Oct 21, 2010

"Summer Fun to the MAX(ie)!!"

Maxie on the day he arrived.  
Every summer we have children come to the farm for a "Farm Slot". 
These are kids that do not have any farm experience, live in the city and would otherwise be spending their summer days in leisurely activities that don't involve much physical labor.
They generally stay anywhere from one to three weeks, depending on how well they adjust to the relative rigors of farm life. 
And once they begin to understand what is required of them and get into the daily routines - just about all of them LOVE IT!
Most have returned for two or even three summers.
In late winter we were glad when the requests began rolling in because with Manny gone on his mission we knew it would be important for Gustav to have some company close to his own age.
Our good friend Kenneth was the first to ask if he could bring his son Macksim (Maxie) up from the southern part of Sweden as soon as school was out. We had never met 12 year old Maxie and explained to Kenneth that we had found it worked best to try it for a week to start and then see how Maxie felt about it. 

                                           But Kenneth hadn't even made it to the end of the driveway before Maxie was on his way up the ladder to the roof of the big hay barn with Gustav right behind him. 

Pappa brought over the last of the large vacuum pipes that had to be assembled in preparation for the start of haying season the next day.

                                                   The top window was removed and then came the unloading of the pipe sections. Gustav, who's done it a million times, gave directions, and Maxie followed .

Here's Maxie inside and Gustav outside. The assembly moved

Before we knew it, they had the big "L" up and supported...
(we were so impressed at how Maxie jumped right in).

 Pappa had been down below bringing over the super motor that runs the vacuum and getting everything connected up. 
Done and ready to go! 

You would think that would be enough for a first day's experience, but we saw quickly that Maxie was 'good to go' in every way.  Pappa took him into the pump house and got him outfitted in a coverall and then right into the barn where he learned to measure out the grain for the milk cows and get it into the troughs.  Then it was 'bringing in the cows', again with Pappa, from the fields where they had been out grazing.... 
time to do the evening milking.

From that moment on, every day was packed and Maxie was a part of it all.  Through a series of events that no one could have foreseen, he was the only one who was with us this year and he and Gustav grew as close as any two brothers could be, laughing and teasing and working side by side from early morning into the night.
And that is how it is on the farm in the summer.
As you read the coming posts you will see Maxie in full swing all throughout June, July and August.
We came to love him as one of our own, and felt so grateful to have had him for the better part of three glorious months.  He was an outstanding boy, full of fun, smart as a whip, and a terrific worker.

This is October.
When I was cleaning upstairs the other day I was surprised to find a pair of rumpled black socks in a remote corner of the room.  They were worn, full of pills and had gray monsters with red hearts on them,
and they were Maxie's.
When I saw them I missed him so much.
We love you Maxie.
Come back soon!

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