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From the Farm: Singing and dying

July 26, 2013
By Kerry Hoffman , The Journal

We have a Sunday morning ritual.

Deviate from that ritual and our entire day would be off kilter. Kind of like when you do any weekday morning routine out of order. That's happened to me and I have gone to work at times without makeup or fixing my hair.

Steve gets out of bed first, but not until he's pushed the snooze button three times. Joey and Russell are the next to get out of bed. When I hear the alarm the next time, I try to kick Steve and figure out he's not there. That's when I get out of bed.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

Three of us milk all 130 cows; the fourth mixes feed.

When we are finished, I power wash the parlor.

One of the boys washes the buckets and the other cleans the holding area. Being that I take the longest to get ready for church, I'm the first one in the house, then Joey or Russell. About 15 minutes before the beginning of church, Steve saunters in.

We attend church, go out for breakfast and come home.

Once we get home, we drive over to the compost barn to push the feed up in front of the cows to encourage them to eat more.

Always.

Usually, an argument ensues about who is going to do climb into the skid loader. We all have to take turns.

Last Sunday, Steve was unanimously nominated to push up feed.

While Steve was out pushing up feed with the skid loader, Joey, Russell and I had a conversation that went something like this:

"Have you ever heard Dad sing in the barn?" Joey asked.

"Yeah," Russell added. "The other morning he was getting really annoying, but I didn't say anything."

"You should hear him, Mom, he sings to the cows," Joey said.

"The other day this song with Roxanne came on the radio and he started singing," Russell said as he rolled his eyes. (My skinned goose-bumped just thinking of the sound.)

"He came up with this tongue twister "Platypus Poop" the other day when I was spraying poop off the platform," Russell said. "It was Platty's poop."

"Oh you guys," I said. "Your father is a good man. He's the one person I really look up to"

"Yeah, we know, Joey said. "You'll probably start crying now."

Gosh, Joey knows me well. I actually was just about to drop a tear. I really do look up to Steve. It's a long, sappy story, so we'll skip it.

"When you guys die, and I have to stand up there and say something," Russell said, "I am going to say, 'He could milk cows, but he really couldn't sing.'"

After we laughed till our sides hurt, there was a moment of silence.

"Who do you hope dies first," Russell asked. "You or Dad?"

"I hope I go first," I added.

"Yea, I hope you go first too," Russell said.

I was feeling the love.

We laughed even harder when we told the story to Steve.

"I guess that really didn't come out the way I wanted it too," Russell laughed.

The discussion was a nice way to deviate out of the normal ritual. We all had a laugh and got to share our feelings about Steve and who we hope dies first.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at kahoffman@newulmtel.net.

 
 

 

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