Thursday 15 February 2018

"You married a farmer - get used to it"

If you would have told me at any given moment in my past that I would be traipsing around a ranch with a sledgehammer in hand to hack open frozen water dishes (and ward off feisty turkeys - they're getting frisky), I would have told you that you're insane. 

Alas, that's exactly what I was doing yesterday (on Valentine's Day no less), and will be doing again in an hour or so. 
This video is from Christmas, but 7 weeks later, here I am, still doing it. LIVING THE DREAM, PEOPLE, LIVING THE DREAM.

I'm not gonna lie: the last few weeks have been rough. I seemed to have fallen into a hole filled with snow, ice, and despair. The good news is that I'm climbing out of it, and that I can not only see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the tiniest hint of spring in the air! Or to be more accurate, the animals sense it, and show me that spring is approaching.
The turkeys, who have been pleasingly tame all winter, are getting their spunk back, and have returned to being their usual, pain-in-the-ass selves. As unnerving as it is to be stalked by 3 huge male turkeys, it also means that they're getting ready to mate, which is a sure sign of warmer temperatures heading our way.

The roosters are as horny as frat boys, chasing after our hens mercilessly. The hens, in turn, have started to lay eggs by the dozen every day, and we are drowning in eggs. Every visitor who happens to come by gets sent home with 2 dozen eggs, whether they want to or not (bring your friends!).

And then last night, as we were sitting on the couch, gazing over the valley and making plans for the spring, a welcome sight: the starlings are back! They migrate to the south during the coldest months, but return once it gets warmer. It doesn't appear much warmer yet (we currently have -10 degrees), but they are much more in tune with nature's subtle clues than we slow humans are. Trust the birds! They know what they are doing.

Anyway, the hole I fell into. It's one that many of us are familiar with during the dark and cold winter months: made up of boredom, cabin fever, winter fatigue, low energy, and in my case, an unhealthy dose of self-pity, it's almost a rite of passage during the last few weeks of the winter. No matter how determined I am in November to make the most of winter, by mid-January I'm done.
I feel like I can't take it any more. I have an overwhelming urge to run away, to hop onto the next plane and fly to Mexico until spring gets here.

This time, the hole was made worse by my feeling sorry for myself for having to take care of the farm every day. I was resentful, angry, and muttering under my breath like a mad woman, cursing Lyme Disease, Rich's obsession with his animals, and the f*cking ice that made walking so treacherous.
"I will never take walking on non-slippery ground for granted again," I swore to myself. (I will take it for granted again. The human mind is a fickle beast.)

"Why do I have to do this? WHY?" I would wail to the dogs, my most patient listeners. "It's not fair!"
"Why can't I be lazy? I WANT TO BE LAZY!" I would fume to myself, too ashamed to tell even the dogs. (But I'm telling you, because you can keep a secret, right?)

A couple of days ago, I talked to my mom on the phone, bemoaning the work, winter, and having a sick (but getting better, I really shouldn't complain) husband. She listened patiently, being understanding and sympathetic and really very supportive.
At some point, she told me this: "You have to accept that you married a farmer, and that you are a farm wife. That's your life. And it's a good one! But you have to fully embrace it."

I've been thinking about this ever since. Because you know what? As crazy as it sounds after 15 years together, I don't think I fully have. I have always made a point of saying that the farm is Rich's hobby, and that they are "his" animals, and that I only take care of them when I have to.

Why? I don't know. I wasn't even fully aware of it until my mom pointed it out. All I know is, she has a point.
I've been trying to find a meaning in Rich's illness. A bigger reason why this was sent to him/us. I know what the reason is for him (which is not my place to share), but I was struggling to find the reason for me.
Well, it looks like my mom found it for me: to finally fully embrace that I'm not only married to a farmer, but that I'm a farmer myself.

Did I choose my blog's name in an (unconscious) effort to find peace with that reality? Maybe.
But it took me 5 years to fully catch up to it.

I've always been a late bloomer - some things never change.

Farm Girl, out!
xo Miriam



  1. This is exciting, I think! I'm ready to see you go FULL FARM GIRL.

    1. Haha awesome! It's happening!! 🐎🐂🐄🐏🦃🐓🦆


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