Thursday, November 15, 2012

Farm Life - The Downside

Farm life is great but like everything else, there are risks, rewards and a downside.  People often tell me that I am "living the dream" but they may not think that when the alarm goes off at 5 am, I'm still on the lawn mower or tractor at 8 pm or when you don't have the energy to stay up past 8:30 pm. 

Downside #1
You can't wear great clothes.  Well, you could, but you'd be a perpetual Tide commercial.  There are days I want to get up and put on my newest J Crew purchases or a cute dress but to impress who?  The cows?  Sega?  The reality is that I live in Carthart complements of the local co-op.  At least the clothes are cheap and don't go out of style or ever wear out. 

This is what I never get to wear:

Downside #2
Early to bed and early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy and wise.  No, not really, just sleep deprived.  If you don't like early mornings DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT live on a farm.  No idea where the wealthy part came from either.  

Downside #3
If you don't like to mow, then don't go.  I spend my summers (and springs, and falls) mowing, period. No cocktail hour, no time to run or ride or stitch.  No time to do anything but mow.  And you know what, we have had multiple frosts and my lawn STILL needs mowing.  What is wrong with this picture?

Downside #4
Maybe this is not true for everyone, but you have to do the work yourself.  Where I live it is almost impossible to find dependable help.  I've tried, but in the end I do most of the work on the farm with my own bare hands.  Remember James Dean in Giant (1956)? Well, he does not exist in the real world or at least not on my farm.

Downside #5 
It's really an upside.  Despite all the downsides, I still like it!  Does not make any rational sense at all whatsoever, but I enjoy the sunsets, the cold mornings, being out with nature, not having to deal with noisy or loud neighbors, no leaf blower noise on Saturday mornings, no dogs barking late at night or early in the morning (we have coyotes instead and I am up before they are anyway) and no children screaming, no speed bumps, and certainly no 25 MPH speed zones to travel through on my way to anywhere.  If the shoe fits, wear it and I guess I wear it well.   To each his own, right?  Well, maybe.



  1. I live on a small 100 acre farm in southwestern Ontario, although we rent out the workable portion and maintain the rest for personal use.(70 acres) lots of cutting, mowing, trimming fencing etc. I too have horses and do all the work, and like you would have it no other way!

  2. And you have horses. That cancels out all the downsides. You are so blessed to live with God's most beautiful and wonderful creatures.

  3. There's no place I love better than a barn early in the morning as I feed... it's not for everyone, but you are blessed as are we thanks to your sharing the experience!


  4. Re: objection #1: True, you can't wear those clothes much, but that's not due to living on a farm and having to be in Carhartts all the time. You can't wear fashionable clothes like that out in the Valley (or much west of Aldie) or everybody will laugh at you. This is true even if you never touch a manure fork.

    Re: objection #2: You don't really have to get up at 5 a.m. I don't. The animals can and do get used to not having their breakfast until 8 or 9. Seriously, I think the tradition for getting them all fed and organized at the crack of dawn originated in England, where winter days are so terribly short that the sun is going down by 3:30 p.m. No, they are not going to colic or have a nervous breakdown if you gradually transition them to expecting a slightly later breakfast.

    1. Andrea, you do have to get up at 5 am if you have to work for living, feed horses, cats,do housework and whatever else that comes up. There aren't enough hours in a day otherwise, at least for me.

      We do dress up around here on occasion. Maybe not where you live. But it is not unusual to see girls really dressed in town. I like that!


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