Memoirs of a Green Horn Farm Wife.

Written By- Shanna Swanson

    Everyone has that attire, or item that when they wear it they feel more motivated, and more accomplished.  It may be a hat, or an old ratty shirt.  A special pair of shoes or earrings.  An expensive dress or suite and tie.  My motivational armor however, is an apron.   With every twist of my fingers as I loop the strings together and put it on, I think of years past. Traditions and times now almost lost to the noise and bustle of the world we live in.  I often get blasted back in time to an era where aprons were part of the wardrobe.  They were worn right along with the cracked out blistered hands and the busted up knuckles.  They were used to take hot meals out of the oven, and wipe even the saddest of tears.  Aprons were worn as house wives busily cleaned modest houses in there every nook and cranny. They were worn in the garden, as they knelt in the dirt to weed and pick their hard labored rewards.  I tie my apron strings and I feel like I am connected with those woman of so long ago. Immediately, I want to strive to be more like them, to do my best to work hard both inside and outside of the house. 

                                                                                                            Memoir #2- Susie

     From the instant we stepped foot on our place we had a dream.  This goal encompassed all that my aprons represent to me.  We wanted to thrive as they did a hundred years ago.  Living simply, while working and raising our children and animals in that very same manner. Day to day finding joy and peace even in the smallest of tender mercies.   Gradually, with every bead of sweat and aching numb appendage, we are fulfilling this self-sufficient life-style.  At times, though, this dream appears to be as distant as the fading past. 
     One accomplishing leap toward our ambitions sauntered out of a trailer. She was just as unsure of her new adventure, as we were of ours.  From the moment they unloaded Susie Swiss Miss with her calf, my life changed in an amazing yet intimidating way.  Weeks went by, then months. I had yet to gain the guts needed to utilize her for her true calling.  Our milk cow.  The thought of reaching under her and placing my hands on her swollen utters sent uncontrollable chilling goosebumps up my spine. However, I knew I had to succeed at this unnerving mission. My breaking point came as we checked out four gallons of milk at the store. “This is ridiculous!”   It was far beyond time!  The ride home consisted of motivational speaking and pumping myself up with every sluggish mile.  As I pulled into our driveway my adrenalin fueled determination was at its peak. I retrieved her cake, dumped it in her trough, and sat my apprehensive self-down on the stool.  With wobbly hands I slowly stroked down her side coaxing and soothing her in a very shaky uncertain voice.  “It’s okay Susie… I’m just going to reach down here… Susie…” I wrapped my hands around her warm leathery utters. “Roll and squeeze, roll and squeeze.” I muttered repeatedly.  With legs tense and shaking, I was ready to jump up at any slight twitch of Susie’s leg, I started squeezing.  A drop, then a drizzle, then a stream! I was doing it!  Little by very little my milk bucket started filling up.  With every drop of fresh milk my anxiety faded. I knew right then, that this was my destiny. Head resting against her warm flank, I was in my perfect moment. Then she kicked the bucket.  All my rewards were lost, well at least for that day.


"copyright" 2018 Shanna Swanson

No part of this publication can be duplicated, scanned, or copied in any way shape or form without permission of the above author. 

Also Published in past editions of The Spring Creek Press Lewistown, Montana Check them out!!