg where his spurs got caught. Lee has hold of his
neck now so that little crick in his neck should be straightened up soon.
We are still working on firewood. You can never have too much of that stuff, especially if
that is your only heat source. I like getting the upstairs stove and the downstairs stove going
and have the place nice and toasty. When people come to visit they immediately start
shedding their coats and sweaters, and begin dabbing at their foreheads. When they get all
warm and comfy itís hard to keep them awake. In the middle of one of my most interesting
stories Iíll hear soft little snores from the visitors. Iím sure itís the heat causing this.
Speaking of firewood, Lee has finally fixed the brakes on the tractor. We went up the hill
with the manure spreader to get a load of firewood and on the way back down the brakes
went out on tractor. Lee would have baled off but thought he had better stay on since I was
riding in back on a load of firewood. Letís just say we came down off that hill faster then
God ever intended. I held on pretty good until we hit that last bump and I sailed off with a
big piece of nice cherry. I told Lee later, after he had coasted to the barn and couldnít find
me in the manure spreader, that I was trying to save that particular piece.
I have finally become "cool" with my nephews and nieces. Tattoos are "in" this year at
school. At least for the next week or two I am the tattoo queen. How did I achieve this?
Never call the goats for supper and stand in the middle of an open gate. I just didnít realize
goats could run that fast to get their grain. The hoof prints on the forehead will probably be
the last ones to fade.
Yes, we are still hauling in hay. I know itís late in the season, but we found a nice supply
with the hay already in the barn and out of the weather. Our nephew has been helping us
haul the hay in. You know how narrow our road is, barely a one lane. Yesterday we had
the ton truck and the stock trailer going down that road very carefully, when suddenly here
came a car over the hill, in the middle of the road at top speed. I squealed real loud, Lee
sucked in air like he was trying to make himself smaller, and our nephew just quietly sat
there. Somehow, Lee got off the road enough for that speed demon to get by.
I looked at our nephewís still face and asked him if he was all right. He informed me that
he hadnít been scared a bit, he was going to fill his pants anyway. I need to ask my sister
about this. Surely at sixteen potty training is finished.
Looks like Iíd better close. I just saw Lee run around the barn with the billy hot on his trail.
If I remember right, I padlocked the gate that heís headed for this morning. Now where did
I put that key?