Stories and thoughts about family and life

Life on the Farm over Spring Break

on March 26, 2012

Let me start by saying God bless my parents, even though I know how tired and frustrated they were this weekend.

My children have spent spring break with my parents for the past three years.  It’s been a time of bonding for them, and my husband and I get a bit of a break.  We work on a fundraiser spring break week every year which occurs the Saturday after spring break, so it also gives us an opportunity to volunteer and work that even without having to get a sitter or lug the kids along all the time.  It’s a win-win for everyone.

I think my parents are somewhat of a mystery to my kids.  The farm life they lead, the way they grow their own food, have dirt roads, even down to the fact that they smoke–everything is the antithesis of the life we lead.  My parents always assumed I would move home and run their farm one day, but I never did.  I met a boy, and that boy lived in Little Rock, and so I followed and have stayed.  And now I’ve grown accustomed to having a McDonald’s down the street from my house and Corky’s BBQ up the road and a Pizza Hut just 5 minutes away and Chick-Fil-A (OMG, yum!), as well as a Kroger, Wal-Mart and Target all less than 5 minutes.  It’s a good thing, too, because eating out as much as we do, I regularly have to buy new clothes! :-).  We have a park in my neighborhood and the kids all have friends just a few minutes away.  Where I was raised, we were 30 minutes from town, and I was about 15 minutes from another kid, let alone a “friend.”

Anyway, so it’s a good opportunity for the kids to see how I was raised, and get to be “country” kids for a week.  They usually have us take their bikes, so they can ride freely on the road, and Brennan wears my dad out riding the 4-wheeler.  This year Lucas was extraordinarily helpful, and we were really amused each night listening to what they had to say.
Me:  “Lucas, what’d you do today?”
Lucas: “I helped Granddad out with all the farm chores.”
Me:  “Really?  That’s great.  What’d you do?”
Lucas:  “We fed the chickens and gathered the eggs.  We dug for worms so we could go fishing tomorrow.  Oh, and we watered the crops.”

Crops.  Well, my goodness.  I would have sworn when we dropped them off last Saturday, Granddad had about 8 rows of various vegetables.  But in Lucas’ mind, they were crops.  He is now a farmer.  He wields a hoe and a water hose with the best of them.  Oh, and he gets on his knees and plants the “crops” for my dad, which is probably Daddy’s favorite part.    Lucas loves it–having his hands in the dirt and contributing to the growth of these plants.  And if you know Lucas, that’s truly remarkable because he is fastidious in most aspects of his life, but he especially hates to be dirty or wet.  He enjoyed doing his “chores” every day, even feeding the dogs without my mom having to ask him more than once.  I wonder where those skills are when we’re at home?

Brennan enjoyed chasing their puppies around and riding his bike.  The two days that it rained while they were there nearly did him in, however.  And then there’s the incident with the chickens.  Brennan apparently didn’t remember to lock the chicken house door back after he fed the chickens and gathered the eggs.   Several chickens escaped, and one was seriously injured by the puppies before my dad managed to capture it and get it put back in its place.  Brennan knew he was in trouble, too.  I kind of felt bad for the little guy.  He’s not used to having critters like chickens, who are not the smartest creatures and for some reason want to be out roaming the property every chance they get.  Brennan isn’t accustomed to thinking about weasels and wolves and things who might like to eat chickens.  The worst part, though, was him trying to blame his brother for what he had obviously done.

My poor parents having had a kid even 18 in their house in 20 years–nearly 30 since they’ve had one 11.  Their tolerance had hit its end, I think, by the time the week was out.    The boys were happy to be home, and I think my parents were glad to bring them home.  Lucas fondly remembers his “chores” and we’ve had several conversations about what it was like when I was Daddy’s farmhand.  I have plenty of happy memories of those days–being out in the sunshine and proud that I could do so many things.  I’m so glad my kids got this opportunity, and I hope it’s something that sticks with them.



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