Remember when I wrote about being married to a farmer, not being a farm wife?
I hope I didn’t give people the impression that I do not like living on a farm. Some of my best memories are of times spent on my aunt and uncle’s farm in Fairfax when I was growing up. There I did learn how to pull the mustard out of the flax field and how to walk behind the baler with a pitch fork picking and throwing the alfalfa that didn’t get picked up by the baler into the next windrow.
When I married David, almost everyone asked, “How do you like living in the country?” I wasn’t sure what they meant. Most of them continued, “It’s so quiet compared to in the city.” Or, “You’re so far away from everything.”
I told them I’d lived on Skyline Drive for years with undeveloped land behind my townhouse. For a time it was a corn field, then an alfalfa field, then NSP planted trees. On the south side of the townhouse was an empty lot owned by the city. For years the only things there were a couple of huge sewer pipes that were used in the future development of Highland Park. Then the city put in a small park. Across the street was more undeveloped land that the city eventually moved the park to and built a baseball field. I would say that the sounds sitting on my back deck at the townhouse are very comparable to the sounds sitting on my deck on the farm. Even the sounds of the trains…of course they are a little louder out here on the farm, but I can’t hear the bands from Western Fest either.
And let’s see…far away from everything? Five miles south of town is not far away. And from everything…all small towns are away from everything if you mean malls, theatres, and expensive restaurants. Course I don’t really like to shop, and I prefer to buy good steaks at Economart and grill them up myself rather than paying $30 in a Twin City restaurant. I can even get a full bottle of wine for what a single glass costs. What about the theatre? I like the Barn, SMSU and the plays our kids do here at the high school. Concerts? I have my tickets already for this season.
I love living on the farm.
Last night I took a jaunt out to the field where David was picking corn. I climbed up in the combine and rode with him as he finished filling the semis. It was about 6:00 p.m. As I sat in the cab, watching the giant red machine chop down six rows of corn at a time, David explained all the gadgets…the computer that had an on-the-go read-out of yield, showed average yield and moisture content, and automatically created a graph of the field that a young man would use to figure out the best use of fertilizer for next year. As we traveled up and back in the field David explained how the young man installed all the newest gadgets in the combine and we discussed the different varieties of corn he had planted. I thought about the yield and calculated the income and thought about how farming is so different from living paycheck to paycheck. While the setting sun turned from bright yellow to a huge orange ball in the west I thought about the young men who are partnering with my husband from his banker Kevin, Tyler who installed the ‘gadgets’ in the combine, Brian who will interpret the data to Ryan the seed salesman…all of them had been former students of mine at YME.
Page 2 of 2 - In his essay Rosewood Township, Paul Gruchow wrote, “The work went round and round: spring plowing, disking, cultivating, the first hay harvest, canning, the small grain harvest, the second cutting of hay, soybeans out, cornstalks chopped, fall plowing – time again to start the spring plowing.”
Farming is the Circle of Life seen both through the rich, fertile soil and the men and women, who are born, grow up on the land, work the land and are buried on the land.
Today I spent part of my day making sandwiches for the men who are harvesting.
Could I be morphing into a farm wife?