Seasonal farmer spouse

If you are married to a farmer, you know this – we have seasonal spouses.

Fall- kiss them everytime you see them, because you won’t seen them much. Fall is harvest time, the time if year where literally you reap the rewards of a years work in the fields. On our farm that means corn and soybeans are being harvested, and a cover crop of winter wheat is being planted.

Winter – you see them more often… No crop emergencies, fewer equipment breakdowns and less calving problems to attend to. Most nights you can get through dinner without a farm emergency phone call interrupting – this is MAJOR, and fabulous, and I get too used to it every winter. They still work a lot (7 days a week, a lot) but not excessively so, at least for these workaholics we call farmers.

Spring time – as soon as the daffodils bloom, give ’em a big hug goodbye because the steady stream of 12-14 hour days is just beginning. Typically dinner is interrupted 3-4 times a week with urgent farm business. (I DO NOT like the inturrupting dinner part) Typically Lynn starts with vaccinating calves and doctoring the herds.Then he moves on to spraying fields to kill weeds. Sometime in there they sell the weaned calves. Then spraying the crop fields. When my Iris beds bloom, Lynn has started getting corn seed and working over planters readying them for the busy time of putting seed in the ground. 

Going with Daddy to “help” work on the corn planter…even
farm girls have to be fancy.

Every spring all of us have to readjust to the annual normal of Lynn working longer and harder. Because we have young children, every year is different developmentally for them, and it’s new parenting territory for us. As they get older, I think they will understand it more…And maybe the parenting gets easier. (I know that last bit isn’t true. All the experienced parents have told me that parenting never gets easier. But let me believe the lie that smooth sailing is ahead!) Since I am also a working parent, family logistics are kind of a mess during the spring time.

Without so much as a day off, spring rolls right into summer. As soon as the corn and soybeans are planted, the wheat is harvested and straw is baled.

In the middle of all this I finally get my garden in the ground…Which (despite my AS, BS and MS degrees in Agriculture) will not look nearly as good as the field crops. 

As soon as the straw is baled, then it is time for hay to be harvested. There is a first, second and if the weather is good a third cutting of hay on each and every hay field. The girls and I ride in the (air-conditioned) tractor with Lynn some because that is just about about the only way we can see him awake.

Towards the end of summer, if we are lucky there is about two weeks of a break. Cows still need checking, but the hay is up for now and the fall harvest hasn’t started. I try my hardest to get my farmer away from the farm for a few days of relaxation during this time. Because he rarely gets breaks, he will not relax at home. He doesn’t know how to. I’ve found if we get him far enough away, he will unwind a few days…And that has to be good for him. Without question it’s good for me, and the girls enjoy adventures as much as I do.

So that’s our schedule in a nutshell. That’s why you won’t see Lynn at a lot of things that families typically do together. No, we aren’t fighting – yes he really does work THAT much.

Have a great week friends. Stop and smell those flowers! 

Hay Season

It’s hay time on the farm. Typically they bale hay (which is a feed source for the cattle in the winter when the grass is dormant) twice, maybe three times a year if weather conditions are favorable. They do round bales meant for cattle which are easier to move with equipment and only a few square bales for my horses because those are more labor intensive.

image
Pic from Lynn at work

Since most farm work is seasonal, and like many farm related chores dependent on the weather – hay time means many things to our family.

It means long days for Lynn – who comes home covered in dust and equipment grease.

It means it is hot and muggy. And the girls get to play in the wading pool or sprinkler in the afternoons.

image
Caroline is hanging the freshly laundered swimsuits out to dry, since the dryer makes the elastic brittle.

image

It means we have FINALLY had a chance to get the garden worked and planted.

image

It means the pop-up thunderstorms sometimes end the farming day, which frusterate Lynn but thrill me since sometimes he can come home before 7pm.

It means my work schedule has slowed down a bit and I’m almost down to “regular” work hours… I’m planning and preparing for summer horse shows, beef shows, the late summer awards banquet.
The work assignment I dread most all year happens this time of year, a week away from my family at 4-H camp. I don’t dislike camp itself and I think it is a fantastic opportunity to for the young people I am in charge of for the week.
My stomach churns when I think about spending a week 2.5 hours away from my girls who need their Mama especially at bedtime, and my Type 1 diabetic husband who is prone to low blood sugar at night. It just feels wrong to leave them.
BUT, my job is steady and provides good health insurance coverage for the family. And I enjoy what I do…It’s just the being away that bothers me.

Real official hay-season summertime is here. We’ve finished out first watermelon and the girls eat popcicles in their swimsuits. Sometimes we all pile in the tractor and ride with Lynn while he’s working for some family time.

image

It’s a long hour, hot and sweaty, hard work rhythm of life – but it’s our life and for that I’m thankful.

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑