A post from Mary…
As usual, the summer is flying by. We are down to the final few weeks before we will be forced back to somewhat of a routine. And the kitchen re-do? It has kind of been at a stand-still this summer. It will get done. In time.
We survived a full eight day county fair, and actually, we are still recovering. Our fair overlapped with Molly's fair, and we probably found ourselves watching this kind of action at the same time.
There were lots of high points, like watching Abby bravely handle her big dairy steer, that weighed in at 1300 pounds.
And here, Edey winning best in show with her sweet Clementine.
And Caleb, polishing Buckley to a winning shine for the show ring.
But also the lows, as the market animals were paraded one last time in the ring, for sale to the highest bidder.
It's never easy to say goodbye to the animals we have loved the past few months. Selling the steers was hardest for all. We have had them since they were only a few days old and when they sell, they are about 20 months old. Caleb's big black dairy steer was bought by some farmer friends. And while the end plan for him is still for consumption, he has a little more than a month on their farm to relax. We went and visited him this week.
I know many of you will want to comment about this part. How do we do it? How do our kids handle it? Why are we knowingly putting our children through this? I'm here to say it isn't easy. I had a hard time with it myself as a kid. I was one of the few kids that openly cried when I had to walk my steer onto the trailer heading to the processors, and only come back to the barn with a halter in my hand. I could get emotional about it even now. It was hard.
But as I tell my kids, you have to think about the good. The fact that those little calves were spared a frightening and stressful trip to the sale barn at only a few days old. Instead, they came to us, and had a warm, clean barn and the best of care. They were loved on…scratched in all the right spots, treated with fly repellant in the summer, got to lounge under a big shade tree in the heat, never missed a meal. It was a good life. And it ended. It's just the way it is. And we will remember them. And we will start it all over again in a few months. New faces to love. New curls of hair and new spots of color to get to know. More to love, again.