Thursday, November 14, 2013

Farmer's Daughter

Yes, I'm going to give you an excuse today...I'm going to tell you all the reasons why I haven't been blogging, organizing, or being creative for a while.   Well, there is only one reason, HARVEST!

This year has been quite crazy.  Planting was late this year which means harvest runs late.  I'm tired!  I've worked 200+ hours in the field since the middle of October.  It doesn't seem like that much, but I'm trying to run my own business too!  It only happens once year, so once a year I get to work like a crazy person.  So, what am I getting at?

I am proud to be a farmer's daughter!  From what people have told me, farming wasn't easy when I was little.  My parents had some land, some livestock (like most farmers in the area who also maybe had some dairy cattle).  Every little bit put food in our mouths and clothes on our backs.  We didn't have the best of everything, but we were taken care of and I never once thought we were "poor".  I don't know that we ever were, but I know times were tough.  I didn't get to see my dad much because he was always working, feeding the cattle, planting, or harvesting and working other odd jobs like driving a Greyhound bus across country.  My mom stayed at home with me and my two sisters for most of our childhood lives.  I vaguely remember her working as a secretary when I was young and doing some direct selling.

As a child, I always found a lot to complain about being a farmer's daughter.  I couldn't drive my bike around town to visit my friends, we didn't have cable.  I had to leave every summer for custom harvesting through central USA so I didn't get to enjoy the lakes and summer activities back home (I lived vicariously through my friends who I wrote letters to almost every week I was gone).  I hated getting on the bus smelling like the skunk that lost his life after venturing too close to the house (yes, he was shot).  I hated walking down my 5 mile drive way (OK, its more like a 1/4 mile) to the bus.  I hated mowing the grass, which took 3 days!  Don't get me started on chores...rock picking was the worst!!!

As an adult I see how AWESOME my childhood was!  I got to drive four-wheeler any time I wanted (as long as my homework was done).  I had a wild imagination and would build forts in the woods.  It was quiet where I lived and peaceful.  A lot of my extended family lived within a 5 mile radius of us so I grew up with my cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.  My friends loved coming to have sleep overs because there was "way more to do on the farm than in town".  I have a respect for nature and the balance between life and death.  I built the best snow forts out of all the snow Dad piled up from our long driveway.  I got to travel across the US and experience what it's like to live on the road.  I met so many amazing people in our travels.  I still don't like rock picking.

Quite often I wonder who I would be if I wasn't a farmer's daughter.  There is no way to know because everything I've built my life around, my passions, work ethic, need for adventure, love for the outdoors, and respect for every walk of life started with the fact that I grew up farming and custom harvesting.  My parents shaped me into who I am today with the help of our surroundings.

As my generation starts their "family stage" I see a lot of my peers living and working in cities.  There aren't many young farmers out there to continue the tradition.  I wonder how many more farmer's daughters there will be.  Are we becoming extinct?  I would like to think no.  I would hate to see anyone denied the right to grow up the way I did.  I do see young families farming like the generations before them and I see little girls riding around in the tractor with their dads and I see a brilliant future for the new generation of farmer's daughters.

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