Growing up on a farm in the 21st-century

February 28, 2013
Lauren Fremstad

Lauren Fremstad is a Grade 4 student at
Dorothy Dalgliesh School, in Picture Butte.
—Photo by Joan Boras

Country life has its ups and downs for child in grade 4

Editor’s Note: Special thanks to Joan Boras, learning support teacher at Dorothy Dalgliesh School, for arranging to have Lauren Fremstad write an article for the ATA Magazine.

“Hurry up! The bus is coming!” is what I hear almost every morning.

My mornings are always a rush because I have to get up early to catch the bus for a 40-minute ride to school. I make sure my iPod is in the secret pocket of my backpack before I run to the road to catch the bus. It’s almost as important as my lunch! Sometimes I do boring homework on the bus, but most days I listen to Gangnam Style, Lady Gaga or Chantal Kreviazuk.

When I see the town, I tuck my iPod away in my backpack, so I can visit with my friend who gets on really close to town. I know I won’t be on the bus after school because I have to go to dance, so my iPod will have to wait.

My school is the last stop. I know that I have a full day of work ahead of me. I am in Grade 4 and a lot is expected of me. If we’re lucky, our bus gets to school in time for us to play before the bell. I like to play outside at recess when we get to school because I get to see my friends. We make plans to try to get together on the weekends, but everyone is really busy, so it doesn’t always happen. My mom picks up my sister and me at school on days when I have dance or she has skating. We spend lots of time on the road. My mom says she’s a taxi! Many things we do we have to drive to because of where we live. I love our farm, though.

When I was a baby, my mom and dad brought me home to a farm that has been in my family for 106 years. Things are so different for us now than they were way back then. My grandpa walked or rode a horse to school that was a mile away and they hardly ever left the farm. I think they had to work a lot. We don’t have to work too much on the farm. Sometimes it feels like we are not home very much. Life on our farm can be fun, but it can also be frustrating sometimes. I love riding in the combine and grain truck in the harvest season. It’s pretty cool to be up so high, watching the swaths disappear into the combine then seeing the grain magically appear in the hopper. I like to help my dad and I don’t care if I get dirty on the farm because I am used to it.

We have a big yard and lots of room. My dad taught me to drive his quad. It’s fun to be outside and have the wind blow in my face and push my hair back. In the winter, my dad pulls my sister and me on toboggans behind the quad. When I fall off, I get a face full of snow. What a riot!

Our barn has cats living in it now. It used to have pigs and horses many years ago. Sometimes skunks and raccoons get in our barn. We think it’s because they like the cat food. We have traps set everywhere to catch them. My dad has a tally chart; he caught seven skunks and three raccoons last summer. Peanut is our oldest cat and the king of the barn. He has been around a long time and is older than me. Some of our other cats are wild. They are very good at catching mice.

Sometimes living on the farm is inconvenient. We can’t order pizza to be delivered or run to Dairy Queen for ice cream, but we can look out our upstairs window and see for miles and hear the coyotes howling at night, which is pretty cool. The frustrating part about living on our farm is that I can’t play with my friends after school. I can’t walk to a friend’s house and they can’t walk to mine.

We use technology to communicate from home. I like to FaceTime my friends using my iPod touch. Then it’s like they are right there in my room with me. Texting is the next best thing. It makes it easy to stay in touch with people. My grandma was feeling so left out that she just got an iPad. Now I can FaceTime her, which is way more fun than the phone. I think she even likes it too. She figured if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! I have to show her how to do some things, but she is learning. Now I just have to talk my other grandma into getting one.

____________________

Lauren Fremstad is a Grade 4 student at Dorothy Dalgliesh School, in Picture Butte.