An Ag Family’s “Normal”
“Normal“ is just a setting on a washer and/or dryer and doesn’t really apply to clothes either! Usually when “normal" comes up in conversation, I’m usually discussing kids, their development or the lack thereof. I remind parents that “normal” is just a setting on the washer and/or dryer and their child’s development is just as unique as their child themselves. That’s why “normal“ isn’t used anymore when we talk of neuro-typical kids.
Today, though, I’m thinking about “normal“ in terms of family, specifically families in Agriculture.
I bet you already know this, but families in Agriculture are anything but “normal“.
They’re not even “typical“. There may be some sort of “typical“ when it comes to comparing them to other families in Agriculture, but that might even be stretching it, as Agriculture is so diverse.
My family is the same way. We’re not “normal” at all, but we have our unique style of “normal”.
Our family’s “normal” is not knowing in advance what project will be addressed or where Daddy will be working. 24 hours notice seems to be the usual in advance notification. Even then, plans change in the blink of an eye. Right now, we are hauling wheat, so there is some consistency in that job, with the constraints of the elevators hours of operation.
Our family’s “normal” looks like scrambling for childcare last minute, because something came up, I am held up at work, or Daddy broke down “up north”. We are so incredibly grateful for the friends who have stepped in to take care of our girls at a moment’s notice. With limited family in the area, friends are a real blessing.
Our family’s “normal” is starting projects with intentions for completing it from start to finish and ending up having to leave that project to start another that becomes more pressing. With the weather getting colder, we’ve been working on some inside house projects, but waiting on a call to go and collect fencing supplies from another farmer. As soon as that call comes, the inside projects will be put on hold and retrieving fencing supplies will be top priority.
Our family’s “normal” looks like a last-minute call to the bus driver, asking him to drop off our girls at a location further north, so that we can meet the bus to get our girls. We are so grateful to have a bus driver that we know personally and who knows our girls. The perks of a small town school are many.
Our family’s “normal” is loud, gregarious, physical play that leaves most people’s ears ringing and our girls squealing in delight. These are the memories that our girls will cherish as they grow.
Our family’s “normal” is feeding more mouths in the yard than the ones that sit around our table. It is an amazing responsibility to raise animals. Our girls are learning responsibility and selflessness through our cattle operation.
Our family’s “normal” is eating on paper plates more often than not, because the last thing on my mind is doing dishes when we get in after dark. Once I was able to give up the guilt of not using reusable plates for our busiest season, life in the kitchen grew so much more enjoyable. Sometimes you have to consider what is most important: rest or using reusable plates.
Our family’s “normal” is equipment lining our yard and equipment scattered across two counties. It seems as if equipment multiplies like rabbits when you have an Ag-based business. You line it up in a neat line, give it a “storage location” and then somehow it all ends up scattered about again. If you even figure out the solution to that, let me know!
Our family’s “normal” is working hard, getting dirty, and washing a separate load of over-the-top, grease-ridden clothes. Then figuring a way to clean the washer before putting any professional or church clothes in to wash. I think our washer is probably the most well used appliance in our home.
Can you relate to part of our family’s “normal”? What things are “normal” for your family that may not be “normal” to a family outside of Agriculture?
As always, I love hearing from you and connecting with you!
Love to you and yours,