My dad is 85 and he just retired. Is it possible to successfully retire when you’ve been farmer your whole life? I fervently hope so. He has decided he will write his memoirs this winter, and I’m thinking a project like this will help him to ease into this new lifestyle. So today I will pay tribute to a few things I have observed about my dad over the years.
Here are the things that have made a big impression on me. I have never heard him utter one single swear word or off color story, ever. His tenderness to the baby calves that he has nurtured over the years has been constant and unchanging. I can only imagine how he reacted to holding his own babies! He never talked about being smart, but when I found his college report card I found out that he was an amazing and motivated student…a 95% average and graduating in just over three years from the University of Nebraska. When we asked him about it, he just shrugged it off, said he was older than most students so he was just more mature. I have never seen anyone work as diligently as he did for his entire life. He just kept working at things, trying to improve them, to always complete the job. How many times was he up in the middle of the night to help a cow having trouble birthing her calf. How many animals’ lives did he save because we was always willing to get up and check one more time? How many articles did he read over the years, looking for new cutting edge techniques and applications that would make his cows more comfortable and produce more milk with less stress. Keep the girls happy, he always admonished us. Don’t rush them, be gentle.
My dad certainly hasn’t been perfect, but he has lived a life that is an excellent example of hard work, and doing a good job. I am so fortunate to have experienced such a daily example and legacy. So, best wishes Daddy, for a fabulous new adventure–retirement!