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Mud Slides & Family Ties

As I bundled up for the umpteenth time, my hood wrapped around my ever increasingly cold ears, face down, shoulders curved, I took hold of the wheelbarrow handles, eyed the mound of manure I had to make it up and took a running start. I cleared the first mound, slipped on the piece of wood that was to act as my stairway to the top and almost fell face first into the manure pile! This was not the first time today. Managing to right myself just in the nick of time I stopped to survey my surroundings. I stopped to take it all in, this life I call my own. You see, there is something innately satisfying about cleaning out enclosures. At least that is what I tried to tell our three children who were alongside me on this endeavor today. Music playing, pitchforks flying, wheelbarrows filling, we were on a roll, if it were not for that manure pile, I am sure we would have been finished in record time. However, it is that manure pile that caused me to stop and take it all in. In that instance of nearly falling face first yet again, I stopped to remind myself why I was doing what I was doing. It was not that I fancied a face full of dirt, the mud that was now caked upon my boots and probably splattered on my trousers, and it certainly was not the cold. I stopped, took in the sweet smell of the hay freshly strewn across the now clean enclosures, the beauty of the winter wonderland that was beginning to play out on the fields across the way, the sound of the goats eagerly awaiting to be let back into their home, and knew that it was ok. The cold, the mud, the manure pile, they are all a part of hobby farming for us here at Farm On The Hill. Moments on the farm to be grasped, cherished, maybe not the best ones, but moments all the same. That smell of the hay, that thankfulness for boots without holes in them as you wade through endless mud puddles, awaiting the ground to freeze yet again. The music that the children have chosen accompanying us as we finish one enclosure to start on the next. Some of it you want to catch on camera, as the goats find their way into the pig enclosure to get a better look at what is going on, and we peek over to see the babies jumping on the pig's backs as they merrily much on their hay.

We managed to accomplish quite a bit on the farm today. It sets my mind at ease knowing that the animals are all well taken care of. Our goats appreciate their warm water in the winter, and it is good to be able to offer the pigs a feeding of warm hard-boiled eggs to fill their bellies before they settle down for the night. It will not last long before we bundle up again, music in hand, pitchforks flying, wheelbarrows at the ready to do this all over again, but before we know it the pastures will be ready, the sun will be shining, and the animals will be merrily munching their way from pasture to pasture and the winter will be a distant memory as we grasp all that spring and summer have to offer. I should be careful not to wish the winter away for soon April will be here and the sound of baby goats will once again be heard. The beautiful chatter that goes on between a doe and her kids, the warmth of the sun on our faces again, and the hustle and bustle of spring on the farm, followed by warm days at the farmers markets! No....... I will not wish one season away....... well, I will at least try not to....

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