Sometimes I feel like a terrible blogger. And a terrible dairy blogger. And a terrible dairy wife.
I started this blog as a coping mechanism to grapple with the realities of dairy life—a life I knew nothing about before meeting my handsome Dairy Man.
But somewhere along the line, I became perceived as a dairy “expert.” Inexplicable.
As we all remember, I did not grow up on (or even near) a farm. I spent my formative years in a suburban land of city water, sidewalks, and neighborhood parks.
The closest I ever came to agriculture was Teusink’s Pony Farm. It was basically just a petting zoo with horse rides. Though I was surrounded by ducks, bunnies, and goats, I could hear honking car horns. I was within walking distance of ice cream. I could place one foot on the farm and the other in the asphalt parking lot of a nearby church.
Teusink’s did not prepare me for farm life.
I didn’t experience true rural isolation until I moved to our old white house on the dairy. I didn’t experience the reality of farming until I was painting our laundry room by myself or trying to keep a barrage of black flies at bay.
I’m getting used to it.
The longer I live this dairy life, the more assimilated I become. It makes sense to use my writing to explain dairy processes and farming practice. In some circles I am the dairy expert. Mom is so proud.
But sometimes the very nature of this blog can feel disingenuous. I’m not a farmer. I don’t work on our dairy. I admittedly avoid getting my shoes dirty at all costs. I’m an overdressed transplant who happened to marry a man who is passionate about cows and corn.
I don’t think I will ever care about milking shells the way Dairy Man does. And I’m ok with that.
Yes, people, we’re getting real. I am breaking the fourth wall.
As I compose content for this blog, I’ve searched for balance between life and dairy. I love to write, but I worry about losing the newness, the confusion. The longer I live in this country place, the fewer opportunities I have for farm “firsts.”
Over time, the abnormal becomes normal. The new becomes mundane. The smells become commonplace.
As this natural process ebbs on, I can’t help but worry. What if I lose my incredulity? What if this dairy life becomes like an old shoe—comfortable, worn, and unsurprising?
My type A personality is prone to such compulsion. But I think my farming exodus, like life, requires a step back.
Sometimes the bud of a flower, the smile of a friend, the delicate fragrance of manure is all it takes to see the world with new eyes.
Familiarity is the enemy of inspiration. But often life’s most profound moments are found in the shabby or ordinary places. Sometimes it takes only the slightest shake of a butterfly’s wings to bring us straight to the feet of glory.
I’ve learned so much about farm life, but there is much more to explore. I continue to experience routine and newness. There’s something profound about both.
It’s profound when the fiery pink/orange sun sets in the orchard across the street. It’s profound when my husband—weary, frazzled, and spattered with dirt—attentively looks into my eyes to say “I love you.” It’s profound when I drive a quarter mile into an isolated field to bring the DM some dinner and spend a few minutes reconnecting.
This life is not extraordinary. We wake up and beat the pavement (or the dirt) just like everyone else. But each day is a gift and I am grateful.
Other dairies are bigger. Other people are smarter. Other houses are cleaner. Other cows have higher milk production. But none of this matters when I look at the beauty of the life I’m blessed to live.
There’s nothing mundane about the love I feel for that man; there’s nothing dull about the passion he feels for his demanding profession; there’s nothing ordinary about our dependence on a powerful God.
This farm life is more absurd than I ever could have known. I’ve lived through planting, harvesting, cow jailbreaks, and barn building. I’ve gone to bed alone. I’ve eaten a delicious steak from a steer who lived up the hill from my kitchen. I’ve driven Subway into fields and waited, waited, waited.
I worry about running out of things to say, but I’ve recently realized that every life (whether full of cows, taxi cabs, or diapers) is seeped in richness. Ours is no different. It’s my goal to remember this—to delight in new knowledge and turn old experiences on their side.
A good dairy blog written by a prissy city girl should be equal parts cow and contemplation. And that’s what I strive to do. As I share the oddities of dairy life from an “expert” perspective, I will also stay true to the pencil-skirt-wearing immigrant behind the veil.
I will never stop learning. I will never stop growing. And I will never stop being thankful that I get to live this life. (If nothing else, for the material!)
Thanks for coming along.