As a child, there were certain things my father never told me. Of course, there were many things he did share.
During my youth, I used to like to tag along with my dad as he was doing the chores. It fascinated me to watch him milk the cows. He made it look so easy. Of course I wanted to try milking, so I begged him to try. He did his best to explain how to milk. When he finally let me try, I didn’t get a drop. How could I ever learn to milk? My dad must have had a magic touch!
Striding across the barnyard, he would carry a full five gallon bucket of corn in each hand. I stretched my legs alongside my long legged dad, mimicking his stride. One day, he opined, “Little girls should take small steps.” After that, I adopted more of a double time prance to keep up with him!
I loved to feed the bucket calves. The calves were adorable and cute as could be. Right before feeding time, these babies would always want to suck on our fingers! Once their nippled buckets would arrive, the calves would always butt their heads against the buckets in an attempt to encourage the flow of milk to increase.
My Father Did Give Me Advice
One day when I was a bit older , my dad advised me, “Never marry a farmer.” I intuited that he may have felt it was much work for little pay. Roughly a decade or two later, I married. I didn’t marry a farmer. I kind of followed Dad’s advice as my husband wasn’t a farmer, at least when we wed. Yes, it was laborious work for low pay. However, what my father never told me was the way nature speaks; to know by the color and timing of the clouds what the weather would be; to be aware by the appearance of various plants and crops whether the season would be typical; to watch for the migrations of birds and even butterflies; or to listen for the first hoot owl to know when it should frost.
Even though my father never told me, I know he knew. While his knowledge and knowing of nature was not verbalized, it was evident in his actions.
My husband, however, verbally taught me these things. Now, nature speaks to me as well!
Be sure to check out WATCHING THE RIVER RUN to follow the winding path of nature and farming that runs through the history of our family! Here is a brief video showing the vintage of the equipment used by my dad in his early days of farming in the Corn Belt of the United States: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4K0bdI6OsQ.