Summer on the Farm

By Maryann
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Summer vacation has officially arrived. Preschool has ended and I no longer need to rush to be anywhere. Just yesterday Katie and I went out to lunch before running errands. On the way back from lunch and ready to start errands, we stopped by the farm. I had a bunch of egg cartons to drop off. After talking me into letting her have an ice pop she talked Poppa into taking her on a Bubbles ride. Bubbles is the resident golf cart painted bubble gum pink that serves as the off road vehicle at the farm. Us farm folk refer to it as going “bubbling.”  

The pumpkin patch hasn’t been planted yet with corn or sorghum so Paul had let the cows into the field earlier in the day and needed to check on them anyway. Although I needed to get groceries and stop by the bank and the hardware store it wasn’t too hard to deter me from those tasks to spend some time in the fields. The farm is about 425 acres total – about 160 of that is actively managed and pasture for the cows, and the rest is left pretty much as open space forest. It belongs to our good friends Paul and Lyle Schreiber affectionately known as Poppa and Lyle, who have become our extended family.

When we got to pumpkin patch only a couple of cows and a group of calves were there. So where were the rest? Well they decided to cross the brook into the “you’re not supposed to be there” area known as the swimming hole. So over the bridge we went to shoo them out back across the brook. Now of course because we were running errands I had on brand new good shoes that I forgot to change out of. And of course because I had on new white shoes I had to step in a nice large cow pie that oozed up all over my shoe. Yuck. Hello christened farm shoes! And of course because we needed to go run errands Katie ended up with cow pie all over her too. I learned early on to carry extra clothes (from undies to shoes) for each of us. Thank goodness for hoses!

We did get the cows to the other side of the brook and everyone back together in the cow-approved field. Ed, the cow I bottle fed, was with the herd and the bugger snubbed me when I went to see him and walked off! There are about 20 or 22 calves on the farm right now. I love seeing them. It is amazing how quickly they grow. Most of them are black and white but there is one gray calf and one that is almost white. There were about seven missing so we went out to the other fields looking for them. As I watched the cows grazing I thought that this is how it should be and how so often, it is not. 

As we went out riding through the other fields trying to locate the other cows I listened to Katie laughing beside me. Again my thoughts returned to thinking this is how it should be. I wish every kid had the opportunity to enjoy the land. Just being outside, sun shining and fresh air. I feel that we are very fortunate to be able to experience the things we do. From the smell of fresh mint crushed by tires, to bottle feeding calves and throwing stones in the brooks, there is no video game or computer app that can replace those memories. It’s the simple things in life that are best.