Sunday, February 23, 2014


My poem in the previous post was a tribute to my mother and all women who work on a farm.  So often they have unfinished dreams and don't realize how unique they are.

When artists depict farm women sometimes they pose them like this—
 Very lovely, no?

A slightly more realistic, but still much romanticized painting by the very skilled artist, Robert Duncan.

Yet, any woman who has been there knows a real farm woman looks like this:

This is a very rare photo of my mother in her element.  Usually she was behind the camera or behind the cow.  Although Dad and we kids helped, often it was Mom who put on boots and overalls, went out in the dark and the cold and did the milking and cared for the cows. The ladies in our dairy herd were her babies. They helped put food on our table and us through college.

Another photo of Mom with a litter of kittens.  She raised and sold Manx cats, I think so she would have an excuse to always have a few extra felines around.

My kids have great memories of time spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm.

 This a picture taken after Grandma and Grandpa came and got the kids right after a flood devastated our town.  The girls got real farmer overalls and new cowboy hats.  All the clothes they owned were deep in mud.

A ride on Grandpa’s tractor was usually part of a visit.

This is how Grandma babysat.  That is the big tank that holds the milk behind our second son.  He is keeping Grandma company in the barn.

Our kids also loved to visit the animals.  They all have many great memories of the place.  It’s almost tragic that so few children now have an opportunity to know about farming, as family farms become more the exception than the norm.

Here’s to real farmers, men and women, who work long hours, gamble every day with the weather and the market, and put food on our tables with very little thanks.  


Anonymous said...

Hear hear.....and pass me one of those kittens.

Geo. said...

Until I was 10, I spent my childhood on a medieval-looking truck farm among many along the Sacramento River, enjoyed it immensely and knew where my food came from. Our tractor had 4 legs and 1 horsepower. Thanks for the look back.

Kara Bunnell said...

I'd have loved to have been part of that. The closest I got was pictures of the old place a few summers ago. :)

Janice Grinyer said...

and the choir says "AMEN" !


Alica said...

Thanks Leenie!

Buttons Thoughts said...

Oh I LOVE LOVE this it could be the fact I look exactly like the woman on the front of the Magazine yes I am a farmwoman and that is my story:)
Seriously your Mom I love her she knew what hard work was and she loves her family and taught everyone of them in her way to appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to be a real farm woman. LOVE the pics. Back to the photo yup I do look like that if you are looking past the mud and manure:) HUG B

jeanie said...


Joanne Noragon said...

I always wondered how pioneer women and farm women of old managed in those damn long skirts.

Terry and Linda said...

Oh, the look...I know that look. You are so swaddled up its hard to move...but you stay warm, sometimes you even get HOT!


Maude Lynn said...

Amen to that!

Val said...

Yes, I appreciate all the hard work...but SHE HAD A PILE OF FLUFFY KITTENS to run her hands through! How awesome is THAT?

Anzu said...

How charming family! (*´∇`*)
Thank you for sharing.
By the way, I'd like to know the farmer's husband next time. o(>▽<)o

Carla said...

I have long envisioned myself as the 'grandma with the farm/animals'. I don't think that vision will come true, as Eric does not see us getting livestock to go with retirement. Thanks for sharing this story. :)