Tuesday, June 21, 2016

One way in [Dairy Star Column]

Every dairy farm family is familiar with the duality of our way of life. We all have good clothes and barn clothes. We have good boots and barn boots.

Glen and I have good eyeglasses that we wear to town and old eyeglasses that we wear to the barn. Like many dairy farmers, Glen has a good truck and a farm truck.

Many dairy farm families even have separate entryways into their houses: one entryway for going in and out with barn clothes and barn boots on; one entryway to use when coming and going from town.

We had separate entrances in the house I grew up in. The barnroom, as we called it, was a way in and out without messing up the front entryway, but it was also a place to store our barn clothes and barn boots.

I didn't realize how nice it was to have two entryways until I moved here. We do not have separate entrances into our house. There's only one way in.

We keep our barn clothes and barn boots in the basement. To get to the basement, we have to walk through the entryway - the same entryway where we store our good shoes and good coats. The same entryway guests use when they visit.

We have both a boot scraper and a boot brush at the end of the sidewalk that leads up to our house. I know for a fact that the kids seldom use them.

I swear that I'm constantly reminding the kids to wash their boots before coming to the house - or, better yet, take them off outside. My words seem to go in one ear and out the other.

I even made it the kids' job to clean the entryway floor, thinking it would help them understand how much of a mess dirty boots can make. I'm sure they'll understand someday, but right now there's still a pair of dirty boots sitting in the entryway.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm glad my kids have dirty boots. Because it means they're learning the good life lessons that farm chores teach young people. And it means they're outside playing and exploring, growing in the fresh air and sunshine.

[Read the rest of this Dairy Star column here.]

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