COUNTRY RAMBLIN’ S
by Tamara Hillman
A day in the life of a farmer’s wife…
Can it be October already? Just yesterday when I was in town, I saw the colors changing in the beautiful old oak trees that line our main street. And on my way home, how the aspen shown golden-bright along the river that runs through our valley. Yes, it truly is autumn once again, and I welcome it.
I greet fall with awe, and a peace down deep in my soul for it represents a time to slow down, and find rest after a busy time of harvest and canning, wood chopping, cleaning and oiling machinery and tack, and once again propping up out-building to take heavy snows in the coming winter so they will shelter our horses from freezing north winds.
Mornings are cool now as the children scurry off to catch the school bus each day. But afternoon brings warm sunshine, and they have shed their sweaters as they return.
I’ll have one more cup of coffee this morning before tidying the house, and heading out to offer a helping hand to my husband with tasks he might be hurrying to finish before the winter we know is fast approaching.
I’ll scatter some mesh for the chickens that are laying less and less these days.
The garden is fertilized and plowed under to await spring and a new crop of the biggest and best vegetables we can grow, and the cornfield is cut to stubble looking as though it covered vastly more acres than two. Only the pumpkin patch remains with enough heavenly fruit inside to process for delicious pies at the coming holidays, and lots of fun for the kids to carve jack-o-lantern faces in for Halloween.
The pigs have been slaughtered, and half a beef divided between our family and Jim’s brother. Maybe venison will be added to the freezer if the fall hunt is successful—and it usually is.
There are chickens in the locker just waiting for the frying pan each Sunday after church when friend and family are welcome to join us here at our farm. And old Tom Turkey can flare his feathers all he wants when I enter his pen, but he’ll be on that huge, white platter I inherited from grandma come Thanksgiving Day.
Winter soon will bring lots of snow, and chapped cheeks on my children’s happy faces as they ski and toboggan down the slope in back of the barn, or ice skate on the river at Halterman’s hole.
But for now, I’ll put another piece of wood in the stove, and sit up the old card table to work that picture puzzle I’ve had waiting ‘til things slowed and I can wile away an afternoon doing something frivolous but relaxing.
I’ll pull out my knitting basket to be near my favorite chair as the days get shorter and I find time to sit more. Tommy needs a new sweater, and for Christmas, I just may start mittens and scarves for all three children.
Yes, this is the time to let my mind wonder to less rush and schedule, and more daydreaming and quiet duties.
Enjoy the season!
I have written many, many autumn poems due to the fact that it is my favorite time of year. Here is one I hold dear to my heart because for the past thirty-five years I have not lived in the beautiful Valley where I grew up on the farm. It relates closest to my memories of being just a country kid…