Day Writing by Heather Hamilton Maude: Spring Things
The last half of May and first half of June never disappoint for something to do. On the farm side, it is likely planted, fertilized and sprayed during those weeks. On the cattle side, branding, sorting pairs and shipping or trailing to summer pasture occur, along with AIing or getting the bulls back into commission.
It’s times such as these that truly showcase the value found in family, and the ways in which the agriculture lifestyle emphasizes and enhances those values.
Dad is getting up a little earlier than normal to make sure mom and the kids’ horses are saddled and ready to go. Starting the coffee pot before he heads out the front door, so it’s hot when his wife wakes up a half hour later.
Mom is remembering to grab the calf book, and the right notebook, before heading out the door, ensuring everything is recorded to answer questions that will be asked months down the road. She calls the second round of trucks, the brand inspector, and even the guy waiting on the other end to relay the time the trucks got on the road.
Dad is drilling crops, spraying and fertilizing like mad, but always willing to stop long enough to let a kid come along. No complaints about inquisitive questions regarding how everything works, or the time spent demonstrating each function, in spite of being exhausted from weeks of this stuff.
Mom is back and forth to town seemingly every day. For one more load of fertilizer and one more box of weevil spray. She grabs groceries before heading home, occasionally getting everyone’s favorite ice cream cones.
Dad is packing an ecstatic kid on his tired shoulders as he crosses the yard, wondering how driving a tractor, or a pickup and trailer, can wear one out and hype the other up. But, he still listens to every enthusiastic story recapping the day.
Mom threw supper in the crockpot at 5 a.m. that morning. While everyone is tired, there is a hot meal to eat come evening, consumed around a table filled with loved ones after giving thanks to the Lord for the day and the food.
Kids are up early, out late, and often work several long hours between. They tag along on adventures, wrecks, and mundane tasks with any number of family members and/or neighbors; Becoming top hands without realizing it. Dirty and tired, but always willing to go again, which will serve them well should they choose this profession as an adult.
Kids are also the ones who see the magic in everything, and bring that to the forefront for whoever they’re near. The excitement of the fast cow, the thrill of the crop that can be rowed, the last cattle pot rolling out of the yard, and the evident pride as they point out their cow. A bubbling up of words about seeing a coyote, snake, or any baby animal. It serves as a welcome and necessary reminder of what life should be about.
All combined it is a well-oiled machine of mass chaos. A picking up where others fall short. Filling in where another is needed. A blending of gifts and talents to achieve a common goal. A true blessing here on earth. The blessing of family.
May we all cherish that blessing as we come and go during these busy spring weeks that lead to summer.