Promises for the new year
As the new year is born, today’s farm wife is not satisfied with the same old resolutions made every year for us by weight loss and wrinkle cream companies.
She wants to fill the self-improvement tank with her own list that makes a lot more sense to her everyday life.
This year she promises not to howl when she brings supper to the field expecting six or seven to feed, and finding more than a dozen hungry faces around her car.
She may still panic and apologize for smaller portions, but she will resolve to cover it up by saying she wants everyone to try out that whole Blue Zone thing.
Then she will promptly ignore the looks she gets because those looks really belong to someone who should have told her how many people she would be feeding.
She resolves to work on knowing all of the field names when she delivers meals, manpower or equipment to said fields.
She also will work on knowing where the field driveways are at night so the neighbors don’t think she’s a year-round nipper of the eggnog.
She promises not to swear out loud as she mends the pliers pockets of her husband’s blue jeans and insulated coveralls. Oh, she’ll be swearing alright, she just resolves to do that under her breath this year.
Resolving to keep it in perspective – it would be an even worse scenario if the pliers showed up missing someday because of an unrepaired hole, resulting in a marriage that also needs repairing.
Those pliers are irreplaceable, you know.
She promises to try to understand her fault in it when the sheep or goats get into the garden. Bad fences or no fences around the garden are just asking for trouble on a sheep and goat farm.
Adam in the Garden of Eden eventually realized he should not have eaten the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.
Sooner or later, the sheep and goats also eat the forbidden fruit, except they don’t know anything more afterwards than they did before.
She promises to be grateful as she sweeps up the hundred-thousandth pile of corn, soybeans and oats off of the basement floor.
It means there was adequate rain and sunshine, and able bodied people to help get it from the fields and into the house. I mean the bins.
She will remember (because of past experiences) to wear a more heavy duty kind of over-the-shoulder unmentionable when she runs the disk ripper in the fall.
Those bumpy fields are not for the weak of spine nor the more generously endowed of the female persuasion.
The right kind of support could save her from a lifetime of double vision.
She resolves to look at the enormous laundry pile (and the manure smells emanating from it) with patience and understanding.
After all, there are many who have never been blessed with family to create such a wonderful consumer of time, water and laundry soap.
She will remember that caring about weather and markets will do more for her marriage than the local beautician ever could.
Beauty is fleeting and the weather and markets often make sure that happens.
If you both get the same worry lines, who really cares about them?
She will resolve to take better care of her husband by suggesting more firmly that he go to a doctor when necessary, then see to it that he extracts himself from the farm to go to an appointment.
The farm wife runs many errands, but since his teeth and other samples they need are inside of him, there is only so much she can do about running that errand for him.
Finally, she resolves to stop making promises. Once when she did that she ended up having to wash manure-ladened clothing and deal with the markets for the rest of her life.
Dang, that fine print.
Schwaller is a Farm News correspondent from Milford. Reach her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and at www.karenschwaller.com.
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