Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Tails From the Farm

Raise Them Right

Back when the kids were young, the boychild not quite ten, the girlchild only eight, there was a serious flood here in Manitoba. They sometimes happen when the conditions are all right for one. The ground though still frozen, is already saturated by the rainfall from the fall before, a huge snowfall right when the spring melt begins, and just to add the straw that broke the camels back, the States just below us, also received a lot of snow. Add a fast melt into the mix, and all that water draining into the Red River, flows north into Manitoba. It’s the perfect recipe for flooding, and flooding is what happened. We here in southern Manitoba went from the snowstorm of the century, to the flood of the century because of all those reasons.
In times like that, it’s all hands on deck. Being truckers, gravel haulers to be precise, our tractor trailer, like every other available truck was pressed into service. Sand had to be hauled, so sandbags could be filled and taken where they were needed. Night and day, the truck worked during this emergency time. I wasn’t driving, as I’d had a horse act up, slipped on the ice and injured my back. The problem was, hubby couldn’t seem to say no, to just one more load, then another and another. People were desperate for sand, and he felt like he couldn’t let them down. After several, long tiring days of hard driving, it suddenly came to an end.
Of course, though the gravel trailer had an appointment to go in for work, it was bumped in favour of some companies that were bigger than ours. There was no choice but to get at the work that needed doing, at home instead. As there wasn’t much going on, hubby tackled the jobs himself.
Despite all the flooding going on in many areas, our farm was fine. The days were bright, warm and sunny. Hubby got at the work that the tractor and trailer needed, and I was tackling yardwork. About noon, I cut through the quonset, to see if he was ready for lunch. Strangely enough, though his air tools were laying about, and I could hear air leaking from the hoses, which said the compressor was still on, no husband was to be seen. Strange, so strange for a man who had to always have everything neat and orderly. I noticed the guide cables from the tarp system hanging over the side of the trailer as well. So strange that hubby would leave, in the middle of a job. Even the lights were still on. I found him lying on the sofa, suffering chest pains. Minutes later, we were racing to the hospital.
Hubby ended up spending a week in the hospital. A great neighbour helped me put the trailer tarp system back together, and I got back to work. Self employed means don’t work, don’t earn.
For about a week, another neighbour offered to watch the kids after school, which was something I was ever so grateful for, until after about a week, I had the feeling that it wasn’t working out. You do what you have to do, so instead of leaving for the pit at four in the morning, I waited until eight-thirty instead, saw the kids safely onto the school bus, then headed for work. It meant losing many loads, and a good deal of income, but one does what they must.
It’s always been my strong belief that raising a child well, is the most important job in the world. A child raised well, goes on to being a great adult, a wonderful person, and the world needs as many good people as it can get. I always told the children that when they did something, it reflected back on us, their parents. I told them we wanted to be proud of them, and to always keep that in mind. That stretch of time, when hubby was recovering from his heartattack, proved to us that we were on the right track. When they got home from school, they would quietly creep upstairs to check on their father then call me in the truck.
“We just checked dad, mom. Don’t worry, he’s breathing.”
They would go outside to check on the horses then play afterwards, or watch television, but often, they’d take care of the horses. One time in particular, will always be near the front of my memories. After their check on their dad and phoning me, they went outside to check on the horses. At that time, we had a pen with several yearlings in it. The little beggers had broken a middle plank, and every last one of them had escaped. I got home from work a few hours later, to learn that those two little kids, had not only caught all the naughty escapees, they’d repaired the fence as well! They were pretty darn proud of themselves, but then, I was too.

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB