Using Your Talents Well
My mom was an ag mom. She chiseled ground, baled hay, drove the wheat truck, worked cattle, prepared the noon meals, made the afternoon break cookies, and kept the household running smoothly.
She also decorated cakes in her spare time, usually around 2 a.m. if memory serves. She would try to be quiet as a mouse, but I would often hear a drawer shut in the middle of the night while she was working on someone’s wedding, birthday, anniversary, or graduation cake.
I would also often hear small hoof stomps of the calves my parents had brought in to warm up on cold winter mornings. I know trying to keep the little ones alive was stressful for my parents, but I loved being able to rub them with dry towels to get their circulation going again. It was the only time I got to pet them!
We usually ended up with bucket calves in the barn and that meant making warm bottles several times a day. I never realized the impact milk replacer had had on me until I opened that first can of baby formula after my oldest son was born. Let me tell you, my reaction was visceral. I felt that shiver all the way down to my toes.
My mom was the only farm wife in a three-mile area that didn’t work in town too.
She didn’t have many friends who could really relate to her day-to-day life. As I got older her daily plans often included getting me where I needed to go. Dropping me
off at softball practice in the wheat truck was just her way of getting things done.
She also had to take me along to deliver the cakes she decorated. I’m sure her nerves were constantly frayed because I was the reason we couldn’t have nice things, if you’re picking up what I’m throwing down.
She retired from baking cakes when I was a freshman in high school but continued helping my dad on the farm and tending their cow-calf herd. She wouldn’t let him get a cake feeder because she liked to sit on the back of the pickup and shake out cubes for the cows. When I came home on breaks from college I would go with Dad and do the same thing for the same reason.
My boys have had a different type of ag mom.
I don’t work the land but I have taught them to love the animals in their care and the people in their lives just like my mom taught me.
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