Why am I getting up so early?

This past week we have been back to milking around here. No, not we as a farm, we as in Spork and myself, and Lucy. Erin and Mark have about 1.5 weeks off from milking so everyone else has jumped in to cover their job.

I milked every day when we first started milking cows. It is fun and it turns into a routine after a week or so, so that you don’t even mind it. It actually is a nice start to the day. We only milk once per day anyway so it really is just an adjustment to your morning. Erin and Mark have taken over milking so 99% of the time they take care of it now, which is awesome. But then Lucy moved onto the farm and she was eager to learn how to milk. Good. That takes care of the other 1%

So when Erin wasn’t available, Lucy would tag in and milk. But that usually meant Lucy and her husband Jason. Either way, it didn’t mean that I had to get back into it, for which I was thankful.

I usually wake up bright and early, and I’m already well behind. There are always posts to write, bills to pay, accounting to do, etc, etc. Basically, I can never leave the office all day, and still never be truly caught up. If I do leave the office, there is no shortage of things to do on the farm. Not needing to go milk too is a blessing and lets me start my day doing something that I really need to get done.

But then Jason hurt his shoulder, as in you’re having surgery tomorrow hurt. So he was out of commission. Everyone else was already doing all they could, so Spork and I had to tag back in on milking. No worries, I’ve done this before. I let Lucy take lead since she was doing the actual milking and more importantly managing Jason, and all the milking gear.

“What time do you want to milk?”

“5:00am. I’m up anyway with Jason.”

Calf nursing Betsy
After milking, the calves are eager to get any milk that is left. The immediately nurse to get every drop that we missed

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You see, I usually get up between 4-5am anyway. 3am isn’t uncommon. I really enjoy getting up early, having that alone time first thing in the morning to get writing done, office work knocked out, etc. It is the way my dad was (3:30am every day) and it really works for me. However SWMBO HATES mornings. As in, there is nothing more important in the world than her getting to stay in bed till the last minute. If she is forced to get up, she gets up, grumps around till she does whatever she has been forced to do, then goes back to bed. No matter if it is daytime, no matter if everyone else is already up. It is a matter of principle that she stays in bed till her self determined time to get up.

SWMBO has expressed that maybe, just maybe, I could not get up so God awful early and start stomping around the house. And on the flip side,  I could therefore actually stay awake through the movie/dinner/board game/whatever that only lasts till 8:30 but I fall asleep through it anyway. And I, through great personal effort, had accomplished this goal. I was staying awake till 9-10pm, and getting up at, gasp! 6:30 or so, sometimes even 7! I felt dirty and lazy, but I was actually seeing  my family a bit which is nice.

“Did you say milk at 5 am? Um, ok, yeah, we’ll meet you then.”

The first morning, Lucy was ragged having been up with Jason. Spork was his normal stoic self. I was putting on airs of being normally functional but I was a combination of exceedingly, head achingly tired, and a wee bit hungover. Which is a lot like day 2 at a Deere meeting so really nothing new for me. We carried on a few days like that, nobody complaining, until Lucy announced that maybe 6:30 was a better time to milk.

Characteristically. Spork and I just nodded and said ok. No big deal either way, Lucy. Inside we both sighed with relief. At 6:30 it is light instead of doing this in the dark. It also went from “God I hate winter, why is it still cold in late March!” weather to shorts and flip-flops weather. So milking has become much more pleasant for everyone this later part of the week.

Calf nursing Hedy
Hedy and her calf, also nursing immediately after mom gets back into the pasture

I think that we’ll have this down to a science just about the time that Erin takes back over. Unfortunately, I’m getting up at 4-5am again with no effort. Looks like I’m going to have to work on being lazy again.

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Dan is a dad, a husband, a business owner, a pilot, a sailor, a scuba diver, a machinist, a gunsmith, a welder, a woodworker, a day laborer, a teacher, a mentor and a writer. The short form of all the previous is he's a farmer.

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