I keep this photo on the wall in the main hallway of The Farm House. I keep it there for a myriad of reasons, not least of all because I like it. It reminds me of the fact that I am not the first farmer's wife to live this sort of life. And the things that are hard today would have been so much harder two generations ago.
It is too easy to concentrate on the difficult things about living on a farm. There are times I feel isolated and I have learnt to be very self reliant as The Farmer works long hours. Often I feel like we are at the beck and call of this farm of ours. Our commitment is constant and the stressors are varied and unpredictable.
The day to day problems I face today are small compared to those farmers' wives faced two generations ago.
My beautiful maternal grandmother brought up four children in a small fibro type farmhouse on the bank of a river. I can't imagine she would have had much help. My mother can remember the huge excitement when she got her first electric mixer. One of my uncles bought it for her. My mother was the youngest and she was in her teens by then.
My lovely paternal grandmother brought up two boys in a small farmhouse. The district they were in flooded in the 1950s. My grandmother delivered the neighbour's baby on the kitchen table as they were flooded in. She had no nursing or medical experience but they all survived.
The Farmer's grandmother was one of the most stylish and elegant women I have ever met. She brought up four children on a farm, made all their clothes and ran an immaculate house. She told me that she used to have to drive to town each morning to do the "telephoning"for The Farm at the local post office. Her husband died when her children were still relatively young. With some help from extended family she ensured their farm continued and supported her two (then teenaged) sons until they were able to manage it themselves.
Mains electricity came late to most farms. They all had to have generators which were turned off at certain times to save fuel. No one had air conditioning. Water was scarce.
Me, I sit here in my big house. It is warm in winter and cool in summer. My kitchen and laundry have the latest appliances. I have power, telephone, mobile phone reception and high speed internet. The Farmer even gets his emails in the paddock. I have my own vehicle and am able to come and go on a whim.
The truth is that sometimes life on a farm is still hard. But not as hard as it could be. I try and keep this in mind.
|My Grandmother's Photo With My Reflection|