Like any household, Saturday can be a busy day. I usually wake up with grand plans of sitting around reading, or finishing up crochet projects, or anything else really, but usually spend the day running around like crazy trying to clean, finish up laundry, and doing whatever else got crammed into the day. By the end I’m feeling tired and resentful, and thinking the only way to get an actual day off is to go somewhere that isn’t my house. One thing, however, I don’t mind doing are the farm chores.
Saturday is the one day I walk out knowing I am going to take my time. Sunday through Friday I’m usually rushing through the daily chores with the birds because I have to get ready for work, but on this one day I can poke around. Usually, I save the big chores for this day – things like shoveling out the chicken coop and goose shed. In the past I have made the kids help, because, like Calvin’s dad, I believe in character building. But, after spending the morning aggravated by their whining and fussing about hauling water, filling feed buckets, and collecting eggs, I have decided character building is just as annoying for the parents, and isn’t really worth it.
The geese follow me from chore to chore, voicing their opinions on everything. One of them doesn’t like the snow shovel I use for cleaning the chicken coop, so inevitably he hisses at it, and tries to attack. After a few darts at the yellow handle, he’s gotten it out of his system and I can continue on. Since I’m not in a rush, I can pause to watch the chickadees hop from branch to branch in the newly naked Birch trees, and listen to the wind as it blows through the swamp. The mountains have their first bit of snow on them, letting me know winter could be just around the corner. I think about dumping the geese’s kiddie pool, and putting it away until spring. It wouldn’t be good if it blew away in a windstorm, or froze to the ground (that happened last year).
I walk over to the duck yard and throw freeze dried worms and barley. They make these happy grunting sounds as they gobble up the foods some of them standing on my boots to get what the other ducks missed. Watching them, I take a deep breath of the cool air, and enjoy being outside.
Without the chickens, ducks, and geese to take care of I would have been still inside. Sure, it’s a lot of work, and there is no such thing as a day off. They always need water and food, and the houses and yards always in need cleaning. If you aren’t hauling something, you’re at the feed store buying something. But to my mind, this is way better than being in the house, scrubbing the floor for the bazillionth time, and snapping at the rest of the family for not picking up their stuff. Instead of plotting ways to get through the cleaning quicker, but not managing it, and feeling annoyed, I’m outside among trees that are now as familiar as old friends, watching the antics of the geese, ducks, and chickens.