As a farm wife, when I overhear two guys talking, it’s the usual fare of topics that should interest me more than they do, but mostly tend to get me one step closer to being legally pronounced an inanimate object.
I often hear my guys talking about a broad range of issues relating to corn, soybeans, sheep, cows, farm animal poop and issues with the spreader; tractors, combines, planters, field maps, county roads, soil health, technology, taxes, bank loans and what’s for supper on Sunday.
(My family might be glad that “Grandpa” on “Hee-Haw” never answered their question about what’s for supper-though once a year there is a jar of pickled herring on our table. Luckily-although the children have never partaken in such a stinky delicacy, they also have not defected from the table, the celebration or the family because of it.)
I once knew a lady who was so bored with the conversation taking place between her husband and another farmer that she picked up the nearest and only reading material there – a calf scour medicine box – and began reading it.
She said it was a pivotal day in that she finally nailed the recurring issue of how to spell diarrhea.
Not so long ago on a stop at a local farm supply store, I overheard two guys talking. Their brief conversation started out typically, but got me thinking.
One guy said in passing, “How’s it going?”
The other one replied, “Oh, just living the dream.”
Of course it was said tongue-in-cheek, and also because there is absolutely no new conversation to be had about the weather after all these years, even has hard as farmers, Willard Scott and the Chicago Board of Trade have tried.
For some reason, the second guy’s comment seemed very profound.
Living the dream means so many different things to so many different people.
Our dreams change from the time we’re children until the time we realize we can’t do all those big things in one lifetime.
They even change long after we’ve been grown up.
When you’re young, all you have is your dreams – and they’re all ahead of you, ripening and just waiting to be picked. It’s hard to choose one dream at a time.
Sooner or later, life happens. The years go by and sometimes we have followed the path of our original dreams, and sometimes that path has taken a different course.
We may not actually be living the dream we thought as children that we’d be living, but the difference lies not in what we are doing, but in the value we give to what we are doing.
If we take any degree of pride in our work, we bring value to it.
And because of that it brings value to our lives and the lives of others who are either receiving the fruits of our labors, or in its simplest form, to those who are watching us, and dreaming of their own “someday.”
Farm kids who grow up wanting to farm and then get to do that for a living truly are living a wildly risky dream. They are the lucky ones.
Even when all the usual problems come along – uncontrollable weather, volatile markets, costly machinery repairs and purchases, tight profit margins and more, they are still lucky enough to say they are living their one and only dream.
Few people get to say that and have it be true for an entire lifetime. It womps when someone can make that happen…even though those ensuing farm-related conversations can make a farmer’s wife or mother glaze over like a convenience store donut.
At least that kind of glaze doesn’t have any calories.
And that womps, too.
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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