My Favorite Place


Winter is cold and difficult. An occupation, as the saying goes, not a season. I force myself out of the house wearing boots, gloves, coat. The animals are waiting for me and farmers can’t be lazy. I don’t really want to go, and whine to myself like a little kid being forced to brush their teeth. Getting out of the house is the hardest part. Once I’m out, walking down the driveway toward the gate to the barn yard, I start feeling better right away in the brisk frozen air. Invigorated. Active. Needed! Everyone is so glad to see me.

I move through my routine, checking for heads, checking water. Some want to be petted.
Some just want me to hurry up.
I trudge up the stairs in the barn to the hay loft and stand in summer’s promise. I can hear the echo of men and teenagers who loaded all this hay up here, laughing and playing around as they worked. I can hear the thump of the bales as they were tossed down from the hay man’s loft to be loaded on our trucks. The hay man counting fifty-two, fifty-three, fifty-four as they went into the backs of pickups, the slight crunch of a tie-down pulled tight over the bales.
Here, I find eggs hiding on top of bales and cats waiting by their food dish, satisfaction in the money I saved to buy this hay and the organization and teamwork it took to make it happen. Security in the knowledge that my animals have plenty to eat. Peace because it’s here.
And a certain bliss that comes from leaving the house on a cold winter day to work.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on January 7, 2013  

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10 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 1-7

    Funny, I just came in from changing my hens’ water. It is only 27 this AM, not too bad, but it was tough getting excited about getting outside. And of course, once you are out there, it is all good. There is a sliver of a crescent moon this AM and it is gorgeous outside. The girls were happy to see me, too.

  2. 1-7

    Oh, I miss those days…. but it is nice to snooze a little under the warm covers for just a little longer….especially as I get older.

  3. 1-7

    I just came in here to get my head together before I go outside to do exactly what you just did. Sometimes I do dread going out there, like this morning. It is cold and there’s frost all over. But when I look out the windows and see dogs lined up at the door with cats lined up behind them, waiting for breakfast, then see the goats standing on the fence and sheep in their yard, all waiting for their hay, it makes me happy to know that I also am needed. And I feel like they all love me too, when they are all full and standing in the sun, warming up from a cold night. It does matter. It makes me feel better to know that I am the one they are waiting for, out there in the cold.

    What a wonderful post, Suzanne. Thanks for sharing your morning and how you make me feel like I am not the only one not wanting to go outside.

  4. 1-7

    Lots of things like that–if you can just get started, you’re fine. It’s the getting started that’s the challenge. I often feel that way about exercising. ;)

    Have a wonderful day, everybody!

  5. 1-7

    Sounds like your commute to the barnyard is more pleasant than bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-75 and that your farm is a satisfying career.

  6. 1-7

    Site wouldn’t load on my computer this morning. Had to pull out the Kindle.

  7. 1-7

    I know how you feel. Sometimes its just what I need to get my day started. Some days I love it more than others but I do enjoy it,

  8. 1-10

    Yeah, I’m with the rest of you. Most of the time Mary (Holstein cow) is standing out by the window looking to see if she can see me. I’m probably fortunate the other critters can’t see the window.
    I think about the barn and how it would be nice to cuddle with a good book and relax for a while, but who am I kidding. It is on the other side of the 55 acres and I’m not walking over there to sit and read. I’d be pure tuckered by the time I got there, and I’m already purely tuckered.
    You have a beautiful place and it is MUCH better than Stringtown Rising!

  9. 1-12

    You sure do make it all sound romantic to the city girl. You are a great writer, cant wait for your next book.

  10. 1-12

    I LOVE your farm! I LOVE your barn! I want an old one–a REAL barn just like yours filled with hay and animals! I do not love winter, though. I’m SO ready for Spring!

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