The semis are hauling the manure to a pumping station thing:
I long for the days when farming was done the way we did it. Smaller equipment, more manageable herd size and reasonable acreage. The good, ol' family farm.
Times changed. Little farms like ours were slowly changing over to bigger farms as old farmers retired and their acreage was bought up by other, younger farmers. Farms went from 40 acres to 100 acres to 300 and beyond. Herd sizes went from 20 or 30 to up to 100 head. Tractors got bigger and new equipment was invented.
But somewhere along the line, the entire family farming tradition really changed. Sons didn't automatically grow up to take over the family farm anymore. There was much easier work for farm kids with way better wages in factories and offices. Sons and daughters no longer looked to farming as their future. My brother couldn't shake the dirt off his feet fast enough when he turned 18; he headed out for greener pastures and never looked back. Farming was not going to be his future, either. I didn't marry a farmer, and well, by the time Dad was ready to retire, the tornado took the barn down and that was that. He sold the few cows remaining and rented the farm land to a neighboring farmer.
So many abandoned farmsteads look like this:
It's still a beautiful barn, but time is taking it's toll.
There are a great many old barns around that look like this one.
We take a lot of pictures of barns, I could post a barn picture a day for quite some time. I miss our barn, too. If only it didn't cost so much to keep a building this size in good repair. But, unfortunately, money doesn't grow on trees out in farm country, either. And once the land is sold for new subdivisions, shopping malls or megafarms, it's all over for the small farm.
Oh, well, the old days are gone. Times change.
The tractor replacing horses was a big change.
Things would never be the same after that. It was the wave of the future.
Carl and I walked around the forty acres west of our house last night after sunset (wearing blaze orange, of course) and it was a long hike. I can't imagine what it must have been like to take a team of horses and a one-bottom plow and go out to turn the sod over. It must have taken forever just to plow one acre. Too bad they didn't have pedometers back in the day, I bet my dad and the horses put on a whole lot of miles every day.
I'm amazed at how much things have changed in my parent's lifetime. Mom is 91. Dad passed away ten years ago, but if he had lived, he would now be 98. Mom was born in 1920, Dad in 1913. A big jet was flying over rather low the other day and Mom said, "If your grandma was still alive, the sight of that thing flying overhead would have terrified her."
The stories my mother could tell of the way things used to be, the hardships endured, the work she did; they are all amazing. She's been keeping little notebooks since my dad died and journals everyday (she is a blogger, too, in a way) and has threatened that she will toss them out one of these days.
"Who would want to read this silliness?"
I begged her not to. I'm not sure what is in them, though I know she is chronicling her life and day-to-day activities. I have asked her to write down her memories of childhood and the farming years, too. I know it will be fascinating to read them (but not now, she's very private of them at the moment). But I dread the day I can read them, because that will mean she's gone. I will have to guard against getting the pages soggy.
My folks lived through the Great Depression (Dad always said there wasn't anything great about it) and a whole bunch of wars and presidents and no indoor plumbing (we didn't have an indoor toilet until I was four years old) and milking cows by hand by lamplight and walking those famous miles to school in all kinds of weather. When the sun set, it got dark. Not much else to do but go to bed. Today's cars and computers, airplanes and cellphones were all the stuff of science fiction. The wave of the future.
My mom likes some of the changes. Indoor plumbing and electric lights are definite perks. But she won't give up her wringer washing machine and washlines. But then, neither will I! She said she never thought she'd live to see farming done the way it is now, though, and to tell you the truth, I never thought I would, either.
Progress..................if farming changed this much in Mom's 91 years, what will it be like in the Future?
Maybe I'll live long enough to see time change this way of farming, too.
I'd gladly wave goodbye to some aspects of it.