Nice to meet you.

7 Feb

Hi. My name is Jessica, and I’m a dairy farmer’s wife.

I did not grow up in the country. Though in the name of full confession, I did not grow up in a city either. I was born and raised in Holland, a suburban home to roughly 35,000 Dutch reformers on the shores of Lake Michigan. But I always felt like a city girl trapped in a suburban girl’s body.

During my senior year of college, I spent three and a half months living and working in Chicago. This beautiful city had me at hello. I loved the taxis, the crush of bodies, the subways, the restaurants, the ethnic neighborhoods, the theaters, and the shopping. I worked four days a week at my internship at the Museum of Contemporary Art. I had my pick of five Starbucks within a mile radius of my apartment. That semester was bliss and I fully intended to move back the second my diploma was in my hand.

But it’s like Lennon said: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” I made other plans. But life laughed at me. After my semester in the land of steel and glass, I returned to finish my final semester of college. It was there that Dairy Man finally weaseled his way into my heart. Two years later, he was down on his knee pulling a sparkly ring out of an ice skate. Little did I know what my “YES!” would entail.

Today the Dairy Man and I live on a 118+ acre dairy farm in the middle of Michigan. I can actually see cows from my kitchen window. I have to wear rubber boots to walk to the garage. The Dairy Man works between 80 and 100 hours per week. It’s very common for me to say “What’s on your shirt?” and have the Dairy Man respond, “Oh, just some manure.”

I don’t think any amount of research could have prepared me to be a dairy farmer’s wife. Farming is not just a job; it’s an all-encompassing lifestyle. The farm is my Dairy Man’s job, passion, hobby, and mistress. Dinnertime is a moving target; vacations and holidays are non-existent (the cows always need to be milked, even if it’s Christmas); artificial insemination is a mealtime conversation topic; and Dairy Man works more and sleeps less than I thought a person physically could.

But my Dairy Man loves it. He’s full of big dreams and won’t quit until he achieves them. Ironically, it’s this same dogged persistence that won me over and has me waking up in countryland every morning.

Life is funny on the farm. Now that we’ve been properly introduced, I hope you’ll think so too.

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6 Responses to “Nice to meet you.”

  1. Jessica S. 08/30/2011 at 8:29 pm #

    I love that I’ve found your blog. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and was a stereotypical LA/valley girl. After college and graduate school, I moved to rural upstate NY for a job (what can I say, the economy was bad, I wasn’t going to turn down a job). And now here I am, engaged to a dairy farmer, getting woken up by the milk try, and hearing mooing when I work on the garden. I am loving reading your blog!

    • the modern farm wife 08/31/2011 at 9:02 pm #

      Thanks, Jessica! Life is funny sometimes, isn’t it? I’ve learned not to get too settled in what I think it should turn out like. Do you do anything on the dairy or are you just a supportive observer like me? 🙂

      • 12345 11/30/2011 at 10:46 pm #

        This is truly an amazing blog i just love it.
        by the way i love you’re home! i love how you took it and made it YOURS and i love the yellow door i just love it

      • the modern farm wife 02/10/2012 at 9:22 am #

        Well thank you very much! Our house is still a work in progress, but I smile every time I see that yellow door. 🙂

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