Childhood memories on the farm involve many hours spent outdoors – whether outside working or having fun. Working included feeding the baby calves, helping clean the barn after the cows were milked, feeding the milk cows, or riding in tractors in the fields. Having fun meant wandering and exploring different areas of the farm, climbing on haybales, building campfire rings out of rocks we found, fishing in the pond, playing in mud puddles or even oil cans. For some reason, Mom had a difficult time with that one!
Summertime meant many hours a day being spent under the clear blue sky and visits from extended family. With the visits came new and old adventures alike. We would show them around and our recent treasures that we had found. We would continue with daily activities including feeding the animals, then off to exploring and having fun.
Recently we had family visit from South Carolina. This was their second visit to the farm in South Dakota. They have one child, Fletcher age 10. He fits right in with our 3 boys, Skylar 9, Noah 7, and Asher 3. The adventures these four had in the short week were too many to count! The days were filled with 4-wheeler rides, treasure hunting, and jumping on haybales. The city boy had many firsts this vacation, both on the farm and in the Black Hills area. He got to see snow fall, went ice fishing, jumped on haybales, and saw wildlife and cows up close.
The haybales bring many happy and fun memories from my childhood. Watching the boys and adults alike spend many hours on the haybales reminded me of some less crazy times. The haybales provided a place to watch the wildlife, a track for races, and a perfect place to watch the sunset. As a child we would spend hours running, jumping, and climbing on the haybales. The haybales were even made into forts or hiding places.
I love to watch my boys use their imagination as they discover the wonders of nature. My hope is that others will get to know the simple pleasures of being a “kid” on the farm.
- Heather (McGuigan) Koerner