Down on the Farm

There are unspoken rules in the country. 

I think it’s one of the reasons my kids love visiting their grandparent’s rural farm.  Once we get there, we rarely leave. 

The farm is isolated and it’s quite a trip to big city conveniences.  They raise beef and have two enormous gardens. The days are planned around four-wheeler rides and huge home-cooked meals.

There are blood-sucking ticks, poisonous copperhead snakes and pond fish the size of small dogs.  There is enough dirt to fill a landfill and enough wind to keep a thousand kites in the air.  For every person at the farm, there are double the amount of mud-caked boots lining the porch.  Of course, they are turned upside down to keep snakes and deadly spiders out.

You could say it’s a little different from our normal life.

If you would have told me fifteen years ago when I was contemplating joining this family that I would enjoy this, I would have laughed.  Out loud.

But I do.  I even have my own rubber boots for the farm.  They are hot pink.

There are many rules at the farm, according to my kids.  These guidelines were not taught or studied or even spoken aloud.  And yet they stand, firmly, like the bulls in the pasture.  You don’t challenge them.

From my kid’s perspective:

  1. You do not change your clothes because they are dirty, mud-splattered, damp from pond water or smeared with cow manure.  It is the farm.  It is enjoyed more if you are dirty.
  2. You haven’t really had a successful trip to the farm unless you have a chigger or black gnat bug bite. 
  3.  Coffee and sweet tea are offered to children of all ages, especially infants and toddlers who have never had it before.
  4. Everyone on the farm participates in a tick check every evening after baths.  It is a mandatory requirement.  If you are lucky enough to have a blood-sucking vermin attached to your skin, you have had a great day and are patted on the back and offered Grandma’s special itching ointment.
  5. Petting, holding and kissing un-vaccinated farm cats and dogs is acceptable on the farm.
  6. Pointy sticks that would poke your eyes out at home are perfectly harmless.   Watching the baby of the family use said stick to dip in the dog’s water bowl and then lick, only brings laughter from adults. 
  7. Finding a box turtle, carving your initials in its shell and writing your name on it with a Sharpee marker before letting it go, is better than visiting Disneyworld.  Any day.
  8. Traipsing through muddy ponds in rubber boots, crawling under barbed-wire fences, digging the fruit worms from rotten peaches only heightens your farm experience.
  9. Eating a raw, unwashed onion from your Grandpa’s garden spade is awesome. 
  10. Your Grandma’s home cooking and baking is so much better than your Mom’s that you mention it at least 4 times at every meal while staying at the farm.  You also clean your plate and declare asparagus from the garden to be your new favorite food.
  11. Your visit to the farm is not complete without discovering a discarded, smelly turtle shell or some other animal carcass (a.k.a farm treasure) to take home and place on your dresser for the next 3 months. 
  12. Sitting still through Sunday church with 37 other country church-goers and 9 special songs is not a problem.
  13.  As you drive away in your dirt-covered car,  sobbing, you continue until you see your parents get out their calendar and plan the next visit to the farm.
Once the tears had dried, my daughter said, “Mom, do you know the best part about you marrying Daddy?”  Well.  Yes, I do, I started to answer. “It’s the farm,” she stated in a matter-of-fact way.
Yeah.  That’s on my list too.


Comments

  1. 2

    says

    What a great time for your family and what awesome memories for your kids. I think thats just awesome!

    The bugs though….yeah….I don’t do bugs.

  2. 4

    says

    LOL I know all to well about getting muddy on the farm. And somtimes a bit stinky. We love to go to my parents horse farm where we like to go to the barn and pasture to play with the colts. You can’t say you’ve had a fun visit unless you have stepped in horse manure at least once.

  3. 6

    says

    I want to go! It sounds like so much fun. I hope to have some memories like this for my kids someday. Thanks for sharing ~ whenever I need a lift, I visit your blog! Thanks for the laughs and reminding me it’s not just our family!

  4. 9

    says

    Hey, thanks for dropping by my blog. My son had a great birthday, but man – a trip to the farm would’ve been a way better present than sand, bubbles, and racecars!

    Funny – I read your post about big fish/little fish in the blogging world and I found myself nodding in agreement. And asking myself hard questions about why I’m blogging and what I’m trying to create with these words in the ether. It was thought-provoking; thanks!

    Smiles and have a great week!

  5. 10

    says

    Our kids should have been born on a farm…. they love everything outdoors… although they’ve never met chiggers or black gnats…

    We live in the middle of Suburbia, but do our best to bring the country to them….

  6. 12

    says

    Sounds like you all have a ball at the IL’s farm, especially the kids!
    I have fond memories of my parents vacation farm when I was a kid, I wish I could have taken my kids there, but it was sold long ago. :(

    Love the pink boots, very chic!

    Your blog is great, I will definitely be back! :)

  7. 14

    says

    Oh what fun!!! It takes me back to being a kid at my G-Aunt/G-Uncles..They were the closest things to G-parents I had. I loved the farm!!
    I wanted to grow up and marry a farmer.. I married a mountain man which is better ;-) We just don’t live in the mountains ;-(
    So glad that your kids have those sweet memories!

  8. 19

    says

    What amazing memories for your children. My grandparents had a farm and I have nothing but fond memories of playing in mud and riding tractors. Childhood doesn’t get any better than that.

  9. 20

    says

    It sounds like you had a fabulous family weekend! I was nodding my head, enjoying the fun while reading your post until I got to one little word: snake. Don’t do those – no kind, no size.

    Did you all miss the storms that rolled through?

  10. 21

    says

    Such great rules. We have the dirt and tick rule too. Boo had four this past weekend at the cabin, it was a great weekend! I wonder what the standards are for grasshopper urine…

  11. 23

    says

    Gosh, I never thought I would live that life either. My inlaws are in Kentucky where the simple life on the farm prevails .. my kids LOVE it and I like seeing them be sooo free when they are there.

    We are NEVER hungry and very quiet except our course the animals and rooster sounds!!

    Sweet tea .. my kids wouldn’t even drink it until they had GranGran’s
    homemade tea.

    I don’t have any boots yet .. hehehe, but have been asked to help get a cow back on the property … what? I AM from (Suburbia) Dallas .. did they really think I was chasing a cow?

  12. 24

    says

    Sweet. Nothing like a great day at the farm. How sad to think there are people that have never milked a cow or goat, pet a pig, or have ridden a horse. Life is much more simple on the farm, and those days are quickly leaving us. Enjoy them while you can.

  13. 27

    says

    So I really think you should take the Gramps up on a summer vaca for those two raschals and while you and babe nap all days and play in the baby pool this summer!
    YKWIM?!

    Love that my kids LOVE those Gramps!

    Those boots are so safe…seriously if I were a snake or spider I’d run the other way also! LOL

  14. 29

    says

    very nice blog! I just found you because through blog designerm shauna!
    anyway, i want to add you to my blog roll that i have for The Mom blogs bloggers. you cool with that?
    :)

  15. 30

    says

    Fabulous post.

    Love the pink boots, Love the sharpie marked turtle, Love everything. How fun. And to think I don’t have such fond memories growing up on a farm. Wish ours was that exciting :)

  16. 32

    says

    I love my grandparents farm too! Their is dairy though…

    I agree with every rule you children stated and I’ll add one…
    You don’t have to go to the house to pee :) Of course, I always did but I was so jealous of my brothers being able to go ANYWHERE!

  17. 33

    says

    You just described everyday live at my house! Except we deal with rabbit poo instead! But the ticks, turtles, sharp sticks, muddy chore boots, gardening and coffee (my two year old just finished mine for me)are totally us! What a great post! Also thanks for visiting my site, it meant alot to me!

  18. 37

    says

    Now every time a weather alert mentions the farm I worry a little for your family.

    We so do tick checks before bed time and Lil’ Bum had literally worn out several pair of rubber boots.

    I need me some fancy boots like yours. Mine are black and plain.

  19. 38

    says

    Wow! We have quite a bit in common. Not only do we both have 3 children, but we also both married farm boys. Except we live on the farm. And I love it!!!! I couldn’t live anywhere else. I love sitting on my front porch and watching my climb the fence and run around in the pastures.

  20. 42

    says

    Grew up on a farm. Loved it. One day I want to have enough land and time to have a giant garden and animals and my own farm…. one day. So glad you had a great weekend!

  21. 44

    says

    I see you married “the country” too. And I can see, like me, you’re EXTREMELY happy about it. :) Thats why I have a dont ask/dont tell policy with my in-laws. What happens at the creek STAYS at the creek.

  22. 46

    says

    Kristen, you’re making your trip much more of a big deal than it was. Pink Boots? Those didn’t come from anywhere within 200 miles of that farm. My life on my Dad’s (your father-in-law’s dad) farm is far different than the great time your kids experienced on a mere 3 day weekend. Sure, summer was the best time because of all the free time I had to explore, go over to the river and do a little noodling, grab a 22 rifle and walk through woods with the farm dog looking for a varmit to kill, finding some blackberries along the way to eat, climbing a tree with a squirrel’s nest and stealing a baby squirrel to bottle feed & raise, haying (now that’s work), harvesting wheat and then smelling the perfect smell of freshly plowed soil for the next planting and wiggling your toes in that rich soil, finding the perfect swimming hole in a spring fed creek and skinny dipping there after you’ve hauled alfalfa hay all day… That’s just the summers. Winters were altogether different. I’ll tell you more about them at our reunion.. OK?
    Great blog, though from a city girl’s perspective…

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