Proximity to a Farmer

September 21, 2014 at 8:15 am (Life) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I vowed early that I would never be a farmer’s wife!

Home Farm

I knew what that life would be like. It would be a life of hard work and too much sacrifice to others. I saw that life every day. All my grandparents were farmers. My eldest sister married a farmer. Her mother-in-law was hard working and self-sacrificing.

I spent many a September digging potatoes and harvesting large farm gardens. It was too hot. It was too cold. It was so much work. I hated it. I hated the planting. I hated the dirt. I hated the digging. I hated putting it all up for later because it seems we got to taste so little of the harvest when it was fresh. It was always about later. It was always about getting and being prepared for winter. Fall, my favourite season, was hurried by with work and work and more work.

One worked on the farm from sun-up to long past sun down and this is not what I wanted. I wanted time to read and dream and just be.

Chickens & Turkeys

Farming has never been easy and it has not got easier. There is more loss than profit. Machinery can cost upwards of 100,000 dollars. Almost everyone who farms today, in the traditional way, also works off the farm! If one farms in this way one does so because they love the farm.

My nephew farms. He loves the lifestyle. He loves the farm. He is a farmer but he also works off the farm. His three year old niece (my great-niece) who is a city child is drawn to the farm. We wonder if she will be a farmer one day. His younger brother lives on a farm but does not farm. His wife and children love the farm. I wonder who, in the next generation, will carry on this life style. My eldest sister would go back and live on the farm if it were feasible.

Hen House

I can’t tell a combine from a thresher though I can point out an auger and most tractors. I’ve never been drawn to the farm. That is not the life style I want.

It is however what I am doing right now. I am spending weeks on the farm this Autumn taking care of my four year old great-nephew. I find the quietness strange even though there are many things there that my grandparents never had. I have access to a cell phone, the internet, too many tv channels and e-books. Still, I look out the window and see no one.

Harvest Ready

I am at the farm while my nephew brings in the harvest and, on the side, guides hunters. I cook and take care of one child. It is not the life style my grandparents had. Without modern appliances their days were filled with cooking and cleaning and child-care. They never rested. I rest. I have time to be still and contemplate the silence.


The silence of the farm overwhelms me; me who likes silence and revels in the quiet. I feel utterly alone on the farm. I feel like it could be the end of the world and I would never know. I feel like I could scream forever and no one would hear. I don’t feel this way in the city even though I am equally alone there.


The quiet is different in the country. Though I enjoy the glimpses of wildlife and turbulent nature I cannot live there.

I am not a farmer.

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