Earlier than usual morning for us. Alarms goes off at 4:30am. Farmer and Homemaker, aka Hubby and Wifey, both stumble into action knowing the clock is ticking and Farmer must be in his car by 6:30 to get to an eviction for his job. Two hours will go fast.
After layers of clothes are put on, coffee consumed, and their Bible and praying times completed, the clock reads about 5:20am. They both head to the kitchen to get ready to go out in the cold. Team work all the way, she gets the soapy, apple cider vinegar, hot water bucket ready while he scoops out the grain portion for Venus plus a scoop of kelp. Time to head to the back door with all their supplies.
Farmer sets Homemakers boots out on the rug making it a bit easier for her to slip them on. (Her belly is quite large so she appreciates the kind gesture.) On the boots go for them both.
Hat, scarf, jacket, coat, and boots on, gloves are the final thing they fit themselves with before carrying supplies outside in the darkness.
Venus, thankfully, is already up and comes out of her stall easily. The cleaning and prep ensue rather efficiently and ends with a full 5-gallon bucket of “fertilizer” for the future garden. A bit of final clean up and the milking begins around 5: 40am.
No sooner does Farmer begin than Venus gives a kick of alarm. Upon milking her left front teat, she notifies us that she has an injury. Calfie has lately been quite hard on his mama. He’s 5 months now. Looks like the toll is taking visible and invisible effects.
Farmer changes up his technique and soothes her with words confirming his desire to be easy on her. Venus responds by remaining calm and still. Farmer is now getting his milk on, sweet rhythmic sound of squirts into the pot. The pot fills as Homemaker’s not-naturally-gifted-voice miraculously becomes melodious in the cold barn. The song that seems most fitting is “All Creatures of our God and King” so she bellows it out, spurred on by the chorus of animal sounds joining her. Another sweet time in the barn.
Homemaker loudly lifts up praise to the Lord as the list of what they can be thankful for is endless. Farmer, in the zone, focusing on his aim in the bucket and careful with his back which has already been tweaked out, simply voices, “Yes, Lord” every now and then. Though focused on the task before him and unable to say much, he is grateful his wife accompanies him out to the barn each morning and lifts her voice up to the Lord.
The clock approaches 6am and so Homemaker gently alerts Farmer to the time knowing he needs to be in the shower within the next 15-20 minutes or so. Farmer empties Venus out and he then applies our homemade teat balm (coconut oil with tea tree and lavender essential oils) while Homemaker goes out into the darkness and opens the sliding barn door.
Homemaker carefully carries the milk pot into the house and does the straining, labeling, recording thing while Farmer works to get Calfie in to the third pasture area and Venus into the second pasture area… in the dark.
Homemaker quickly pauses in her routine to wake the kiddos up from their slumber and Helper quickly sees his dad is out in the dark trying to get the cows separated. He does his helping thing and asks his mom, “Can I go out and help Daddy with the cows?” After a quick nod, he throws on his layers and grabs his super-dooper flashlight (thanks, Granddad!). Now the backyard has glimmers of light way in the back.
Shortly after 6:15am, Helper emerges from the darkness with Farmer. Mission accomplished. Farmer dashes into the shower as Homemaker scrambles eggs for him to take with him.
By 6:30, he’s said his goodbyes to the kiddos and grabs all his gear for the day and zips up his “nice” winter coat for work and slips into his “nice” cowboy boots. After kissing his wife good-bye he heads out the side door with his hot breakfast in hand.
Yet, the story doesn’t quite end there. About 6:45ish one of the kids already at their desk in the schoolroom states, “Hey! Daddy’s taking the van!”
Homemaker simply states the obvious, “Well, let’s thank the Lord the van started up for Daddy! I guess Old Red is having trouble this morning.” Old Red is what we lovingly call Daddy’s car, a 1995 GEO Prism with around 240K miles.
So, we end our morning recap for today still not finished with our day but grateful that HE is the same faithful God, yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forevermore! Can we get an Amen?!