Farm life: Frantic and reflective


By Stephanie Strothmann

Farm life can be hectic. Things happen at a moment’s notice when you least expect it.

For example, a routine daily chore is collecting eggs and ensuring the animals have enough food and water. The average time spent on completing that task is usually right at 15 minutes or so.

However, when you arrive at the barn that day to check food and water, you notice one of the chickens has decided to escape and is frantically running back and forth outside of its run, trying to get back in with its flock.

You drop everything and start to go after the escapee, bringing your arms out as wide as they can to try and corral the frightened bird back into the run and safety.

Over the years, I’ve learned that keeping the bird as close to the fence line as possible seems to work the best, but there are times the chicken completely decides to go out on its own and makes a wide berth away from the barrier and runs into the middle of the field.

I’m no spring chicken myself, and I’m certain my marathon running days are behind me because when I have to chase after the creature, I find we are both exhausted when the bird finally decides to head back toward its flock whose members are now calling out to the fugitive.

It never ceases to make me laugh when the escapee bird is blindly following outside the fence line, and when it finally notices the open gate, it struts confidently in as if it meant to do the hubbub all along.

Farm life also can be very reflective. After all, what else are you going to do with your thoughts as you sit on a tractor for three-plus hours, driving around in circles to mow the never-ending growing grass?

My mowing thoughts wandered to 20 years ago the other day as I was doing the mundane chore of cutting the grass. Those of us who were around at the time know what happened that Sept. 11 day when the most beautiful day turned to one of somber remembrance. I wasn’t sure what the future was going to hold at the end of that day, but golly am I glad that I’ve been able to stick around to find out.

Others were not so fortunate, and my mind turned to solemn remembrance this past weekend for all of those we lost in the tragedy.

In the midst of a pandemic now, I have to wonder what the next 20 years will bring. Whatever it is, I know it’s going to be an adventure no matter what the outcome.

Until next time…

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