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KAREN SCHWALLER

By Staff | Jun 24, 2011

Farm wives of the world – I beg your forgiveness for making us look so bad.

We know our value to the farm family, but sometimes we are so filled with all that life offers us that we rise toward the brim and find ourselves teetering precariously at the edge.

Let me explain.

Just recently, I resurrected my once-honed skills of taking lunch out to the field.

I hadn’t done it since harvest ended, and (truthfully) hadn’t missed it all that much.

But when it became evident that our pasture fence needed some kind of major overhaul (even by our standards), it became a family project that weekend.

The guys gathered up all they needed for the job and headed west.

Our geographical skills pointed to the fact that, since the pasture was out somewhere between Oz and No-Man’s Land, they wouldn’t be driving into town for lunch, so it became my job to take it out to them.

So, when the time came I gathered up all that I needed – taco meat, taco shells, cheese, condiments, taco chips, watermelon, cookies, the usual American far – I headed to the pasture.

And ladies, here’s where the plan headed south as I headed west.

First of all, I thought I knew where the pasture was. I had been there before, though perhaps under the cloak of darkness.

While it’s no secret among my family that I cheated at map skills class in the fifth grade (with a nun teaching it, no less), my memory was of no help at this time either. Mid-life is so inefficient.

After a NASA-like phone discussion with my guys, I tripped over the road and landed in the pasture. “Houston, we have splashdown.”

I got out and started to prepare the goods.or, I would have, if I had brought along any utensils or even silverware to do the job! My mind raced back to field lunches I have packed for my husband and sons over the years, forgetting to include eating utensils. Yogurt can be gulped from the carton or scooped out with the lid–which they have all done; pocket knives come in handy for stabbing peaches or mandarin oranges–though there are probably organisms living in our farmer guys that will baffle scientists for years following a lifetime of boot-scraping and dining with the same knife. Though it sounds as grizzly as can be, a few swipes on their dirty pant legs and a brief sunlight inspection afterwards usually deems it ready for lunch box use if necessary.

Of course, by now our son was headed toward the car ready to eat, so I scrounged around to see if there was something I could use to dip out taco meat and serve up watermelon. How I wished I had brought my husband’s pickup truck–I knew I would find something of use to me in there for this task. (But I’ll deny it if you ever tell him I said that.) I’m not sure, but I think Bin Laden could have hidden in there for a few months without being noticed.

About that time, my son said, “Hey–I have an idea.” He began to guzzle a sports drink, and taking a breath between gulps, he said, “I have to drink it down to there,” and pointed at one of the grooves in the bottle. When he had accomplished that mission, he got his pocket knife out and began to cut the top of the bottle off. Once the cap was placed back on the bottle top and turned upside down, we had a meat scooper.

It was a work of art; a real display of American college kid ingenuity. Possibly a new patent idea for the Acme Company. If necessity is the mother of invention, then at least my son could be proud of THAT mother.

“His brain is much younger than mine,” I reasoned, thinking that I was really going to have to stop putting off that visit to the wizard to see if I could get a new brain. In all truthfulness, I’ve always thought that if I remembered to feed the kids, I was having a good day.I guess you can’t bat a hundred percent every time, especially when you’re so busy dropping the ball.

Ladies of the farm–I apologize to you for casting such a dim light on us with my hasty forgetfulness. But if you ever do find yourself in that situation, I wish all of you a kid who can think on the spot like ours can. God always saves the day somehow, doesn’t He?

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