Saturday, March 4, 2017
Remember that time?
Whenever something crazy, out of the ordinary or unbelievable happens around the farm our saying is always "building memories...building memories".
My kids were very active in 4-H showing livestock for many years. Like most kids there were times that were challenging and then others that were rewarding but the time that I spent with my kids during the summer on the farm are irreplaceable.
Every morning we would head down to the barn. Each year we fine tuned our feeding and training program so that we could raise the most muscled lambs, pigs and calves. They would get a scoop of this and a scoop of that making sure that it was weighed out to the nearest ounce to ensure that they didn't get too much. After each animal was individually fed then it was time for exercise. The lambs were tied to the back of the homemade chariot that was pulled by the lawn mower or walked down the lane to the end of the property to be vigorously chased back to the barn. We figured if sprinting was a good muscle builder for people it had to be good for animals. The pigs were walked around the farm making sure to give them marshmallows or peppermint treats every now and then so they would walk where you wanted them to. Pens would have to be cleaned on a regular basis. Sometimes the animals would need to be bathed and groomed. Hours of hard work were put into each animal to make sure that they were prepared for their show day.
Fair week was the pay off. This was where they could see the results of the summer hours of hard work that had been done. They didn't always bring home big trophies or prizes but it gave them incentive to work harder the next year in the hopes of doing better. It was in 4-H and at the county fair where they made friendships, learned sportsmanship, success and disappointment. Winning was a goal. Only a couple winners were chosen by the judges, one person's decision on that day. My kids came to understand lessons of life during this time: sometimes cheaters will win, some parents do all their work for their children, and
sometimes hard work can pay off. No matter what the outcome though they always shook the hand of the winner, kept their chin up and always strived to be better.
Those years of memories will never be forgotten and there are so many stories that we continue to share even years later. We can even chuckle at those times when we argued and fought amongst each other because we know that good or bad this is our story. "Life is not always a bowl full of cherries" as my mother would say. Building memories.
Now it's time to sit back and enjoy the next generation. I watch my daughter with her two step children and a daughter of her own building memories in the same barn that was where we spent so many hours so long ago. Hopefully her kids can learn the same valuable life lessons that made her the successful adult she is today. A new chapter that will be full of memories to share.