A friend asked me to write about life on the farm with the boys. Tonight seems fitting, as it’s nearly 10:30 and the kids are just settling in. And, it’s National FFA Week, so the topic works well with that too!
Today was a typical “winter” day. I emphasize winter, because spring, summer and fall we’re outside much more and for hours on end. I had a unique work schedule this week, so my mom walked 50 feet last night at 8 p.m., stayed over night at our house and then watched the kids this morning for a few hours while I worked.
She also washed the dishes, did some laundry, made my bed and well, it was heaven to step out of the office and have things organized. While I made lunch, the kids jumped in their (adorable) Carhartt overalls and went to feed steers with grandma. In the meantime, I also ran the garbage to the garage, went to the mailbox and then to the workshop where our freezer is and brought in some meat for the next few days.
I met them in the yard as they were just coming out of the barn. Then, the three of them went across the farm to feed cats in the old milking barn, and I put lunch on the table. We ate, took naps, made dinner and then after baths, chatting and saying love you to Auntie Nicole, we saw the light on in the shop. So, me and the boys bundled up again and went out to see what Grandpa was up to.
Dad and I talked about the history of CNH, Farmall, International, McCormick, etc. for a while. We watched the news and discussed the upcoming FFA Alumni Toy Show, which we’re all excited about taking the boys to again this year. It will be Max’s first time. We went over details about the WPS Farm Show, and I gave him the new Farm Equipment magazine with my article and a really good column about sales’ departments by Dave Kanicki. We talked about his new corn planter, and how it’s going to work well this coming spring with a few adjustments.
He wants to get it out of the shop too. I joke it’s like a puzzle in there: to make it across the other side is an adventure in itself. Dad strategically parked the corn planter, the skidsteer, another John Deere tractor, and the mixer I think was in there tonight. I can’t remember. It changes daily!
At this point, the boys were filthy, had literally been laying on the shop floor playing with trucks. They scared themselves by knocking over a part of the planter, which became a teachable moment in 1) listening to Grandpa and 2) farm equipment safety. To get over the tears, Grandpa found a snack, we watched them play and then he decided we all needed a second cleaning for the day.
He pulled out the air hose and sprayed the dust off each of us. At first the boys were a little iffy, but once they figured out this was sort of fun, lined up for their turns. I turned off the TV, Max grabbed Grandpa’s hand and we walked home together. We showed Grandpa how we play shadows at night in the yard and “monster moon” our made-up game. I gave my Dad a hug, and we ran laughing to our home, he walked across the yard to his.
This is a little glimpse into a day and it’s fun. And every day is different. Some days it’s just us and others we see family and friends. We play and learn, and well, the boys love to work. They are following in footsteps I’m proud to be even just a small part of. I often wonder what Knox’s mom would think of his life? Is it very different than hers? Is it very different than what it would have been? I don’t know I guess, but I hope she’d be happy. God knows he is!
And when spring comes, he’ll be walking around golf club in hand, learning how to perfect his swing from Grandpa Bradley and Daddy! What a life, kiddo!