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Published July 07, 2014, 10:58 AM

Reflections of a reluctant farm kid

Once upon a time, there was a little farm girl who longed for city life. Every day she thought, “I will never ever live on a farm, when I grow up.” She gaped with wide eyes and an open mouth the first time she entered a real shopping mall.

By: Sarah Dykowski, Agweek

Once upon a time, there was a little farm girl who longed for city life.

Every day she thought, “I will never ever live on a farm, when I grow up.”

She gaped with wide eyes and an open mouth the first time she entered a real shopping mall.

She was jealous of her city friends’ pretty clothes, close neighbors and cable TV.

Then she went to college and pursued the most urban degree she could think of, journalism.

She planned to be the next big-time urban journalist breaking big news, bringing down corruption and touching peoples’ hearts.

Then she started thinking back to that little cotton farm where she grew up.

She thought about riding her bike in the sandy turn-row with her little dog, Molly.

She thought about showing sheep, goats and pigs at the county show every year.

She thought about the sunburns, windburns and wild hair days that came with weeding and spraying that hot, dry Texas cotton field every summer.

She remembered that time she and her brother helped a struggling nanny goat give birth when there was no one else home to help.

She remembered how scary it was when her dad let her drive a tractor alone for the first time.

She remembered how she struggled to clean water troughs, mend hoses, build fences and lift heavy bags of feed and seed in all kinds of weather.

Then there were the nights she would lay in an open trailer full of soft cotton seed, cuddling with a barn kitten and finding constellations in the stars.

There were also the weeks she bottle fed weak, newborn goat kids until they were healthy.

There were the seasons she ran a cotton-module builder for her dad at harvest. Covered in sand, with a flower-shaped burr in her ponytail, she felt accomplished when she looked at the massive blocks of harvested cotton, wearing the plastic tarps she wrestled with to cover them.

When she thought about these moments, she knew the farm she fought to get away from wasn’t such a bad place to grow up after all.

It’s where she learned that if she thought long enough and worked hard enough, there was almost nothing she couldn’t accomplish.

It’s where she learned to respect life of all kinds and accept death as a part of nature.

It’s where she learned the challenging things in life are the most valuable.

Those lessons stay with her no matter how far she travels.

Even 1,300 miles north in Grand Forks, N.D., she uses the skills gained on that west Texas farm every day.

Mostly grown up now, that little farm girl lives the city life, but always looks forward to her next trip back to the farm.

Editor’s note: Dykowski is a copy editor for Agweek.

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