Summer

First, play this song – it all ties in, I promise!

May. I always find this time of year so frustrating. All I want to do is go home and forget about school, but I have to stay and take finals. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment – for a farm kid, this is torture. I know that right now the ducks are running around the yard eating bugs, the goats are taking their afternoon naps, and Dad is probably tinkering in the garden. The air will be thick with the smell of cut grass this weekend, as some of our neighbors are already taking the first cuttings of hay and winter wheat. This is the best time in Cassville because it hasn’t been hot yet. In late July, however, the air will be heavy with humidity and no amount of hairspray will come to my rescue. Over the summer, my kids will transform from scrawny, clumsy babies into fat, shiny bucks and does. Hopefully, the corn will be “knee high by the fourth of July” as the old saying goes, and the worms won’t fall in love with the tomatoes, as they seem to do every year. Days will be spent stretching barbed wire fences and baling hay, but it will seem like nothing when you step back and see a straight pasture and a barn full of square bales (even if you have the worst sunburn you can remember and your shirt is full of red clover!). My cousins from Virginia will come to visit, and the holler will sound like Teddy Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan hill for a few days as we engage in friendly-but-not-friendly bottle rocket fights. Late nights will be spent catfishing and frog gigging, and sweet tea will be the beverage of choice. My hands have grown a little soft since I only work on the weekends, but by August they will be full of calluses and scars once again, and the bottoms of my feet will be tough from going barefoot every day. There will be family drives through the holler to Roaring River, nights camping out with cousins, and evenings spent listening to the relatives tell stories. I always go through a sort of rebirth in the summer (sounds a little cliche doesn’t it?). Once all the hay has been cut and hauled, the grass has grown dry and sharp, and the pond is almost dry from the lack of rain, I know summer is almost over. I’m never ready to go back to classes, but I slowly ease back into the groove and look forward to summer once again. As this semester comes to a close, this is my last post for class credit. I do, however, intend to continue blogging and telling about my experiences. Thank you so much for following along with me this semester and reading my thoughts. I appreciate it!

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Spring Out Here

I guess I never noticed before, but spring kind of creeps up on you out in the country.  One day everything is brown and covered in snow, and the next, there’s green grass almost an inch high.  The buds on trees burst overnight, and baby animals just seem to appear out of nowhere.  Being home for Easter was kind of a bummer since the new season is just now getting a good start at home.  I had no sooner got out of my first class this morning when my mom sent me pictures of the only kids I’ll get this year.  Leave it to temperamental, spoiled nanny goats to withhold their children until after I leave!  On top of missing my kids, my duck eggs are due to hatch tomorrow. There are few things in life more adorable than tiny new duck feet, even if ducklings are louder than a tornado siren!  At night, the spring peepers keep up a commotion in the pond, and I so enjoy seeing the mist rise off of the fields in the morning.  As you may be able to tell, I really love spring!  Yes, summer is lovely, fall is a huge  relief after the heat, and winter is beautiful, but all life is renewed in the spring.  The air is not yet muggy, and you can still smell the dirt in the air.  In a few weeks the garden will be ready to plant, and there will be no end to weeding, tilling, watering, and rock picking.  When the hay is tall, it will be cut, raked, baled, and hauled in a matter of days, only to be repeated again when the grass grows back.  When the heat of the day is gone, there will be fishing trips and barbeques, swimming in the creek and catching lightning bugs.  For now though, the nights are cool and quiet, and we still just flip through the seed catalogs.  Balers and air conditioning are far from our minds as we sit in the living room with all the doors and windows open.  We’ll enjoy these few brief weeks of spring before the Missouri heat moves in, and then we’ll pick okra and green beans, and dream of next spring.

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A new little doe just born this morning!

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Also a little doe, trying out her new legs!

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These aren’t babies from this year, but they are the same breed that will be hatching this week. You can’t see them very well, but they have afros on top of their heads!