As I sit trying to come up with the right words for this column I have written and deleted and rewritten again. I have two Word documents open. I started writing in the living room sitting in the recliner earlier today. I left my computer to make supper in the hopes to clear my mind and get a different perspective. I finished and sat in a different room. Writing and then rewriting again. My two children freshly bathed from their adventures of the day are in my face jumping on the couch. I am trying to clear my mind to write. I take my computer outside to the front yard. For about two seconds I am alone. I look up to the sky trying to clear my mind for the words to come to me. Vivian comes and ask me what I am doing. “I am trying to clear my mind.” I tell her. She replies, “That won’t work.” The hum of two tractors with manure spreaders pulled behind pass by our farm. The sun is beginning to set behind the grain bins. My two children begin to play again in our front yard, so much for a bath. Everett brings me a toad he found. Vivian has a recorder and is playing her music. Recorders are outside toys.
My thoughts go to the day. A simple day. An ordinary day. The day began with morning chores. As we finished morning milking, I could see glimpses of Everett riding the lawn mower around the yard through the big fan at the end of the barn. He was mowing the lawn but I have yet to see a concise pattern. He fed and checked on his chickens and pig several times throughout the day. The other day he caught a Garder snake. I think there is a cooler in the front yard with a Garder snake inside. I am afraid to check. I repeatedly told him to put the fish aquarium away on the kitchen table because, “No! We are not having a snake in the house.” Vivian followed Everett every step today. As Nathan left the yard this afternoon Vivian talked to him. I am not sure what she told him, but it was animated. Her arms and fingers told a very distinct story. Vivian changed her shoes about 100 times today. Her bath she took in her swimsuit. Throughout the day the worries of the year to come clouded my mind. The what ifs, the should we’s, and the heart ache that is surrounding farming right now. The feelings of not being able to think clearly daunted my day.
As I finish this, my two children are playing in the sand box behind me. I hear Vivian singing and humming to herself. I hear Everett making action noises as he plays. I turn around and see Vivian climb a tree in her pjs. I feel the cool night breeze of summer around the bend press on my check. The pressure telling me to keep my faith in God. The reminder that today was not just an ordinary day but a very extraordinary day.
— Brenda Rudolph is a wife, mother, and dairy farmer in central Minnesota. She writes regularly about life with her family on their dairy farm on her blog Raising A Farmer.