During the summers when I was a kid, I would often spend weeks at my grandmother’s farm. Though there was a lovely garden full of vegetables and acres full of hay bales, my favorite bit was always the many animals that she had there. There were primarily cows, goats, chickens, and pigs. The last of which I chose for today’s prompt, because I used to love the little pigs when they were born. I always thought they were so cute. They later, of course, grew insanely large and didn’t resemble their cute baby selves at all. I really can’t fault them as I think this happens to me virtually every winter. The goats and cows were there for the milk and the chickens, primarily for the eggs. Unfortunately, the role of the pigs was quite singular and meant ending up as food on someone’s plate. I never actually knew this the whole time I was growing up. When I asked my grandmother where Rosie, or some other little piglet I had helped named went, she simply told me they were with someone else now. Which wasn’t actually a lie at all. I only assumed this meant they were adopted by new loving parents and now had a wonderful new home. I was happy for them at the time.
Later, of course, I learned the truth about pigs, but it was so much later that the fact somehow still didn’t apply to the ones I’d actually met. They were forever in my mind living out a life on some new farm, enjoying their slop, basking in the mud, and falling asleep peacefully at some point when they were too old to enjoy it all properly anymore. The idea that any of those lovely farm pets were potential food never occurred to me until the one time I caught my grandmother wringing a chicken by the neck. This was a horrific experience and I refused to eat dinner that day, opting for a bowl of corn flakes instead. I realize now, that living on a farm meant making income and those animals were often part of that income. In whatever form they proved profitable. But for a kid, it’s just a playground and miniature zoo that I got to visit on those joyous summers away from home. I got pet, feed and milk goats! That latter of which they never let you do at a petting zoo, for good reason I’m sure. It was a perfectly magical time and I’m so thrilled that I got to experience it growing up.
These days, you’ll find me in the city, far away from farms, but those memories are among the most wonderful times in my life. Walking down gravel roads, through the red mud, and wandering down to a creek hidden amongst the trees. This was the area my grandmother always referred to as the timber. I miss those days wandering through the timber as hours passed without even knowing they had happened. My life can now often get so busy that it feels impossible to pause in that way and simply be amazed by the world around me. That’s why I’m so thankful for my sketching habit. It’s takes me back to those times when time stood still. A frozen moment that gets more attention than any other moment of the day. A bit of “me time” that happily becomes “we time” when I share whatever happened on paper that day along with the thoughts that leapt to mind.
If you actually read my full post of these rambles, thank you so much for joining me in this moment. I never thought that keeping a daily diary would be easier if you made it public, but that’s exactly what has happened here. And while I have nothing hide, I hope you enjoy what I share each day. I certainly enjoy sitting down to sketch stuff and paint, and reliving memories of those glorious moments during summer when I got to visit my grandmother, and experience a bit of that wondrous thing called farm life.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Opus (Vivid Pink), Benzimida Orange, and Cobalt Turquoise. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!