Tuesday, 23 October 2012

The Shearer

We never really know where life will take us!

Many moons ago, when the world was still young and climate change was not discussed often, when people thought having computers in their homes only happened in science fiction. Remember? It was so long ago that it was before the days when it was important to match your red plastic shoes to your red plastic earrings....

Hubby was a boy.  A boy who dreamed of becoming a stockman (or an astronaut, or a racing car driver........)  As soon as Hubby was old enough, he left school and travelled the country, shearing sheep.  He loved the life and loved the challenge. Shearing for a job becomes like a competition to see who can shear the most sheep in a day and he was good.  But it is a hard job and after six years he was tired, very tired.
Hubby left and returned home to work in his family's earthmoving business, planning to recuperate and return refreshed.  But life happened, and he became entrenched.  He remained in the family business for many years.

Then we met, married, and had kids.   Now the real responsibility began.  Under the pressure of family life, raising children and keeping up with the ever growing list of jobs that his wife kept pressuring presenting him with, he let go of his stockman, racing car driving, astronaut dreams. 

He threw threw himself into his new role and loved being a family man.  And a damn good husband and father he is!

When the opportunity arose to have a day of shearing in a casual environment with people he knew, he grabbed at the chance!  Uncertain whether his body was up to the arduous task, he set off to the sheds with us in tow.
It was a great day.  He sheared about 80 sheep, a number far beyond either of our expectations.  I loved being at the wool table trying to differentiate between sweaty mud and dags (sheep poo) in the fleece.  The female rousabout at the table was showing me different features of the wool.  The different strengths and lengths of the staples and she showed me 'the break' in one lot of wool which means that the animal had been unwell or that it's feed wasn't adequate at the time, etc. 
The sheds were so rustic and a really fun place for the kids to play.
We had a great family day out and I learnt so much more about the process of getting wool.  We were happy and so were the sheep.  Hubby's life has moved along.  He's a grandfather as well now, but we enjoyed visiting his past with him.
And just imagine if you could take home all the wool!!!  A lifetime's supply of wool for spinning or stuffing pillows and toys etc.  I could knit anything I wanted!


Joyfulhomemaker said...

shearing is such hard work we recently had our 1st try http://farmgirl67.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/shearing-sheepi-am-so-exhausted.html..i am amazed when anyone can shear like 80 like your hubby ,bet he was exhausted when he got home that night

Dani said...

80 sheep! Hectic! Well done, Hubby :)

Linn said...

Loved reading your story Linda. We saw a sheep shearing exhibition not long ago and marveled at one sheep but 80! That's incredible!!

Kim said...

What a lovely post...and I loved that your husband got to shear again!A beautiful story that shows the great love you have for him.

Kathryn Ray said...

I love shearing day.

I haven't been part of a sheep shearing, but I am an alpaca shearer. I'm always so dirty, but so happy at the end of the day. It's the epitome of seeing the fruits of your labors. I think the most I've done in one day is 16 alpacas... So 80 sheep is very impressive. :-)

I'm glad your Hubby got to do it again. :-)

Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

Wow I bet he was a bit sore the next day. Shearing is hard work so he did a great job.

Linda said...

Joyful, I am so glad you commented! I loved visiting your blog. What a funny post! You did an amazing job. And yes, Hubby was exhausted but very happy too!

Thanks Dani.

Yes Linn, Shearers are amazing to watch and I was surprised that Hubby was fit enough to get through 80. Oh me of little faith!

Yes Kim, he had a ball! I think he often thinks back to his shearing days.

Hi Kathryn, yes I think he feels very satisfied. Are alpacas more obliging than sheep or do you just need to learn how to hold them the right way?

Fiona, if he was sore (which he was) he wasn't complaining. He has one of those awful wives who would have teased him, rather than offer sympathy!