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You know how on the first day of school your notebooks werepristine, pens and pencils zipped neatly in your binder, and you were up earlywith a bit of nervous excitement to tackle the year ahead?

Remember those days?

My handwriting was neat and my cursive letters fell exactly onthe line. If memory serves, I even stood up straighter. 

Fast-forward to the last day of school: My handwriting is now illegible.Moreover, what binder? And can I borrow a pen? 

That is the best analogy I can offer to a year in the life of afarmer's wife. Early spring is a lot like the first day of school. We have hadsome rest, some leisure - a break from the long, hectic days. Our farmaccounting is up to date, and so are our files. Spring cleaning is done, and weare ready to begin the new farming year. This year we will eat more vegetables,get more exercise and be out the door first thing in the morning.

Then, after many months of spraying, working ground and doingrepairs, harvests and planting, we are spent. The next hired man comes along whomwe hope will stay, but who knows? The filing and accounting are backed up.There is dust under furniture, and we have grabbed take-out food a bit toooften. 

Recently my husband and I took a couple of days off. We got somenew clothes, I got my hair done, and we went to a nice dinner. The next day Ihad dental work done because, as any farmer will tell you, medical procedures,surgeries and extensive dental work are all scheduled for the winter. 

Our off-season socials often occur spontaneously in waiting roomswhen we catch up with one another regarding our last harvest, as well as theinevitable "Will it ever rain again?"

I just don't know. 

So now winter work ensues. The cattle still need to be taken careof, as well as repairs to equipment. There are still a few days off, but thedays are shorter. We can sneak in a family trip to see relatives here or there.Holidays are planned for. The projects to volunteer on, along with thepart-time pursuit of my writing career and taking care of our toddler daughter,do not suggest a long hibernation on the horizon. 

Lists are made of things that must be done. It is likely thatonly half of them will ever see the accomplishment stage, but, hey, at least Iwrote them down. I have added more vitamin supplements as well as supergreens and super fruits. 

I'm looking forward to some restorative winter months to get mybody strengthened and have more family time, and perhaps do a bit of deepcleaning.  

 

Writer and photographerMichele Boy is a transplanted New Yorker living with her husband and youngdaughter on their Hamilton County farm.

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