Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Summer (the season) (07/09/09)
TITLE: The Dairy Days Of Summer
By Brian Haugrud
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I grew up on a dairy farm when things weren’t as automated as they are today. Summers were the greatest! The cows would be out to pasture, the gutters would be cleaned with a fork, shovel, and bucket, and the forage would be thrown down from a hole in the ceiling above. As a young boy I had the option to participate in all this but would not be totally responsible for getting it done. I found time to play in the woods, skip rocks across the pond and chase frogs where ever.
When mid teenage years presented themselves, things changed a little. The summer fieldwork was still fun but became more of an obligation. I got to milk the cows both morning and night. Stacking hay turned into a job instead of something fun. The hay bales seemed to never end! But the best part of it all was that I got to work side by side with my dad. He worked continuously and was the most patient teacher a young man could ever have. I was not only taught a good work ethic, I was taught to use my head, to fix things and to get the job done.
The next stage of summer would be in my twenty’s, married to a city girl, and starting to have a family of our own. Now we did the work for a living and would start to feel the stresses of never being able to ever get done and the commodity prices mostly below the cost of production. Summers were still the best! It would be light by 4:30 in the morning and stay light till 10:30 at night. Those were the most productive hours of the day.
During those years we were very involved in our church and would have regular outings on the farm. Sunday afternoon volley ball, campfires in the evening, hayrides and too many other activities to mention. There was also the all day field trip from the “big city” elementary school. The kids would have a chance to squirt their first milk, feed some cows, do some math at the silo, and have make memories that would last a lifetime.
This was a time when we could pass along a good work ethic to our two kids which they both possess today. But there was change in the air. By the late nineties, our summer days on the farm had come to and end but the memories will last forever.
Although I was born with challenges that most kids will never have, I was truly blessed. Most people today will never experience the blessing of growing up on a farm in summer, milking cows, driving tractors and watching God’s creation grow from a seed to harvest. AWSOME!
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