today was a day that reminded me just how fine summer days can be.
we woke up late (ok, 7:30am might not seem late, but 5:30 every other day of the week is the norm here).
Lydia woke up shortly after, yelling, "I all done sleeping, mama! All done seepin!"
we had cornbread with homemade blueberry/rhubarb jam, and scrambled eggs with locally made goat cheese for breakfast, with a few cups of my mom's freshly roasted coffee. mmmmmmmm.
we dropped Lydia off at Charlie's folks in Lake Wilson, and went on to the farm where Charlie is employed. today I was going to help him with the cow and pig chores for a farmer friend, and man, we had a good time together.
first was getting the tractors out and running--two tractors to get the job of feeding the cattle done.
next we mixed feed in a wagon, making sure the ratios of protein, silage, and gluten were correct.
while the feed mixed we walked through the lots, checking the cows and calves...lots of warm bodies mooing and moving around.
then came filling the troughs with the feed--I was able to drive the tractor a bit, which was fun!
an interjection--nothing, and I mean nothing, makes me love Charlie more than watching him work. I don't know what it is, but seeing him effortlessly move through his routine, watching his muscles ripple as he works, manipulating heavy machinery, listening to his knowledge of the farm when I ask questions...all these things and more make me so proud to be his wife. observing how he works is testament to how firmly he believes in putting his family first. how hot is that? ;)
after the cattle were fed, we checked on the lambs, then made our way to another farm to do pig chores. while Charlie was attending to the hogs I played with a couple of shy baby kitties (some help I am); there were a couple of dead hogs that needed to be brought out of the barn, then we were finished with the work for the morning.
we drove through some beautiful terrain on our way back to Lake Wilson. though I've lived in places that made the tears come daily for all the beauty that surrounded me, the prairie will forever be my home of choice and understanding. I know the land-- through my eyes, my husbands', our daughter's, our friends' and families'. I know the way the storms roll across the hills and plains, how people interact, how farms are spaced across sections, how pretty a grove of cottonwoods can look in the morning dew. I know the rhythms of the seasons, and every day learn something new that makes me appreciate living here that much more. I love riding in my husband's truck, listening to Eric Church (don't judge) and smiling with him as the grasses and fields fly by.
sipping on coffee and talking about our dreams of an acreage of our very own was the perfect way to end our morning together. so many dreams, so many roadblocks. those who are close to us know the struggles we're facing right now...just trying to put everything in the right perspective and prioritize accordingly in the face of the unknown.
when we got back to Charlie's folks' home, we came in to find our daughter happier than a pig in mud, elbow deep in a sink full of cool water, rinsing the first crop of sweet strawberries. her perfect little mouth was stained red with berry juice, smile beautiful with the happiness of helping her grandma in the garden.
we quickly decided that hunting asparagus was in order, so into the truck we went in search of the elusive delicacy. having found a great patch, we picked enough for supper and then some, then came home to lounge, grill, and hang out together in the sunshine. Gaylene baked a foccacia bread, which was delicious, and we enjoyed a wonderful family meal together later in the day.
days like this remind me so much of what I have wanted Lydia to grow up with--a sense of rhythm and purpose to her days, the pretty prairie stretching for miles around us, knowing where our food comes from...hopefully we'll soon live our dream too.