If you farm you know how much time it takes up in your daily work life, from the minute you get up and get out of the house there is always something to do. We are not dairy farmers so there is no getting up at the crack of dawn unless insomnia has set in. Sometimes I am aware he is up and reading at this time and due to many different reasons. I see him worry in winter and summer about his animals, which is why he creates shelter belts, plants natives every year and checks every paddock for animals, water in trough and anyone who needs assistance with birthing.
He checks the weather on internet every morning and plans his day accordingly, there is normally a comment based on the weather map, some days it’s how can the BOM Bureau of Meterology get the weather so wrong, he comments like this when it’s summer and they predict rain and we don’t get any when we need it. He loves to show me the map, which I look at sometimes with dread, I never took note of weather until I became entangled with the farmer, now I appreciate it’s place in our daily lives. It’s like the naughty child, argumentative one day dark rain clouds threatening, positively bursting with excitement the next sunshine bursting through clouds, to the rainbow like a child sleeping and then rain happiness when you least expect it.
When I work off farm, I can leave before dawn and back after dark I can ask him what he did for the day and he’ll tell me not much , like yesterday. I wasn’t off farm working I was nursing a sore back which is better today. He spent a good part of 4 hours emptying one of the septic tanks, he discovered our pump was not working so he took it to the shed, and came back with another pump set it all up and then spent the next 3 hours digging up the outlet pipes and making sure it was ok before moving on to the next job. I watched him for a while and as he parked his Ute next to the animal nursery I could see him leaning in and patting the calves and the lamb. They of course thought he was bringing them milk but they are tame now, it warms my heart to see his gentle side.
Then he finishes that and off he goes into the paddocks and returns when he has finished. He comes in late afternoon and is doing stretches and I ask if he’s ok, he tells me he was out checking cattle when he saw a cow with a calf that appeared stuck partially out so he (on foot) chased it down and grabbed a leg (of the baby) and as the cow was walking away he managed to get a rope around it and get it’s head out, cleared the sack from the calves mouth and continued to pull until the calf was half out and the cow was still trying to run away and as the calf hit the ground – the cow ran and the calf started breathing. He then had to get into the Ute and turn the cow around so she would go back to bond with her calf, he got her within a couple of feet of the calf and she sniffed and identified immediately it was hers. He then said that the calf had attempted to get up a couple of times and he drove off, as he said he didn’t have time to hang around and assist. I don’t know what he calls that but that is impressive.
For a farmer to tell you he hasn’t done much is like saying the Doctor only saw 15 patients today instead of the 30 or more he probably did. I go back to a saying I have read many times on face book where they show a fantastic picture of a farm and small child leaning on a fence and it says “what’s a day off? I don’t know we’re farmers” which is true there really is not much opportunity to rest. As he says to me “weekends and public holidays are for the general public not farmers” .