Friday, December 07, 2012


I had to see this in Holstein World, when it is right down the road at Hudson River Tractor.
 I never go anywhere..
Isn't it clever? We stopped and got a pic of our own yesterday

As we go about the work I realize why we keep doing it. It certainly isn't for the money. 2012 was the least profitable year for dairy farming recorded, worse even then the disaster of 2009, not because of low prices but rather frighteningly high input costs. Milk to feed ratios are appalling, the worst ever seen. 

And believe me, we feel it here. Despite being tiny and very frugal and do-it-yourself-ish, times are just awful. Just when you think it can't get any worse it does.

And yet, we keep soldiering on. Partly because we can't figure out how to get off the merry-go-round and still have a living of any sort and partly because of nights like last night.

All the kids were home. They are all actually adults now, with off farm jobs, but they all come home as often as they can, to help in any way they can. Of itself that would be enough reason to slog ever onward. We certainly could not do what we do without them.

Last night they were all laughing and raising heck so hard the cows were skittering around a little wondering what was going on. (And our cows are very used to nonsense having grown up with a basketball hoop on the side of the barn, bicycles in the barnyard etc. etc. Many of the show ring veterans are happy to be employed as comfy couches when they are lying down, having grown accustomed to people napping on them at fairs and shows over the years.) 

They were playing with kittens (and yes, when those tiny paws poke out of the holes in the little cardboard kitty box, they do have tiny claws on the end and will snag you like a burdock). They were teasing each other, singing and silly, and arguing over who was going to take the outside cows up the hill and how the hay would get thrown down.

It was all hard work and yet it was a festival of family fun as well. They are all cool people in their own right and we sure wouldn't see much of them if it weren't for cows and the conundrums they cause.

I am going to look back and miss all this someday. I won't remember the check book that won't ever balance. I will remember the fun and foolishness and kittens and calves and snow geese going over and sounding like Santa's sleigh up there. 

I am going to miss it all a lot. 

(And please don't think it is always like that...sometimes the arguing is just as loud....)


Alouise said...

And just where do you plan to go that you will miss it all. Hopefully they will be with you all your life, just as you three are with your father and I. You may not see them as often as they build families of their own, but they will blend, and include you in the doings and fun. Scot and Jenifer also, as you have made them a part of your family. And don't forget that precious Granddaughter growing up to the star of the fun. Families don't implode, they grow is size and in love!
Your Mom

threecollie said...

Mom, I know they probably won't go far, but they will go, though of course I hope they will be with us for always. The camaraderie of working together is what I will miss. Love you!

Jan said...

When my kids and I get together it's like they are 3 and 5 again with the happy times and a few spats.

Woodswalker said...

What a sweet vivid portrait of a loving family, all pitching in to do what needs to be done, and all in good cheer. You have done well to rear such kids.

Terry and Linda said...

You made me cry. I will miss this life also. Terry was talking about what would happen if he had to go to a nursing home, this day at lunch, of which I promised him he would stay with me forever. Even if I might forget how to cook! :)


¸.•*¨*•♪♫♫♪Merry Christmas to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥

Cathy said...

A beautiful post . . . eliciting beautiful responses.

As Woods Walker said " . . a vivid portrait of a loving family. . ."

Alousise's exhortation reveals that passion and strength run deep in this American family.

Earl said...

Don't know how you are going to be, past performance not being a guarantee of the future,,, but you will have this well written memory in you mind, warming your heart and making people ask, are you okay, dear?

dennisranch said...

If it wasn't for getting to work with family, you suppose it would be worth it....We had Tate and Chance home last night and us menfolk sat up and watched the finals and laughed and had a great time. then today we had to try out some new pistola's...had a great time. Got 6 to 8 inches of snow and it was wet. Yee haww!!! We'll take it! Sure wish I had another truck load or two of hay out here, tho'....

threecollie said...

Jan, exactly! I don't think sibling rivalry every ends, but neither does the fun

WW, thanks, they sure are least most of the

Bless you Linda, that is a wonderful way to think. We kept the boss's mom home with us when others wanted to put her in a home. It was hard but perhaps the most beautiful thing to share as well and we will never regret it for a moment.

Earl, yes, I think you are right. And writing about such times cements them in memory before they get a chance to flee into the mist of time.

Robert, you betcha! I love reading about how your family all works together and cares for one another. An inspiration for all who read your writings. Sorry about the hay thing. Terrible year this year.