LIFE ON THE FARM
What is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days:
Now is the high-tide of the year
And whatever of life hath ebbed away
Comes flooding back with a ripply cheer,
Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;
Now the heart is so full that drop overfills it,
We are happy now because God wills it.
The above are partial words of a beautiful poem by James Russell Lowell. It’s been a long time since I have read it, but on days like the last two we have had those words come to mind. It would be easy to change the poem’s month to March. Who cares if it is going to snow tomorrow and for a few days after that? We had two wonderful days of spring. Winter is on its way as it now is basically here for a week and then gone again.
After a long winter, the 50-degree temperatures have sure been a blessing. It’s amazing how quickly outlooks and attitudes on life change. It is just good to be doing physical work again.
Oldest daughter started trimming fruit trees. The first year she took over the job, it looked as if all the trees had been severely pruned. Trees have grown back since then, she definitely has a several weeks of work ahead of her. She leaves the branches for me to pick up, knowing that I want the exercise. But on a day like today and yesterday, someone beat me to the work. Aw shucks, I am so-o-o-o disappointed.
Youngest son has set the incubator with chicken eggs. Methinks they won’t hatch, because I have been saving the eggs far too long and they have been washed. Someone here, and I don’t know who, made the comment, “wonder what would happen if we put the double yolker eggs in the incubator?” No one had an answer. So when cleaning up eggs, I saved the biggest ones that often have double yolks. We’ll see what happens after 21 days. That is if the eggs don’t burst in the incubator. Yuck.
The driveway needed grading. But you know wives, when your husband gets on the smaller tractor and starts grading it looks to me like he is just playing. Especially when he orders some rock spending an afternoon spreading the loads around.
It reminds me of when much younger, my brothers, sisters and I played in the sandbox, pushing up sand and making those wondrously curvy mountain roads or roads like you find along the Little Sioux River in O’Brien and Cherokee County, or in the Loess Hills Region.
Looking at the grapes today, after reading ISU’s recommendations for pruning, it appears to me that we might be able to prune those grapes into something yet. Second daughter doesn’t know it yet, but I’m giving her the pruned grape vines to fashion me some sort of vegetable basket.
I will put the emphasis on basket or it might wind up on her head like a Julius Caesar crown. That is after I really do get enough nerve up to actually prune those grapes. Some jobs are just plain scary.
The boys worked on a planter getting the no-till stuff on it so that it’s ready to go when that day comes. They did send their father off for parts. I didn’t know he had been promoted to parts man.
Youngest daughter practiced archery skills she learned at the 4-H ArrowHead Club, of which she and her brother are a members. Did you know the end of those round bales make a perfect holder for the target? But I sure don’t know what Miss Robin Hood was doing five bales down scrounging around searching for arrows?
Life on the farm,
Everything is happy now,
Everything is upward striving,
The soul partakes the season’s youth.
Vander Schaaf is a Farm News staff writer from northwest Iowa. Reach her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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