Till We Meet Again

As I jumped up in the truck on Saturday morning to help my dad do chores, I was a little taken a back when he suddenly said, “Well you can tell your getting older and getting some age on you.” Kinda puzzled by this comment I replied, ” What do you mean dad?”. He said, “Well your show heifers are starting to show some age around here.” As we pulled into the farm that we keep cows that need extra feed before going to market I realized the reasons for his comments. In the pen were two of my show heifers from when I was about 13 years old. It was pretty obvious that their best days were behind them.

One of the heifers in the "pen" is Luella who was featured on the cover of Prairie Farmer when I was 13 and wrote about my experience at the IL State Fair.

One of the heifers in the “pen” is Luella who was featured on the cover of Prairie Farmer when I was 13 and wrote about my experience at the IL State Fair.

No matter how old I get, losing a show heifer or a favorite animal will never get any easier for me. It is just something about that special bond between a person and their livestock that grips my heart strings in a special way. The countless hours in the barn getting ready, standing in the chute and make-up ring, and then the time in ring just makes the bond grow and grow. The heifer develops a trust in you to care for her, and lead her into the right direction. In turn she listen and obeys what you want her to do while in the ring. Now, I am not going to lie there a few heifers I have shown who have tried my patience and their extra personality was by no means appreciated and may have gotten a few come to Jesus meetings, but in the end we had an unbreakable bond between us. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the circle of life and how things work, but it still leaves a little mark on my heart.

Another one of these show heifers was Pearl, who was in all of my senior pictures and is the only cow/calf pair my dad ever allowed me to exhibit as a junior.

Another one of these show heifers was Pearl, who was in all of my senior pictures and is the only cow/calf pair my dad ever allowed me to exhibit as a junior.

Some may say it is just because I am a sissy girl, but it has nothing to do with it. Rather, it is how much we care for our animals. They are a part of our family like a dog or cat might be in yours. We care for them 365 days a year, 24/7 and because of that they become pets. Each one has a different personality. I was just a lucky girl to have over 200 pets at any given time. You will notice my dad didn’t want to out right tell me the unfortunate news about my show heifers because he too hates to see them go. Especially when it is a herd bull that was a past show bull. That’s my daddy’s favorite thing to show is yearling and two year old bulls and the hardest for him to let go.

But enough of my sob story. My girls have lived a long life, and I get by hoping there is show heifer/cow heaven. So here is to my show heifers past and those soon to pass a tribute to each of you. 

 

Day 1: Modern Beverly Hillbillies

When Holly Spangler posted she would be doing a 30 Day Blogging Series on agriculture it inspired me to get back in the saddle and get my blog up and going again. It was also about that time that I thought to myself, what the heck are you going to talk about? And then it hit me…Ladies and Gents welcome to 30 Days of Farm Kids Trapped in the City.

Today’s topic: The Oddball of the Neighborhood.

When the boy and I first set out to look at houses we were hoping to find a nice little place with some acreage for our beloved red, white, roan (oh and black) cows. Those dreams were soon shattered into a million pieces and buried deep down into the ground when our bank accounts made house buying a reality. We soon realized what we had to do (besides go in over our heads in debt)…We were going to have to live IN THE CITY.

To most this may not be a big deal, but when you grow up in a small farming community where your closest neighbor is at least half a mile away this is quite culture shock. But we finally settled for a place where we found a small piece of home right outside our FENCED in yard…a cornfield. Yes, the cornfield was the ticket. This little slice of land helped us make our decision as it brought us a image of “home” that we needed.

So shortly after “we struck black gold” packed up our stuff and moved in. Okay, well we didn’t actually get any gold, but it is about this time that the Beverly Hillbillies

What our neighbors see us as

theme song starts playing in my head. I believe the neighbors had a similar tune in their head when we pulled up with our trucks and trailers to unload our prized possessions and they began to breathe in a strange odor from our tires and shows wafting in the air. They may have even put out an All Town Alert to Hide Yo’ Kids…you know the story.

Either way we moved in to what we have since been informed as the “high society” of the area and began coping with the idea of neighbors. Yes, that is plural. I am not talking about just one neighbor, I am talking about neighbors on all sides but one! I have  had a really hard time with dressing “classy” and not just walking out to the mailbox or walking the dog in my boots and shorts, mixed matched outfits, or without make-up on. We have both had a hard time dealing with our new ambience of outdoor sounds. Usually we walk outside to a mixture of cattle grazing and mooing, crickets, sheep baaing, tractors, leafs rustling, grass blowing and the quite country sounds. Now we walk outside to a variety of neighbors conversations, kids playing and laughing, lots of dogs barking, cars, cars, and more cars, the occasional train, and athletic activities at the high school. (yes, we are a block away from a very large high school) We get extra entertainment on the nights the band plays or practices. Yes, life with neighbors has made us “refine” ourselves and mostly my appearances.

We hope to get the tune of “Beverly Hillbillies” out of their minds before the year is over.

Tune In Tomorrow for…”Don’t Fence Me In”