The tale of Stan’s Corner
Since the invention of farming, many a farmer’s wife has lamented over the copious list of tasks to get done when the crop needs to come out.
Certainly, harvest time is the crown jewel of all the seasons, even though the work load is largely magnified for everyone.
As seasons of the year go, farm families tuck a few more in there, such as planting, baling, harvesting and farrowinglambing/calving, and the annual dreaded mud season that moves in every spring.
That season alone contributes highly to the farm wife’s list of housekeeping and laundry afflictions, because it isn’t all just mud.
And it’s part of her reasoning for keeping a bottle of Schnaaps hidden behind the laundry detergent.
With so many seasons that take so much work, it’s a wonder that the farm family remembers to get ready for tax season, which takes more pain killers in various forms than any other season on the farm.
A couple of years ago, during the busyness of harvest season, it became evident that I had yet to learn the one thing that all Boy Scouts learn first – think ahead, and be prepared.
I had finished my work and put together a supper for our harvest crew. I now needed to pack it into the car and take it to those who would gather around to eat it under the lights of combines, grain carts and semi trucks.
When I left the field that night, I had chores to do when I got home, lunches to pack for our guys for the next day and supper to think about for the next night.
It was then that I noticed the fuel gauge was well on the “E.”
I only made it through Blue Birds as far as Girl Scouting went, so apparently my preparedness skills as a third-grader lacked in detail and was now haunting me as an adult.
And it became evident that the American Red Cross would never see me as qualified to help them in an emergency situation because I would need gas in the car to get to an emergency site.
While originally I was anticipating my time management once I got home, now I was praying like Michele Obama at a National School Lunch Convention – just to get there.
As luck had it, gas fumes (which may or may not have been emanating from inside the car by that time) and a good tail wind got me to a nearby town.
It was off the beaten path on my way home, but nonetheless, it was the closest town with a convenience store. The store was called Stan’s Corner.
I pulled up to the pump and decided to pay by credit card, considering the limited time I had. I got out, opened the back door of the car and stuck my hand inside to retrieve my purse.
There was no purse. Anywhere.
I had driven from home to (one of our furthest away) fields with no driver’s license, had no money for gas, no identification, and no gas.
With no other options on the table, I breathed a heavy sigh, skulked inside the store feeling a little like a self-acclaimed homeless refugee, and asked the woman behind the counter if I might be able to get a little gas to get me home.
After some discussion and a call to the store manager, I got the all-clear for a small amount, and could send the money the next day after I signed away the rights to our first born, considering the price of gas at the time.
I was so relieved that I thought we might name our next dog Stan.
You’d think I’d been at this farm wife thing long enough to know how to keep all of the plates in the air when there is so much to do.
It was a good thing for Stan’s Corner and that the Schnaaps bottle was within reach, just behind the laundry detergent, when I got home.
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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