A day on the farm

Susan Manzke

I love when our whole family can get together, but that’s not always possible. There are so many happenings pulling people in different directions, Bob and I appreciate what we get.

Take Mother’s Day for instance, only half of our children were able to come home that Sunday. Rob and Russell couldn’t make it, but one called and the other Skyped, so we got to connect with them anyway. 

Rachel shows her children how to drive the cart. Pictured are Eli, Arianna, Rachel, and Wyatt.

Rebecca came and so did her little sister Rachel with her whole family in tow. It was a lovely day. So much of it was spent outside with grandchildren, which is what we hoped to be able to do. 

Arianna, Eli, and Wyatt were all excited about being able to play on the farm. First thing we had to do was set the chickens free. Just being able to pull open the barn door is something they like to do and sometimes they even fight who gets to open the door, but not this day. 

Arianna only cared about checking for eggs. She’s a brave girl. She would even reach under a setting hen, in fact she has done that in the past. This day all the chickens were ready to walk outside. The nests were open for Arianna to collect the eggs. Actually, she let Eli gather one of the eggs also, which was a gift to him in itself. 

After a yummy Rachel-made lunch, we all went outside again. Grandpa Bob brought out his cart so he could give rides to our grandchildren.

First trip out his passengers were Eli and Wyatt. I didn’t know how well Wyatt was going to ride with Grandpa Bob. The little guy is only three years old and a bundle of energy who doesn’t sit still for long.

Grandpa Bob tucked Wyatt close to his side and sat Eli on the other side of Wyatt. That way he hoped to keep Wyatt from slipping away from him. 

Off they went driving down the farm lane. Later, I asked Bob how their little adventure went.

“Did Wyatt give you any problems?”

Bob laughed.

“He talked nonstop the whole ride,” said Bob. “Grandpa, why are you going so slow? Grandpa, can you go faster? Look, there’s a bump ahead. Slow down Grandpa.”

“Eli just analyzed the machine,” said Bob. “He thought the gas gauge was almost empty. I told him it was full. Then Eli wanted to know where the gas tank was. He had all kinds of questions about how the cart worked. It was quite a ride. I just kept driving. I was surprised we saw the deer because I thought the boys were making so much noise all the animals in the neighborhood would be hiding. When Arianna finally decided to take a ride all we saw were some flying Sandhill cranes, but she was happy to see them.”

When not riding on the cart, all three children wanted to play on grandpa’s rock pile. They begged to bring out the toys from the shed – they didn’t have to beg too hard. Wyatt especially liked to work the big digger. The only trouble was that the stone pile was pretty solid and the plastic toy couldn’t bite through the crust. I brought out a shovel so I could break up some of the stones. That way Wyatt could dig properly and he worked happily. 

Wyatt rides his big machine. The grandchildren loved playing on Grandpa Bob's rock pile.

Toward the end of the afternoon Mommy Rachel decided to get behind the wheel of our cart. She asked for driving instructions - I didn’t realize she had never driven it herself.

First she was hesitant and I made sure I got out of Rachel’s way. Soon each of her children took turns on Mommy’s lap and were driving! LOOK OUT! 

Of course they couldn’t reach the gas pedal. Mommy was in charge of moving and stopping.

“My city kids need to learn how to drive.” Rachel recalled how she and her siblings were driving our lawn mower at a young age - but I’m sure it wasn’t as young as three.

So went our special day. It might have been an official Mother’s Day, but having family together any day is worth celebrating and fills me with happiness.

Susan Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;