I had to run to the barn for something this afternoon and I couldn’t pass by the nursery without checking in. The maternity pen is in one of our oldest barns and I love the feel of walking into the pens with the block walls on one side. The sun was shining through the only window showing all the dust floating in the air. An old headlock off to one side and more pens on the other side. Everything is boarded up with plywood to keep the cold out.
I think I must be hormonally unbalanced because it doesn’t take much these days for tears to flow. Maybe I’m just tired and worn down a bit from the “fun” side of farming.
Walking in through the old milk house today I was flooded with memories. I walked past where the old bulk tank stood. I think about 10 of those or more could fit inside the bulk tanks we have now. I remember sitting on top of it painting the ceiling. A lifetime ago.
The pen where the calves are was the milking parlor. There were 4 stalls on one side when I entered the family. It expanded to 8 and then many years after moved to another location. We turned that part into the maternity/hospital pens so to speak.
I remember my sister-in-law and her husband milking. My mother-in-law would be there once in a while too. I helped my father-in-law feed calves. One year we fed 130 calves. We feed over a thousand now.
I’ve helped pull many calves there, helped with minor surgeries, C-sections and more. I’ve held cows’ heads in my laps as I sat in the manure – praying over them while waiting for a vet.
I’ve come to that spot and sat alone in the silence to gather my thoughts, to pray and listen to God.
It has become a sacred place to me.
As I left, I drove around to see my big girls. They were eating and enjoying the sunshine.
I came back around to head home and looked out at the alfalfa field.
The thoughts I’d been trying to stifle came to the surface.
Will we be making hay on this field this year? Will the barns hold our girls this year? How many more calves will pass through the “nursery”?
I drove past the flag we have hanging over our mailboxes thinking about how many we’ve hung there over the years. I wondered how many more years we can do that?
It’s been a tough, tough few years and everyday another farmer calls it quits. The stress of farming would bring down most people much quicker than the farmers that left. The outlook is not promising. There are no guarantees.
By the time I was down the driveway I was in full blown melt down.
I think it’s good to allow the tears to wash away your hurt every once in a while.
God reminds me – “You’re still here. You’re doing OK. You’re not alone.”
I’ve purposed to always include something positive in every post.
My positive for this post.
We’re still here.
We’re doing OK.
We’re not alone.