Chester Chatter: The reluctant farmer’s wife

By Ruthie Douglas
©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

I grew up in town and when I became a farmer’s wife, it was a very different life.

Moving into the big farmhouse with my husband’s family, our plan was to go into business together, father and two sons.

I woke up late, read and sat outside on the big porch, then it was decided to buy the farm next door. That meant everyone needed to help make it work. “Hey, come to the barn and see the new calf,” my husband Don said. I might be living in rural Vermont, but I never had been in a cow barn before.

Once through the barn door, the big cows scared me terribly and I soon learned that my job was to care for the calves and, every morning, to drive the cows out of the night pasture and down the road to the barn to be milked.

Suddenly I was getting up at 4 o’clock in the morning!

I went down the dirt road and up the lane, talking down the bars to the pasture, calling, “Come boss, come boss, come boss.” Slowly the cows came up the road and right into the barn.

Then, I went back to bed. Time went by and twice I was fired by my husband! Soon, however, I was given my low pay job back. Just like that, I was taught to milk the cows, twice a day I milked the 145 cows.

We made it work and in many ways it was a rewarding life. I had become a farmer’s wife.

News from there and here

Sibbie Fletcher has died. She and I worked every Sunday morning at the diner. I was the cook and she was the waitress. Our thoughts go out to her son Shawn and to her brother Bob Record.

Iva Fisher, 103, of Grafton, has died. She always was involved in her community and will greatly be missed.

Sue Kibbe and Andy Stowell spent the past weekend at Old Orchard Beach in Maine.

The American Legion Unit 67 Auxiliary held its Rubber Duck Raffle Race on Saturday between the swinging bridge at the end of School Street (now a lovely pocket park) and the Grafton Bridge. Larry Semones of Andover was the First Prize winner of the race. Proceeds go to the scholarship fund for Green Mountain High students.

  • This week’s trivia question: When was mandatory morning prayer discontinued in public schools?
  • Answer to last week’s trivia question: Dick Sweet was 6th grade math teacher at Chester-Andover Elementary.

Street Talk

Do you go to farmers markets for fresh produce?

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Filed Under: Chester ChatterCommunity and Arts Life

About the Author: Ruthie Douglas is originally from Springfield but has called Chester her home for 58 years, and has been writing the Chester Chatter column for more than 40 of those years. Ruthie is also a longtime volunteer throughout the community.

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