Saturday, July 17, 2004

my farm roots

Notice the foamy milk on that calf's mouth?  I love that picture!  The cow's name is Spook, and the calf is Junie.

I was thinking yesterday how, when I was growing up in the fifties, everybody had farm connections.  Perhaps one lived in Kansas City, but most everyone had grandparents or other relatives on a farm.  All my uncles and aunts were farmers, and that made for some great summers for me:  I'd go spend a week with Grandma, and Uncle Leo was right up the road about a mile, with his wife and my four cousins.  So I'd spend lots of time there too.

I've always loved animals, so the farm was paradise for me.  I remember following Grandma around as she fed the chickens and milked her one cow.  Uncle Leo had hogs, milk cows, black Angus cattle, and plenty of kittens in the barn.  There was always something going on.  When it was someone's birthday, the rest of the family would sneak around and make home-made ice cream.  That evening other relatives would mysteriously show up and we'd all have ice cream and cake.  Such simple times, and how I'd love to be able to go back to one of those days for a spell. 

Farms have changed now.  Many of them have no livestock at all.  Hardly anyone has pigs... hog raising is done mostly by mega-corporations, not by family farmers.  The family cow is a thing of the past.  I milked cows by hand most of my married life, just for our own use and to raise bottle calves; but when the kids got grown, I wanted to be able to travel, and you can't do that and milk cows twice a day.  I sorely miss having a Jersey cow around.  We have three Limousin-cross cows, but they're not pets like my milk cows were.  When I retire I plan to raise an occasional hog for butchering, and have a few chickens... just for old time's sake.  Right now, with a job, I don't need the added chores.

Meanwhile, we're waiting for the right dog to come along.  The puppies our renter, Vicki, checked on didn't pan out; but she got my mind on German Shepherds, and I think if I could choose, I'd get a German Shepherd puppy.


csandhollow said...

Cute! You have such wonderful memories.

plieck30 said...

We just got in from checking the cattle. John talks to them and calls them his girls. So far none have talked back. Yes things have changed so much. People now days think steak and milk etc. just appears in the store. My biggest pet peeve is people complaining about the rain disturbing their activities. They just cannot realize how important that rain is to farmers and ranchers. Enjoy your journal. Paula