There’s a running joke that our family is not social. “We could go to that, but then we’d have to …..(gasp) SOCIALIZE!” But honestly, there are a few reasons why getting to social activities just isn’t on the top of the list for farm families.
1. CHORES. We raise livestock. We feed a lot of them twice a day and then have to feed the others hay once a day. We do this to best utilize their feed and gain. Chores currently take an hour in the morning, another hour or two mid-day for hay feeding and another hour in the evening. That’s if everything is going smoothly. So when you plan a brunch and invite us, don’t be surprised when we need to leave by noon. Or if you plan supper, we likely won’t get there until 6:30 or after depending on how far we have to drive.
2. ENERGY. See #1. Carrying pails filled with grain, wheelbarrows full of silage and working out in the cold tends to wear a body out. When the sun goes down, we are ready to call it a day. Add to that the fact that Mike, Jesse and I also work in town and you can see that the energy is spread pretty thin.
3. SURPRISES. Not the good kind like “Surprise, we’re going on vacation for two weeks!” but the “Oh crap!” kind. I’ve been dressed and ready to go when Mike comes in to say a cow’s calving and is needing help or another cow prolapsed or a calf is really sick suddenly and needs to be treated. Or, if the animals manage to behave there’s always the equipment around a farm to give you fits by not starting or freezing up.
4. BUSY. This isn’t the kind of busy you can really control. It’s the kind that comes from a surprisingly big harvest, a good crop of calves and another job opportunity that takes time but provides valuable income. We will have given all the calves their 2nd round of vaccinations by the end of the weekend along with working all the cows and hosting Thanksgiving besides the normal routine.
5. And lastly, there are times, to be completely honest, that we just can’t think of being around anyone else. Mike and I are not naturally extroverts. We both need time to recharge by retreating from the world. I know there are people who thrive by being around others and at times we enjoy that too. BUT, there are other times when we need down time alone at home.
1. Agvocates. I appreciate their efforts to educate the world.
2. The Verbick Family. Good friends who travel hundreds of miles through St. Louis during the Ferguson riots just to spend Thanksgiving.
3. Quick recipes that provide nourishing meals in under 30 minutes.
4. The smoker that the boys got me for Christmas last year. Tasty meat with little effort.
5. Sarcasm. It’s a language our family speaks fluently.