My formative years were spent beside my parents learning and working alongside them. It is a corner stone to my work ethic today that life on a small mixed farm instilled in me that when there is work to do you do it. So shortly after arriving at my mother’s house off I went to the yard. It is a very protected garden and obviously it’s been warm enough down in Southern Saskatchewan for volunteer spinach and onions to have really got a start on the rest of the garden!
We needed to till so first we harvested! Now I’ve picked my parsnips in the spring but this was no root vegetable feast we had in May for supper but rather fresh greens! How lovely and such a great reward for an afternoon of cleaning out the raspberries. They are my favourite fruit but they are a handful of a plant. They require extensive pruning in the spring and fall plus you have to get rid of those darn suckers! Which worked perfect for me as I now have farm raspberry plants for the spots in my garden that are empty with winter kill. I also cleaned out rose bushes so I have had my share of little thorns in my side today but the weather and the company certainly made up for it. My mom sat and chatted with me and the sun shone down so warm on us that it was lovely. I got a few planters done and my brother got the garden tilled so we can plant tomorrow afternoon.
We stopped late afternoon for an impromptu beer with a family friend who stopped by on her riding lawn mower. She was out doing public service and thought she would have a quick visit with my mother. There are many aspects of small town life that I like and this is one. You don’t have to phone and make a date but rather you just knock on the door and walk in. In this case she even got the beer out of the fridge as I was busy potting flowers at that moment.
Growing up I also spent a lot of time in the kitchen and to this day like to cook and love to bake. It was a pleasure to whip up supper for my mother and my brother. They eat quite early as was our farm custom but seems a bit foreign to me now but the plus side was it left time to do some other activities after supper.
I have said it before on this blog that one doesn’t really need a gym if they have a farm yard and tonight was a great example. My brother had a full half ton full of fence posts that needed to be loaded onto the post hole auger and the excess into his farm truck. So I handled most of that task while he went to feed what head he still has in corrals near to the yard.
His cattle are a bit skittish and this was as close as I could get. About 3 seconds later they spoked and were gone so I didn’t get any close ups of the calves. It’s great that after all these years the prices have finally gone up. It’s been a tough slug for a few years for the ranchers.
Here is a pair of his horses that were a bit happier to see me and posed so nicely. I am not sure he has ever actually trained them up well enough but they were bought to do heavy horse pulls and winter chores. It’s a significant amount of work to feed 100+ head of cattle yourself when it is -30 out. Obviously my brother is no stranger to hard work either.
We then headed out to the north pasture to check a few that he has close by. They were a bit quieter than the younger heifers in the corrals but there were a couple of them giving me the evil eye and one of them was the bull. I’m no dummy to this world and I kept the fence between them and me. Venturing in with cattle that are not familiar to you should only be done with the rancher around and at this moment my brother was busy on the phone organizing hauling someone else’s cattle to pasture for him.
We then ran out to check on the solar generated pump that fills the water bowl for the cattle as it hadn’t been working earlier in the day. It was good we went back as the float had malfunctioned and there was 2 feet of water around the trough. So he struggled a little to get that part fixed while I stood there and enjoyed how fabulous the evening was.
Finally I found creatures that didn’t run away when I came near. These pippers seemed obvious to the fact that I was there as they went about feeding. The sounds of the near by plant2015 were all around on the still air. It brought back memories of many a trip to the pasture or field in the spring with my father.
Not one to pass up a great photo opportunity I convinced my rancher brother to drive over to where the pile of abandoned wagons are. I am pretty sure he thought I was a busy crazy at this point but he was a good sport and I got a fabulous few shoots. It was interesting to compare what parts had deteriorated and what was still in decent shape compared to the two wagons we recently moved.
It was a busy afternoon and evening but one that took me back to my roots. I ended it up with a 7 km bike ride around town which is not something I would have every contemplated growing up so I guess one can change a few habits as they age. On the farm there was work and fitness wasn’t a buzz word. No one was over weight despite eating lots of baked goodies and using a ton of farm cream as we were in constant motion. I did ride a bike back them but it was purely to get from Point A to Point B. Even now in a small town if you are out for a run people will stop and ask if you want a lift as it isn’t a usual activity for rural folk to partake in. But none the less I enjoyed buzzing up and down every street and checking out the old houses and old memories.
It’s good to take a working trip down memory lane whether that be in the kitchen beside your mom, loading fence posts with your brother or sharing an ice cream cone with your sister.