So the city gal in me is learning the hard way that flip-flops are not for farming. What I wouldn’t give for a pair of sturdy, worn cowgirl boots right about now. My poor feet are beat up from stepping on rocks, nails (thank God I’m up to date on my tetanus shot), and various animal waste.
Yesterday morning and afternoon I spent a majority of my time chasing Bart back into his enclosure and trying to figure out how he got through the electric fence, then rewiring said electric fence the best I could, thinking “Man, boots would be nice right about now.”
Our baby Buff’s came in and of course, the girls love them. I’ve been extremely reluctant to let them play with these little guys however due to the fact that there are so many of them and no matter how many times I tell them they cannot snuggle, kiss or put the chicks up to their face…it’s in one ear and out the other.
The girls are off doing “chores” right now. Which…I’m making up on the fly while working on a ghost writing assignment for a client. After having done a majority of the chores this morning, there isn’t much to do. So I handed Sammy a bucket, instructed her to pick up all of the fallen apples from under the apple tree and feed them to the boys. Turns out rams love apples! And my garden….which doesn’t amuse me in the slightest.
Next up, I’m sending them off to cut alfalfa for our older flock of chicks.
After that…I have no clue. Any mention of sending them off to do house chores sends both into fits of inconsolable tears. I didn’t know that cleaning a room could provoke this kind of response but apparently it can.
This past weekend my husband and I, sans children who were off with the in-laws having a wonderful time camping, drove two and a half hours to his cousin’s new lake home to spend the day fishing. I adore his cousin and his wife. Not just because they have a lake place. They’re extremely kind people, wonderful hosts and just a lot of fun to be around. The wife Molly and I were actually pregnant at the same time with my first and her second. Due the same date. Sammy came exactly one week early and Jonas came one week late but it’s great when we all get together because of the closeness in age.
They live north of us and the thing about northern Minnesota is the further North you go, the more beautiful it gets. Don’t get me wrong. I love my country view. But compared to the sunset on a lake surrounded by thick forests, it pales a bit.
We caught and cleaned an impressive amount of bass, sunnies and even a northern! I was even fortunate enough to catch a bass worthy of putting on the wall. But, not without a little bit of help. The oldest son had been fishing differently from the rest of us using who were using hook and worm, casting off the dock and into the weeds. He was using a bigger hook and sucker minnows that were roughly two and a half inches long and casting straight out. When the first bass hit his line and was reeled in, I looked at it wide-eyed and quickly said, “I want to fish like Bailey!”
So I did. I switched my hook, I switched my bait, I switched my rod for my husbands much larger Browning rod that had a line more capable of handling larger fish. And I cast out to the area Bailey had just been in. He did the same and for a while our bobbers sat, doing nothing. I plunked down on the end of the dock, feet dangling in the tepid waters and waited patiently.
Bailey’s bobber went down and he set the hook. When reeling in however, his line snapped and whatever had it took the bobber with it. The bobber resurfaced a few seconds later and Bailey hopped into a kayak, rowing out to where it sat, skimming around where my bobber was and heading back in. The minute he passed my bobber on his way back in, down it went.
I set the hook and reeled in, giddy with excitement over my catch without knowing just what I had on my line. What I had was a large-mouth bass over 6 lbs…with Bailey’s leader in his mouth. So, due to a joint effort, I have my first ever wall-worthy trophy bass! And this happened two more times…exactly the same way. Bailey would catch something, it would snap his line, he’d go out to retrieve his bobber, and mine would go down the second he passed it. The day was a major success and we drove home later that night, closed up the chicken coops and fell into bed, exhausted.
To have that day, that break from farming and parenting and to reconnect with my husband on a “couple” level was wonderful.
Sometimes, I think moving out here really saved our marriage. We’re not town people. Not by any means. We don’t enjoy neighbors, we don’t enjoy the traffic and I sure as hell did not enjoy constantly having to yell at my firework lighting neighbors at 2am in the morning when my baby was trying to sleep and I had to work in the morning on the 4th of July.
And although we’re not out from under our mortgage as of right now and financial stress is still a constant rock that we’re living under, living out here has refreshed us. We’re working together to fence, to raise our animals, actually talking to one another about plans for what we’re going to do in the future.
We talked beekeeping. Beekeeping!
And the Hubs wants half of the garden next year to start an orchard which I am perfectly fine with.
We both just seem more content out here. Less depressed. Less like we’re just moving through the motions.
It’s fun for me to walk into the kitchen in the morning for coffee and see him standing at the window, looking out towards the garden. I know he’s looking for something to kill but it’s still makes my heart happy. And on the nights when we sit and play cribbage at the kitchen table, which admittedly hasn’t happened in a while, it reminds me of walking into my late grandparents house and seeing my grandma and grandpa sitting at the table, playing Yahtzee while Wheel of Fortune played in the background.
We’ll be heading out this weekend hopefully to spend a night with the Hub’s cousin, girls in tow. I’ll walk along the sandy beach without any shoes on, enjoying the beautiful view, not worried about nails or chicken poo. And then it’ll be back to the farm where I’ll really wish I had a good pair of boots instead of my inadequate, dollar store flip-flops.