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Even farm wives get the "terrible, no good, rotten day" blues

Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2010, at 3:15 PM

Once upon a time there was a farm wife who had a terrible, no good, rotten day. It was one of those days when she might have been better off to stay in bed ... but unfortunately, she wasn't given the choice.

The farm wife (who asked that I protect her identity) said the day seemed to be bad from the start.

After making a quick trip to town to get seed and parts for her farmer husband, she decided to clean inside. (Note from the farm wife: Cleaning inside on a beautiful day is never a good idea.) However, actually making some headway, she placed a couple bags of trash in the breezeway, forgetting the new puppy was in there as well.

Later stepping out to burn the trash, she realized the inquisitive puppy had scattered the trash from one side of the breezeway to another.

She was using the farm's utility vehicle to haul off the trash bits, when one of the farm's workers (also known as son No. 2) called and needed her to come right away to help with a breakdown in the field. Without time to unload her Gator she secured the load and headed to the field with the required tools.

Her son, who she said was just like his older brother, was a mechanical genius (I'm just relaying the story the way it was told), identified the problem and headed for a better place to do the repairs. However, he made the mistake of putting a couple of the needed parts and safety shields on top of the farm wife's already loaded vehicle.

Since she could move much faster, the farm wife went ahead and delivered lunches to other farm workers (also known as husband and son No. 1) who were all on different farms, before heading back to son No. 2. When she arrived, he quickly asked her where the other shield was, while holding up one he had apparently found in the field after it had slid off her trash pile.

"What shield?" she asked, before remembering she had indeed once had two shields in the back of the bed. Looking back, she realized none were there now.

While on the second hour and third trip retracing her steps to find the shield (how can a big shield disappear she wondered?) she decided to look in a big mud hole. While crossing it originally (and almost getting stuck) she thought, just maybe, the shield had slid off the pile and had sunk beneath the muddy and rather deep water.

Gathering a stick to poke around for the metal shield, she walked down towards the wet ditch. Well, "walked" may not be the right verb. Sliding, eventually bottoms up, she landed on her back, hair and all. Judging by the relatively soft landing, no shield was there. (Note from the farm wife: croc-like shoes are not very good substitutes for farm boots, and may be hazardous when walking down muddy hills.)

Hoping the mud quickly drying on her hands, legs, back and face would somehow at least provide a mud-bath-like benefit to her skin, the young to middle-aged farm wife grabbed what was left of her dignity and rode on searching for the shield. (Note from farm wife: her actual age depends on whether she is relying on the actual face she sees in the mirror or the one she pictures in her mind.)

While retracing her steps she finally ran over the large shield in a grass strip she had passed at least six previous times.

Prying it from out under the vehicle's wheels she thought, "Oh well, a bent shield is better than no shield at all." Or maybe she just hoped no one would notice.

After triumphantly delivering the shield, she headed back to the house to eat her own lunch. However, while walking up the sidewalk, she realized one of the pets had pushed a large rock into the water garden. She decided to step in the 24-inch deep water and grab the stone.

"Not a great idea," she thought as her hair hit water again for the second time that day. (Note from the farm wife: croc-like shoes are not good for stepping in slick water-garden bottoms.) After realizing she had knocked the filter and pump loose, she spent the next hour working on them, before the water garden was back together again.

The mud was gone from her body, replaced instead by a fishy water garden smell.

But so was her appetite, so she set off to do all the needed chores.

According to the farm wife, her "luck" continued.

Among the lessons learned:

--Always check the amount of gas in the lawnmower before starting. If you don't, you may end up in the farthest corner of the yard with an empty tank. (Note from the farm wife: hauling a portable gas tank from one side of the yard to the other counts as double exercise.)

--After feeding cows always remember to close the gate. (Note from the farm wife: cows enjoy leaving unclosed gates.) One hour and more exercise later, the farm wife and the trusty border collie (mostly the border collie) got the wayward cow back into the right pasture.

Six hours later she went inside, only to realize she had left the radio on all day.

"I hope you are relaxing and enjoying this holiday weekend off," the announcer said, as she walked in.

Holiday weekend?

Until then, she had forgotten anything about a holiday. "Hmmph," she thought, wondering why the best holidays seem to coincide with farm work and wondering if a meal on the farm truck's tailgate counts as a holiday "picnic."

The farm workers were still in the field and although she felt a little guilty and a bit wimpy, she found herself mentally and physically exhausted.

She took a much needed shower and laid down in bed, quickly drifting off to sleep, until she heard a familiar voice.

"What's for supper?" the voice asked. Oops!

An hour and a half and a makeshift supper later, she finally laid down again, as the tired farmers too went off to bed.

However, listening to quiet sounds around her, she realized her "luck" was continuing -- she was suddenly wide awake and couldn't sleep.

"Of course," the farm wife thought, "What better end to my terrible, no good, rotten day than being too tired to sleep." (Note from the farm wife: two hours, three ibruprofens and 5,675 counted sheep later, she finally drifted off.)

Author's note: Any similarities between the farm wife and this author are purely coincidental.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

:>) Love your sense of humor.

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Wed, Jun 9, 2010, at 12:09 AM

I LOVE your columns-- but I still say your a bit grumpy (LOL maybe it's the chronological age ;).

-- Posted by workingmom on Wed, Jun 9, 2010, at 10:11 AM

Hey after a day like the one described, Marcia is entitled to not just a "bit" of grumpy, but "big" grumpy. It could have been worse--on vacation at the Gulf just as the huge globs of oil hit the shore.

-- Posted by upsedaisy on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 10:47 AM

Oh my gracious! WOW. I knew there was a reason I never wanted to be a farm wife!!!

Wonderful column!

-- Posted by koeller77 on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 3:44 PM

Thanks Marcia for a bit of great humor. I don't think that Baxter Black could have come up with a more humorous story.

I think that it is about time that your husband and boys pool their money and give mom a day at the spa for a real mud bath.

You going to be on the Water Garden tour?

-- Posted by movaldude on Thu, Jun 10, 2010, at 11:12 PM

Thanks everybody for the compliments. And Working mom I probably am a bit grumpy...and no doubt it is my chronological age!! However, I am really trying to find humor and laughter in the things that irritate me and others like me.

Upsedaisy you are right, a vacation on the oil soaked shores of the Gulf would be terrible right now.

Koeller77, being a farmwife - like being a wife, mother or any job- has its good days and bad days!! Writing about the bad days seems to be funnier.

No Movaldude, I'm not on the watergarden tour - but I do love to go and see all the beautiful gardens.

Thanks again for reading.


-- Posted by Marcia Gorrell on Mon, Jun 14, 2010, at 4:38 PM

LOL - but Marcia, my bad days never include recalcitrant or wayward cows - just recalcitrant and wayward 2-year olds that I can pick up and move easily!

-- Posted by koeller77 on Tue, Jun 15, 2010, at 11:50 AM

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