Part of being livestock farmers, a very large part, is that you are pretty much obligated through necessity to be here all of the time. After all, there is livestock that count on us, pretty much like infants need their mothers. It is a committment that we take seriously. It took this city girl years to figure it all out, but not for my kids. They were born into this lifestyle and know that they are totally committed and all fun has to be worked out around the farm schedule. It just takes a bit more planning.
While that may seem hard to some, it is what makes things go more smoothly, keeping us on track. We all know what is expected and we have learned to work around chores to fit in some rest and relaxation time as well. It’s the kind of action that builds character and helps make a person responsible, hopefully carrying that off with them when they go out and tackle the world. It’s a choice of duty first, pleasure later, which is a valuable lesson to be used in any persons life.
Well, since this was a holiday weekend, the kids thought it would be fun to camp out. Not here on our farm, which has been done plenty, out of necessity, but down at a lovely farm with a gorgeous pasture 5 miles South. It is a place that, over the years, I would take the kids to do creative writing sessions on the sandy beach. The beauty of the river and sandy beach seemed to bring out the creativity in the children. This is the spot they chose for fishing and camping.
This location was convenient for a few reasons. The main one being that the kids could still come home to do chores and then go back for more fun. Camp was set up on Sunday after Mass. Frenchy has a huge new tent and everyone fit in there perfectly. I ran 4 of the kids home to do chores and we were back in time for supper. Fred, Mario and I were not overnight guests for this outing, nor were Jessi, Luke and their babies. Peter enjoys cooking very much and took over that job. He introduced us to chili dogs with cheese among a variety of other treats. He also cooked up the only fish we caught all day, a four pound Catfish! We played campfire games late into the night and warmed up over coffee and cocoa.
At 4:35 A.M. I was awakened by hail pounding on my window. I thought I heard the phone downstairs and ran to see that I had missed a call. The kids were all bailing out due to very severe weather in the form of lightning, thunder, hail and rain. They left the truck in the pasture, choosing to get that later in the day, driving home in the 15 passenger van. Even with the turn of events, they still had a blast. Some went back to tear down camp while the rest did chores. The festivities continued at home here in our kitchen with even Luke and Jessi joining us for a second breakfast. The afternoon was spent weeding the hops, because after all, it was not a Sunday. Not too bad of a weekend and all are refreshed and ready for this week and the list of jobs we hope to accomplish. One of the huge jobs on the list will preparing the quonset for the Barn Dance on June 17. We hope to see those of you from Minnesota and South Dakota at the dance!