As the school year winds down and kids are anxiously waiting to hear that last bell ring for summer break, it makes me reflect back on what my childhood summers looked like.
As a youngster we spent countless hours riding our horses up and down the dirt road, thru the creek, moving cows from pasture to pasture and swinging off the monkey bars. My first horse (really a pony) was named April and she was an ornery Shetland pony. I was around the age of 5 when Aunt would saddle April, slap her on the behind, and off we would go. Until one day something spooked her and she took off with me bouncing in the saddle. I held on for dear life even when the saddle came loose and I found myself under her belly, still hanging on. Eventually she stopped.
My sisters; Kendra, Amy and I spent most of our time making forts in the haymow, viewing the sow’s and their babies as our movie theater, the loft we jumped out of was our trampoline, the stock tank was our swimming pool and the combine our jungle gym.
We did our fair share of pitching manure (sometimes even ending up in a manure throwing fight), working with our animals preparing for the fairs, and uncountable hours building fence in the hot summer sun fighting mosquitos.
I remember not having much growing up, but having everything we really needed. We learned to use our imaginations and creativity. I did not even realize that I was being taught work ethic. My husband and I are trying to give our children the same opportunities. To go out on the farm, explore, build things, tear things apart, and fix stuff. Figure out how everything works; use their noggins and their hands. The lifestyle is endangered.