Day 20: Home is where the heart is, home is where the cows are

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Tomorrow I get to go home. I haven’t been there in two whole weeks. Which to most college students probably doesn’t seem like much time away, but to me it seems like a century. You see, living only an hour and fifteen minutes away makes it pretty easy to go home every weekend. At this point the drive doesn’t really even seem that long.

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The cow lot

Going home means so many things to me, of course it means getting to see my family, and my boyfriend. But it also means I get to see all the progress that has happened since I’ve been away, like the fields freshly harvested and the black dirt turned over. Or the newest baby calves, and what their mammas look like after losing all that baby weight. To me going home lets me be a part of my family’s lifestyle, and our family business. Going home means helping and laughing and being a team, that’s the only way anything gets accomplished on a farm anyway.

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For years I’ve heard Mom or Dad telling people on the phone how to get to our house, “bedford stone house with two stave silos, you can’t miss it.” And that really does describe it, but to me it’s so much more.

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The Parlor

Grammy and PawPaw built the house when my Aunts and Dad were little. We moved into the house when PawPaw took a step back from the farm and Dad began to take more responsibility. I’m sure that my Aunts have their fair share of memories that come running back whenever they are over. I know that our family has our own. From the time that I played with hot peppers from the garden on the big well block, and couldn’t see straight for a couple of hours. When Santa brought us girls a swimming pool for Christmas and all the summers we’ve spent in it with each other and our friends. The three of us girls and Dad will never be able to forget the rat invasion out at the heifer shed, and I think we all secretly hope that we can try that again.

There are also some bad memories that I associate with home, like watching my cow Butter-finger pass away out on the dirt pasture. The countless baby calves that are stillborn, or the cows that die while giving birth. These setbacks make it hard to want to finish chores, yet we do every time.

Dairy farming isn’t easy, and I think that’s why the farm means so much to me. It’s more than a house a shed and some barns, it’s where the Telgmann family established a legacy. Where the Char-La-Don prefix was first started, where dairy-farming was etched into each one of us. It’s a true blessing to have grown up on the farm, I couldn’t imagine my life any other way.

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