Farmer’s Wife – Mementos from the Past
My Farmer’s Wife Series is a real life memoir of my early farming days, when I left my family in the Adelaide outer suburbs and married a Dairy Farmer.
On our recent visit back to where it all began, I raided my mother-in-laws cupboards and found a few memories hidden amongst her photos. I thought it might be nice to share a couple with you.
You wouldn’t have thought the paddocks could get so barren, but this was what would often be left at the end of a hot, dry summer on our family farm. Nothing, only barren ground as far as they eye could see, with prayers for rain on everyone’s lips.
We grew irrigated lucerne and crops for hay and when the rain did come, we hoped it wasn’t in the middle of our hay making season, because rain could ruin hay and we really needed the fodder to keep our cows going when the summer season drew to an end.
There is nothing quite like farming to help you understand that life is not really under your control. That the idea that planning and planting, fertilising and preparing can ‘drought proof’ your farm is only an illusion and I don’t think any other profession in the world understands this lack of control and submission to nature like a farmer can.
Farm life was simple; hard at times but often fun. (This is the same quad runner I was riding in my Fence Art Story. I finally found a photo of it).
That fine looking red kelpie on the left was my husband’s dog Scrap who had been George’s dog for years when we met. Scrap was the cattle dog who used to fetch the cows in for milking. Scrap’s collar was an old leather belt and I never remember him having a wash. To wash a cattle dog was to invite him to roll in cow dung and dirt was way more fragrant than cow shit. Scrap was often getting shot at by the neighbour for roaming around. He got desexed by a ‘green ring’ which the neighbour put around his you know whats when he wouldn’t stop calling over to see his lovely little female cattle dog.
The black boarder collie was named Rover, well Rover wasn’t all that bright and spent most of his days trying to bite the wheels off that little orange four wheeled motorbike you see. Like I said, not too bright.
It is amazing how a photograph can bring back so many more stories and memories than we can recall on our own. They are like a trigger in our brain which unlocks the vault holding a wealth of information, wisdom and memories. My Farmer’s Wife memoirs will be much richer for these photos.
As we live in the modern age of Facebook and Instagram, I can’t image a world with lost memories ever again. Keep taking those photos and cherish them for the fantastic snap shot of your life that they are.