I knew their stories--the classmates that I idolized. They weren't the cheerleaders or the Homecoming queens or the jocks. They looked and acted and lived completely normal teenage lives, but one trait fascinated me . . . they were the farmkids.
I remember being mesmerized by one friend's explanation of how her brother cleaned the cows' udders prior to milking. It was a beautiful autumn afternoon and we were eating lunch under an ancient sycamore in the school yard of old North Cache.
The ripe peach she held in her hand brought images to my mind of her family's kitchen, where her mother was probably standing at that very moment, wrapped in a vintagey apron and bottling those same fuzzy, warm, juicy fruits. I remember one friend talking about how he milked in the morning and talked to the cows about his future--mostly about his mission. I could picture the dark, moonless morning and the steam rising off the cows. I could hear their bauls and snorts, and I could smell the hot and cold and sweet and stink of the milk barn. In my adolescent mind, I determined that this was the life. . .
Well, THIS IS MY LIFE!!!
In patient moments I realize I'm living a dream. In not so patient moments I wonder what I was thinking . . . I'd never smelled the stench of afterbirth on overalls, seen the lifeless form of a newborn calf, wet and forgotten in the straw. I didn't know that my bathroom would one day resemble a bottle making, grease washing, manure laden haven of wet boots and stinky coveralls. I didn't know the dizzying monontony of harvest or baling or swathing.
Then again, I'd never known what it was to be all alone, nothing and no one for miles but the quiet drum of an occasional airplane. I hadn't seen the milky harvest moon rise heavy and bright over the Promontory wheat fields. I hadn't fought off the mosquitos and mud during the summer night irrigation turns. I didn't know the companionship of the stalwart horse, steady and sure under my saddle. I'd never walked over charred and smoky ground, watching the junipers explode into flames, nervous and safe at the same time. I'd never watched the sunset on Susie's View, or seen the million stars of the Milky Way twinkling in the icy November water troughs. Thanks to Farmboy, that world I dreamed of came true. . . Thanks also to Farmboy, we now have a couple of baby calves whose moms forgot to take care of them. This is our newest adventure!!!
Feeding the motherless calves for the first time is a little nervous . . .
But it's also pretty fun . . .
Sometimes they fight over one bottle, or try to eat each other. . . Hello Flint and Sassy
Farm kids are still my favorite!!!