On a rainy Saturday of my former life in the classy West End boro of Nashville, I would slowly peel myself out of bed around 11:00, make a cup of coffee, and take it back to my bed where I’d lounge around binge-watching Netflix and trying to decide if there was anything I could do to force myself out into the world that day. Often, I’d find some sort of excuse. But I probably wouldn’t leave until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. I’d go shopping and make dinner plans with a friend and spend an hour doing my makeup just to walk through Target. It made me feel productive. And it made me feel pretty. But that was then.
This is now.
These days I’ve grown accustomed to a different kind of Saturday, rain or shine. Farm life is no longer something I can just bop in and out of one or two days a week. Sure, I have my responsibilities at my city job that call me to the road by 7:30 every morning and bring me home about 11 hours later. On those days, that’s the most of my worries. But that’s just Monday through Friday. And we’re talking Saturdays. Rainy Saturdays. And Sundays, too.
You see, there’s still a lot I have to learn about horses and chores of the outdoor variety. But lately I’ve gotten pretty used to just getting up and going no matter what – even if all I have to offer is the filling of a water trough. If I’m around, I like to be present and try to make myself somewhat useful – or at least provide some company to my boyfriend as he gets his hands dirty. It’s just what you do when you’re living the farm life, no matter your level of experience. And typically we do get to have a pretty chill weekend and do what we want, with occasional farm duties popping up as extra hands are needed. But this past weekend was a little different for several reasons…
The head honchos of Burch Farm were away for the weekend, which meant extra work for Webb and the other helping hands. On the flip side, my parents were visiting and staying in the big house, as well. It was their first major jaunt to the farm – and their first time seeing our new digs.
But this put me in a weird position – I wanted to entertain my family, yet I also felt the need (and the desire) to be out there working, too. This is my new life. This is what I do. Now how do I do both? Just because this was my parents’ vacation didn’t mean it was all mine, too. That sort of mentality just can’t fly anymore.
We woke up at 6:30 after a night of crashing thunder, blinding lightning and pouring rain. And it was still raining. Webb went and brewed some coffee as I managed to find some clothes and put on some quick makeup (I was headed straight to my parents for our day of fun after feeding). We jumped on the gator and drove around through the rain, scooping up feed, pouring inches of water out of feed buckets and dodging horses and splattering mud. Once that was through, we jumped in the truck and headed to the farm over the hill, where we fed some more and I practiced my manual driving moves (full honesty, I wrecked the back of the farm truck tailgate a week earlier with my mad reverse skills. It’s truly a miracle that anyone trusts me behind that wheel anymore). Me and my practical attire suffered a slight casualty as one of my Sperrys caught itself in a pit of mud. I finished filling up water barefoot. It was cold, but…invigorating?
By 8:00 am we had already had a day. And Webb now had to drive up to Franklin, KY to pick up a mare and her newborn colt. We stopped by the big house to meet with my parents, and I hung out with them while he made the drive – one that I would typically have accompanied him on without a second thought. Around that 10:30 golden hour, my parents and I finally made it out of the house to start our day. Webb was already crossing the state line.
Now I’m not complaining one bit, but these moments provided several bits of real-life realizations:
1. My life is nothing like it was a year ago
2. It will probably never be the same, and
3. I don’t mind the empowerment that these changes provide.
If this were any other weekend, I would’ve just gotten up and gone as I did, but not thought a thing of it (aside from Dang it’s so cold and I’m so wet and I just want to go to bed – but everyone thinks that; even the folks who have been doing it for 20 years!) Having to handle that balance, and having my parents – who have known me all my life – to witness that made it all the more…I don’t know…shocking? Here I was, showing up at the door, recounting my morning, eventually walking them through horse barns to show them new colts, all like it was nothing. And they appreciated the change in pace, waking up to a pasture of grazing horses and the like. But having them there and witnessing their reactions just reinvigorated me with the realization of how wild my life has become.
At the same time, this new life has surprised me in its simplicity. I grew up in a suburban culture of going out to the movies every weekend and only meeting friends out at restaurants or coffee shops. But I’ve since had my eyes opened to more. After that long rainy Saturday, my boyfriend opted to pick up some nice steaks and veggies, and instead of sitting at a crowded Nashville restaurant and waiting around, he and I prepared a delicious dinner for my parents while bonding over conversation, old fashioneds and Bill Nye on Netflix. It was so authentic, so special, and so homey. And unfortunately, it’s not something I would have thought to do myself. But I’m grateful to have a man in my life who values that sort of connection, whether just with me or with my family. He’s a bona fide country man, ladies. I could never settle for less.
All in all, it was a great (and horrendously wet) weekend. But it was crazy, watching my two worlds collide. It was kinda beautiful, too. What can I say? #blessed.
~~ h ~~