While at the sink I looked out my window, curious if I could see what the day had in store for me. Was it snowing? Was the wind arching the straight lines of the trees? The yard light illuminated my small little world. I saw naked trees, forlorn and helpless against the cold of the morning. The yard was spotted with snow, frozen piles, immovable.
I spotted him heading toward the barn. His hood was up, his jeans tucked into his tall rubber barn boots. His gloved hands were each holding a bucket of water. His head was down, braced against the cold, determined to care for his charges.
He has three new ladies in his life. Each of them is expecting. These ladies are huge and a tad demanding. Last night they broke through their gate and found their feed. Farmer Boy is now a little afraid of them. Pigs are smart and now that they know what lies beyond their gate, he thinks they may be impossible to contain. When I was pregnant I craved Big Macs and cheddar biscuits from Red Lobster. Perhaps I understand these pregnant porkers. In their case, they're not just eating for two, they could be eating for 11 or 12. Pregnant pigs with cravings. I'd be more than a little afraid.
Farmer Boy often tells me how much he loves caring for livestock. It has to be love to venture out into the early morning freeze. Our well pump is frozen so water has to be brought up from our basement and carried out to the barn several times a day. Pigs need water. Pigs are lucky they have Farmer Boy.
I am too.
I was late to work that day. I was frazzled and frantic. My hair was everywhere, not cooperating, crazy. I had just gotten my routine going, had just managed to tame my frantic frazzled self when the phone rang.
"Umm, this is the school nurse. There's been a bit of an accident. I'll let you talk to him."
She put Will on the phone. He was trying not to cry but he wasn't being successful. He had just been walking down the hall by the library when someone opened the library door. He couldn't run, he couldn't hide, there was nothing to do but take a hit right on the forehead. After the blood was cleaned up and a good friend walked him to the school nurse, I got the call. At the sound of his tears I jumped out of my chair, ran to the van, drove up to school so I could kiss his head. He was okay but he needed a doctor.
Last year's stitches were the chin variety and were picked up at basketball practice. There were five of that model. This year's model sports only four.
He is younger than me by 14 months. I often heard, "You look just like your brother."
What? Is it the graceful way I walk or my broad shoulders? Perhaps it's my Mennonite girl facial hair.
Maybe I should've just said thank you?
This is my brother. If you think I look like him, please just keep your comments to yourself. It's too confusing for me to process.
This is my brother inside of his truck. He just started a new job in Fort McMurray Alberta. Google it. It's way up there.
Brother Bob lives in Prince Edward Island (if you're American you can google it to find out where that is) and now works in Alberta. It is quite the commute. He takes a plane to work. He stays at a camp for 21 days doing his thing and then takes another plane back home.
This is his work vehicle.
You can't see it in this photo but his truck is sporting two license plates. One is from Alberta, the other is from the Yukon.
He's way up there.
Brother Bob ships fuel. He drives his work vehicle to oil companies and fuels whatever they need fuel for. I think I should have Brother Bob write a guest post because I'm feeling slightly sketchy on the details.
Here is one thing I know for sure - Brother Bob had a birthday last week. He's not as old as I am but I like to tease him that he's biologically older. He's played hockey, and done other crazy things that he can tell you about, that have aged him at a faster rate than me. So I can say with assurance that he's older than I am. I also know that it has been a very long time since I've seen my brother. I know that I miss him. I know that I'd love to sit across a table from him and hear him tell stories of polar bears, ice caps, and arctic work camps.
Hopefully, I'll be able to do that sometime soon.
Early morning trips out to the barn. Pregnant porkers. Tearful cries to a frazzled mother. Stitches. Yukon travels by my brother.
That concludes my man stories.
Over and out.