Atime2write - Fiona Tarr

Living A Creative Life

The Farmer’s Wife – Hard Work Never Hurt Anyone

It was a hot sunny day and George parked the rusty old valiant ute, tailgate down, in front of the shed where the crushed grain was stored. I started lifting the heavy bags onto my knee first for leverage, then shoving them up into the ute tray. Here was the tricky part. As each bag teetered precariously on the edge of the ute, I climbed up into the tray and half shuffled, half dragged each bag into the tray, balancing them carefully so as not to spill out the contents everywhere. Each bag easily weighed over 25kg, so it was pretty hard work for a little 55kg girl, but I had always felt the need to prove myself and it hadn’t taken George long to figure out how to make the most of my stubbornness.

I had been hard at it for about half an hour when I noticed George had disappeared. I just figured he must have been doing something else in the dairy and carried on loading the ute. I looked up once I was all done, dusted myself off; as grain dust is notorious for getting into everything, and tried to find George. In the end I decided it was time to grab a drink, so I headed up to the farm kitchen to get some water.

On this particular day, my family had decided it was time to meet my boyfriend’s family. My mum and dad had joined George’s parents for ‘cups of tea’ in the house, while I had stayed out to help get the feed up into the dairy ready for milking. As I entered the house, I found George chatting with my dad, sipping tea and eating biscuits; smiling as I entered.

My reaction was pretty standard for me. I grumbled a lot about being left to finish on my own and tried to sound annoyed. My dad and George (both very good stirrers) remarked at how hard I had worked, how they didn’t want to interrupt me on a roll and that I was a ‘keeper’ and had done a great job. As a child I used to put my hands on my hips when I was angry or if people made fun of me. It was a story that my parent’s delighted in sharing with anyone who cared to listen and I am guessing they had shared the same story this day because I am certain I put my hands on my hips and a round of laughter was the reply at my defensive manoeuvre.

This days work was amongst the many days which finally made me reconsider a more efficient way to load the dairy with grain (an auger and mixer closer to the dairy). Farming tested my pride and resolve over the years and delivered many days filled with hard work, just like this one. I can’t say I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, as this day can attest. What I did realise over the years is that every hard day of work yields knowledge which can offer other positive improvements, both for personal empowerment and business (farming in this case) growth.

The old farm Ute

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