This weekend marks the 8th anniversary of us living in this house. At that time we were not farming (Joe was still in his job that had him traveling all over the country), however, we hoped to some day. Six years ago, we were offered that opportunity, and in the span of these years, we've added to our family, changed jobs, lost loved ones, enjoyed country life, despised it, and, ultimately, embraced it.
However, the other night, as I was just settling in from a long day, Joe came in and announced that I was going with him and Jack to check cows.
But I was just getting ready to intercept the remote and watch House Hunters.
Anyway, in my lovely Sages Track Sweatpants (ca. 2002) and old sneakers (real farm attire, friends), I hopped on the Ranger to check cows. While I know where our pastures are (kind of) and have been fishing back in the lakes of this pasture across the road as a little girl, this is a little embarrassing to admit:
I have never been back there with Joe in the six years we have had cattle there.
And you call me a Farmwife?
I'm an advocate for livestock farmers, for heaven's sake! But, I bumped along in the Ranger as green as a city girl, gripping the safety handle when we got too close to the strip mine lake's steep edge, bouncing on the rough terrain, hoping my youngest (so far) wouldn't fall out. Once I got used to the roughness of the terrian, I started to relax and began to take it all in.
And you know what?
It was and is a really pretty place.
I was surprised at that.
Well, that's embarrassing, too. Don't I always wax poetic about how pretty it is out here? Well, my view from the kitchen window, the swing set, or our upstairs is really nice, but this place, friends, it was beautiful. Full and lush, thanks to the blessing of a two inch rain the night before, and the cattle, my goodness. These huge animals are so calm thanks to Joe's excellent herd management and laid-back demeanor (they would NOT be this way if I were in charge…thus the first time check in six years). These mamas were caring for their calves, just hanging out and eating this delicious treat. While the terrain is rough, as we sit on former strip mine land, the lakes and ravines and gullies formed years ago from this activity have grown up in this back pasture to be interesting. If I were a photographer, I'd want to take a picture or two back there. Plus, we were so high up, when I didn't know where I was, Joe pointed to our closest town, which I could see the entire layout of it.
I now know why my kids want to always hop in alongside their dad.
This is a kid's dream…a mother's nightmare with all the twists and turns and scarily deep strip mine lakes, but a kid's paradise to fish and hide and roam and just be.
Why did it take me six years to get out there?
Well, considering I had a major allergy attack once I returned, that's one reason…see? Green, town kid. And, in a span of six years, we've had all these kids who have occupied the buddy seat in the tractor, the four wheeler and now the two seats in the Ranger. I never was not interested, just never had the time or the room in the inn to get to go.
Next time, I'll take my camera and snap some pictures, or maybe the time after that…my grip hardly released. I'll snap a picture of the edge of the lake that could have had me plunge to a watery grave, and then you decide if it was wise for a pregnant 36 year old to snap an Instagram picture for the sake of education.
I'll choose life. Always.
Anyway, if you find yourself around our neck of the woods, ask Farmer Joe to head out to the pasture. That's the stuff, friends. A field of green corn and flowing wheat has nothing on a breathtaking view of cattle lowing in green grass.
And that's NOT embarrassing to admit.