Today’s post comes from Ben.
When we first had children Kelly and I made an agreement: She’d take care of the poop and I’d take care of the vomit.
Course that doesn’t always work, but when it does it was great. She didn’t like vomit and I didn’t like poop.
Driving to Plainview today I saw this:
If you can’t tell, it’s made with manure. And it’s harder than you think to make that. (The face, not the manure).
I think he had to make the mouth and eyes first and then go around the outside making the circle. Otherwise there’d be tracks back out.
So is this art? Yeah, I think so.
And it got me thinking about my dealings with manure.
Any time you work with large animals you are going to be splattered, smacked and smeared with poop at some point in time.
I’ve been hit in with face with poopy tails. I’ve had my hands in it to fix things.
In the winter with the cows in the barn most of the day, we had to clean the gutters every morning. Dad did it by hand using a wheelbarrow and running up a 2” x 12” ramp to dump it in the manure spreader. If it was raining, It was slippery and you had to be more careful. I wasn’t always.
I was just getting old enough to handle the wheelbarrow when he put a barn cleaner in. So now It was easy. As long as it worked.
In the winter we always checked to be sure the chain wasn’t frozen down before starting it up. Because fixing a broken link involved forking out a lot of manure to get the chain back together. And hopefully I HAD the replacement link.
Being cold, it was a good idea to check the apron of the manure spreader before
you loaded it up with manure. Because fixing that was a hassle too.
One of our family stories is the year my dad had bunions cut off both feet. He had this done in the middle of winter figuring it was the best time to do it. Yeah, for HIM. Not for us doing chores. We had arranged for a guy to do the milking and chores while Dad was recuperating in the wheel chair.
The guy didn’t last long however and his last day was a cold dark day and he broke the manure spreader apron chain with the spreader still half full and he simply parked the spreader back in the shed and went home.
Mom and I had to fork off the rest of the load and then we lay under the spreader trying to fix the chain while dad yelled instructions to us from the Living room window.
However many weeks into recovery dad was, he was back in the barn the next day with bread bags slipped over the casts on his feet.
Below zero days I had a few simple goals; no broken water pipes, the silo unloaders worked, the tractor started and I got the barn cleaned and the spreader unloaded without issues. If that all worked it was a good day.
As for home and kids and poop and vomit… I don’t remember so much about that. I know there were messy diapers. I know there was vomit. I remember trying to catch it in my hands once or twice…
I myself remember throwing up in 5th grade. Went to the teachers desk and said ‘I don’t feel good; can I go to the nurse?’ and puking into his wastebasket right there. He jumped up, the class recoiled and I recall him saying ‘Go! Just Go!’
Team Vomit or Team Poo. Which side are you on?