Orphan Horse

My wife has a green thumb. 
She loves spending an afternoon outside grubbing around in the dirt and comes in with wild hair, tired but happy. 
I hate getting my hands dirty, which is a bit odd as I had a life in the trades for quite some time. But when my hands get dirty it irritates me, and when I decide something bothers me it really starts to bother me…
Erin digs around her plants, pulls weeds, waters, and loves every minute of it. About all I do in the yard is mow the grass and trim it because I hate grubbing around in the dirt. Erin is a farm girl and loves things that grow. 
I eat things that eat things that grow. 
As kind as she is around people I always laugh inwardly because who she really loves are animals. She’s always describing people in the neighbourhood like “You remember ___. They have a white dog?”
I stare blankly. I see and pet dogs, but I don’t think about them when they’re not there. 
Friends of ours have a hobby farm and invited us out to visit. After the phone call Erin addressed me animatedly “AND they have an orphaned horse that gets fed with a bucket!!! AND we might get to see a baby calf being born!!?”
THAT, ladies and gentlemen, would be a horrifying experience for this non-farm kid. I’m not even sure how my own daughters were born and I was in the room! The last thing you want is me keeling over in a dead faint, banging my head on the table and going to heaven. 
Not a great last-memory of a girl’s father. “Remember my dad? Was he the guy who passed out when I was born and made that awful racket?”
All you younger women will think I’m a “simply awful husband!!”, but I’d rather you think I’m awful and still be around for my family because I didn’t mess with forces I don’t comprehend that freak me out. 
A calf being born??Yuck. 
I love hamburgers too much to jinx it with an experience like that. 
Things come from grocery stores not from a farm, and if it’s all the same to you I’d like to keep it that way. 
Like the time I was working in a business run on the family farm and stumbled across Chicken Butcher Day. That changed my life forever, and not for the better. 
Dad was a-choppin’, mom was a de-featherin’, kids were also implicated, and grandpa was rooting through the pail of innards and a-poppin’ things in his mouth that should be illegal in civilized countries. 
Probably outlive us all, that family. 
Healthy as orphaned horses I’m sure! I’m decently certain they haven’t been ingesting hand sanitizer for this past year like the rest of the world and their immune systems could handle the apocalypse. 
Ol’ grandpa taught me how to milk my first cow out there. The farming family went away for a week and I had to take care of the farm too, which was interesting because farming is gross. 
Only took me 35 minutes for my first cow at the tender age of 17. Not bad until I went home and my dad offhandedly mentioned he had his first milkin’ cow when he was 5. Thanks dad. If my psychologist is wondering when I stopped feeling like a real man that was the day. 
The world has changed and not all for the better, I think we’re a lot softer than we should be. I think we’re missing some of that farm grit under our fingernails. 
My dad was a farm boy and I’ll tell you what, you didn’t come home with a job undone because it was hard or your feelings were hurt. You felt things AFTER the job was finished. You laughed about how difficult is was once you conquered it, but it never occurred to one to stop climbing because it was steep, or because someone else was afraid. 
I think we live in a time where we’re covid frozen in a tricky place and trying to wait it out. 
I firmly believe the only way is to climb our way out and not try to back down a cliff in the dark. 
The way forward is ahead, never back. 
Maybe the next decision makers we appoint should have a different resume:
Question: Where did you grow up?
Answer: The Farm. 

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