Rain, go away!

“Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day.”

That was a childhood chant that popped back into my mind this past weekend. Even though we shouted it loud and clear back in the little red rug-brick, one-roomed, S.S. #10 Eramosa schoolhouse, where eight grades were taught by a one and only teacher, I can assure you that you don’t want to hear me sing it now.

It just bugs me somewhat when it rains during the day on weekends. Those are the days that I manage to get a lot of little odds and ends done, as on some of them I need a little help. And too, on weekends, a few of the neighbours drop in just to see what we are doing and to chat for a while.

More often, too, on the weekends, many of the cottagers drop in to pick up eggs or whatever we have listed for sale on the farm gate sign. That is something that I really do miss, having lived better than 30 years urban, the latter 20 main street urban, where people continually walked by, often with friendly comments. Now, beyond the pavement, back to the sparsely populated dusty, potholed, gravel roads of cattle and cottage country, I find the loneliness at times a little condescending, but that is when you’ll find me back poking at the keyboard of my computer. It is then that letters are written, e-mails answered, and phone calls returned. Thanks to my weekly columns, there are many encouraging comments to acknowledge.

Meeting the people who drop in for produce is something that I really enjoy. It brings back memories of when I used to help my parents, who had a stand at the Guelph Farmers’ Market for over 37 years. Many of them are retired farmers, and others just love to show various animals to their children, many of which do not have a clue where their bacon and eggs come from.

But all, as I, enjoy watching the lust for life that the newborn animals possess. Quite often a two-minute stop to pick up a dozen farm-fresh eggs, stretches into a half-hour walkabout. Most of that time can be eaten up just watching the young goats gamble and play their version of king of the castle on our makeshift mountain, which at the moment is nothing more than a pile of huge boulders, which we hope soon to increase in height by adding a few more big rocks, placing them firmly across the top of the existing pile. The rocks are really a dual purpose addition, as they not only give the goats a place to exercise but their actions also wear down their sure-footed hooves, which would otherwise need to be trimmed. This, incidentally, was suggested to us by the man who was hired to previously trim them.

One of the things that I usually enjoy is the comments of those visiting about their experiences with certain animals that they have owned. A while back, it was explained to me by a man who chose to raise chinchillas in his basement. They are clean, tidy, cuddly, little fur-bearing animals that have, according to information he had read, no known disease.

Then, with articulate arm waving, and with added expletives that I’ve politely deleted, he went on to explain that they don’t need a disease to die. They just die anyway!

Take care, ’cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins