Some days, I wake up and wonder…
“How did I end up living on Manitoulin?”
“How did I end up marrying a farmer?”
“Am I able to be a farmer’s wife?”
Life on Manitoulin is heavenly (most of the time). It is not without its issues though, but overall, it is a wonderful life. We live on a farm, grow our own food, have a healthy environment to raise our child, and are blessed to be surrounded by nature and so many stunning, breathtaking lakes and beaches. We have so many amazing people in our lives and realize how fortunate we are.
Life on the farm
I’ve been married to a farmer for eight years now, and there are days that I wonder if I was meant to live this lifestyle. Life on the farm is challenging. Stretches of fences need to be repaired, machinery often needs to be repaired, weather doesn’t always co-operate, the work is heavy and the return not so much. It’s a thankless job much of the time — yet my husband continues to trudge on.
I’ve seen things I never in a million years would have expected to see. I’ve witnessed the birth of a new calf. I’ve experienced the sadness felt at the loss of an animal. There was also the time early on in our marriage when I helped assist in a birth because one of the heifers was having a difficult time. We lost the heifer and the calf. As a city girl, I had never witnessed anything like that and was convinced that I wasn’t strong enough to be a farmer’s wife. My heart could not take that kind of heartache.
There was also the time wild animals got into our chicken coop and slaughtered our chickens and ducks. Our friends had just entrusted them to us and two months into our chicken and duck adoption, the coop was attacked. I cried and cried…and our five year old daughter patted me on the shoulder and said, “It’s just part of life, Mama.”
Just last night, I couldn’t sleep because the most horrifying noise came from our back field. I can’t even describe the sounds that were being made. The coyotes sounded like they were having a fiesta.
I went out this morning to feed the animals and found dismembered parts of a calf.
I reported the sad news to Hubby and he told me he believes it may have been one of the twin calves that were born yesterday.
I don’t know if I will ever “get used” to this aspect of farming. I do know that I admire my husband for his resilience and commitment. I love that he teaches our five year old daughter to be a steward to the land and the respect and take care of the land, the animals, and everything on our farm. I love that our child is connected to the land and knows where her food comes from and is part of the growing process. I am also in awe of her knowing that death is a fact of life and that she tries to console me!
In the meantime, I shall focus on moments like these…
Victoria Ess says
Wow, thanks for giving us a view into the challenges of farming. It’s definitely a lot of work, and I have more respect for farmers for it.
Oh Christine, I can only imagine the challenges farm life must bring, but also the joy and new life as well. It’s bittersweet at times I’m sure, but the beautiful things that you and your family do outweigh all of that. To be able to grow your own food and bring your little one up in an environment that teaches her the ups and downs that naturally occur in life, is really great. That is SO sad about the calf. I don’t know if my heart could handle moments like that!
Thanks so much, Brandi! It was a rough night and day! I don’t deal well with this aspect of farming. After 8 years, it’s still tough for me 🙁