Saturday, April 26, 2014

Through the eyes of strangers.

   I always wonder what people think when they ride by my farm. When I'm out in the pastures with the sheep, I see people ride by. Some are looking straight ahead. Some turn their heads and look around. Once, there was a family who went all the way home to change clothes and come back to see the lambs. I've had people stop and get out to take pictures.

There's lots of bike riders that come out here too.  Most of them ride with their heads down, never looking around. I just want to holler at them to look up, see the beauty all around them! It is beautiful out here. I was out in the big pasture with the sheep and lambs not too long ago and actually heard someone say "Look, there's sheep. And there's a lady out there with them." That was strange.

We get a lot of tourists now, because of the Mt. Cove restaurant. It's 5 miles south of us. There is also a huge barn where there are weddings and big events. That's when we get traffic. So many cars and trucks zooming past for hours.

We are right on the road, so it's all out there for people to see. I do have my farm sign with things I have for sale. And people do stop and come in.

So this evening, right when I was finishing up the lambs bottle feedings, a white SUV drove up the driveway. And I am filthy, of course! I'd been working on taking down the old fence to put up a taller fence for the sheep so they can go in the little house yard soon. So all these people climb out and come over to me. And they're all saying how beautiful my little farm is and how long have we lived here and on and on. They were looking all over and seeing all the animals. There were 2 couples, I guess in the 60's, from Atlanta, on their way home after a day of hiking at The Pocket just over the ridge. They saw my sign and decided to stop and see if I had eggs.

They wanted to see the goats, so I took them back there. Showed them all the kids. They just went on and on about them, how cute and sweet and soft they were. Took all kinds of pictures. Bought some eggs and said they'd be back when they were up this way again.

This just made me think about this farming life and how other people see it.After this morning, when the sheep are screaming at me to hurry up with their feed and the bottle lambs are wanting their bottles. Right now! And seeing Leelah, one of my first ewes, laying down, straight legged, like she's in labor, with a glazed over look in her eyes. I knew something was wrong with her. I checked her gums and they were pale. So I ran to get some wormer and a shot of B complex. Had to chase her all over again and got mad and cried because all I wanted to do was help her, stupid ewe.

Then the chickens are all over the yard and gardens, scratching up everything I've planted and mulch all over. I really hate chickens right now. This time of year  is really bad for me. So I have sold 21 of them to my friends up the road, but they can't get them til they get some things done in their coop. A few more days, then there will just be the black hens and Black Bart, the rooster. I'll clip wings or just keep them in the coop and run til fall.

Then yesterday, I took 4 kids to get them disbudded. One of the bucks was not sounding good this morning, so had to deal with him. Then little Jewel's head looked really bad. Her horns were small, so Kendra got a little more head burned. Had to spray her head a few more times.

I know people don't see all this when they ride by. They don't see the sick or hurting animals. Or the messed up fences. Or the crappy gates that are wired together. They just might see 5 seconds of this farm. Not enough time to actually SEE it. Sometimes I just want to leave and never come back. Or sell every animal here. It's not easy sometimes. It's noisy. It stinks. The flies are awful. It's hot! It's freezing!

But then I look at this place with the eyes of strangers. And see the beauty. And the sweet adorable sheep and goats and chickens, all over the yard and pastures. And I get to eat the eggs. And the lamb burger or sausage or chops. And drink the milk from the goats that I just milked this morning and eat the cheese. And wash my hands with soap I've made from milk and herbs I've grown myself. And go out to the garden and pick dinner. And feed lots of people who buy my produce or eggs or meat at markets. I get to DO THIS! And I feel sorry for those city folks who ride by and get to see my farm for 5 seconds and go on up the road.


Tami said...

Beautifully written. (from both sides of the fence.)

I expect we ALL feel both delight and disgust from time to time as we walk our chosen paths. I can't imagine living in a city but HAVE seen the beauty of visiting one.

Betty Ann said...

Beautiful and inspirational. Some people never stop to smell the roses. You always do.

Iris said...

You write so well, Kris. Reading your comments makes me want to ride out and see what you see. I know you love what you do. I think it's normal to "have a moment", because that's what it usually is!