Farm wife wedding anniversaries
Not that long ago we celebrated our wedding anniversary – number 32 on the way to a lifetime together.
That’s a long time to clean up after the farmer and all of his animals, a lot of seed corn caps to wedge into the closet, a lot of mending, and a whole lotta water under that bridge.
As the sun rose, the day was ours to plan. The farm wife knows that any plans to be made will be made at the last minute, since the “last minute” arm is the only one that seems to work on the face of her husband’s watch.
It reminds me of the singer Roger Miller’s quote that he was always, “…15 minutes ahead of his time.”
As we dined on grilled burgers and fresh home garden produce for lunch, my husband announced that he needed some new stalk stompers for the corn head he had just purchased. He had known of some for sale that he could inspect after a couple-hour drive, so he proposed that I come with him and then go out to eat for our anniversary.
So when the time came we emptied the truck bed of its contents. It’s amazing what you can find in the back of a farmer’s pickup. To date, we have not ever found anything with less than four legs living back there. Yeesh.
Once we deemed it vacant enough to hold the stalk stompers if we bought them, we dusted and deloused ourselves, climbed into the pickup and began our journey. It was going to be nice to have a couple of hours to talk about the things we had accomplished in 32 years.
With the crops being as they are this year, my husband found it most interesting to observe how different they all looked as we drove. What started out to be a couple of hours to reminisce was turning into 100 miles of commentary and analysis of agronomic conditions in a five-county area.
I began to think our anniversary trip was really a farm trip. I’m just sharp that way.
We arrived at the farm to find the stalk stompers in good shape and just what he was looking for. They had a little rust on, but my husband said, “I’m not afraid of a little rust.”
That is how farmers who started out with nothing sound as they continue to build their legacy for generations down the line that he won’t even know. A little rust will help ensure that Schwallers for generations will be associated with the vocation of farming, just as generations before us had been … and who had probably also known their share of rust.
We exchanged conversation and a little cash, and were ready to begin our trek back west. I got in the pickup, but my husband stayed behind to ask the man if he could recommend a good place to wine and dine a wife of 32 years on their anniversary, following a two-and-a-quarter hour drive to buy stalk stompers for the corn head.
There we dined on cuisine that was better than the ham sandwiches and potato salad we served our wedding guests all those years ago. We could afford a little better meal now than we could then. We also did the math and determined that in another 32 years, we’ll be in our 90s. It was a little creepy to think about, knowing Medicare is just around the bend for us.
We drove home in the dark and quiet, with our newest treasure of corn head stalk stompers behind us, and a tinge of heartburn working us over now. Only a few years ago we drove home from everywhere with hearts full and children in the back.
All that’s left of that time now are the memories.
This past anniversary may not have gone down in the halls of romance, but it was familiar and comfortable. And if there is anything a farmer likes, it’s people and situations that are familiar and comfortable.
I’m just wondering what implement he will buy next year.
Karen Schwaller is a Farm News correspondent from Milford. Reach her by e-mail at email@example.com and www.karenschwaller.com.
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