Thursday, September 04, 2014

TBT 2008

Longtime readers will have read this. Longtime Farm Side readers too.

However, here is an old Farm Side from 2008....

At nearly eleven one night, on the way home from a milk-marketing cooperative meeting, I was restively dodging deer and drunks and desperately anticipating the toast that was to take the place of my long delayed dinner, when my attention was riveted. In the middle of a feverish mulling over of PPD’s, hauling and handling, and distances from distant cities, a catalog of one hundred ways to inject romance into your committed relationship assaulted my overtaxed brain. A dreamy couple on the radio suggested strewing a path of rose petals through the house leading to a romantic, candlelight dinner. This almost caused me to drive into the Erie Canal. Maybe I’m too practical, but my first thought was, “Where the heck would you get rose petals?” The second was that anyone who wanted to strew them on my floors in a discernible path would have to shovel out all the dog hair, sand and other debris that was strewn there first.
Then, if I attempted to serve a meal by candlelight, my significant other would fall asleep with his head on the table and catch his hair on fire. Just how romantic is a fire extinguisher anyhow? This is Spring Work time. He starts his chores at four thirty and gets done long after Liz and I finish milking. His idea of a romantic meal would probably be a McDonald’s fish fillet served on the fender of a tractor with a side order of bug repellent. Or maybe a citronella candle would seem more intimate than a can of Off! .
The radio show had many additional suggestions for spicing up a stale relationship, but, as I said, the marketing data I had been asked to digest in place of dinner had overheated my tiny brain. Therefore I went online and found Gregory G. P. Godey’s book, 10,000 Ways to Say I Love You
Here is suggestion number two. “Sign your letters ‘forever and a day’.” Since most of the letters I send to and receive from my spouse are instructions about farm work, this could be interesting. Here’s a representative sample. On a Post It note stuck to side of bulk tank: “Ralph, the vet said that number 39 had a retained placenta. You’ll have to pill her,” (the vet did NOT mean by mouth), “ The repair shop called about the tractor. They say it will be fixed as soon as possible. But they have to order the parts, Forever and a day.” Yeah, or at least it will seem that way.
Suggestion number 8, “ Place a heart-shaped sticker on your wristwatch to remind you to call”. Yeah, OK, if I can find my watch under the assorted, encrusted barnyard material. And call whom? The trucker? It would take more than a sticker to remind me to call him during the early morning, pre-school-bus feeding frenzy at this place. Try a note covering the entire computer screen-that might get my attention.
Romantic suggestion number nine: “Squeeze into phone booths together”. Now why would we want to do that? And where would we find a phone booth? Besides, we have a pickup truck and three kids. That can cause all sorts of close encounters. With a few sandwiches and something to drink in the cooler, pile children on your lap or have them sit on tires in the back among the fence tools, gas cans and bales of twine. Bounce frantically up the lane to wherever you are working. The kids can have a picnic while you chop hay and he hauls loads to the barn. Now that’s romance.
Which brings us to “His and Hers”. Our romantic list maker suggested “His and Hers” everything, from towels to Porsches. I’m happy with clean towels that I don’t have to pick up off the floor before I use them. Who cares about the monogram? What good would a Porsche be with our driveways? One trip and it would be marooned until July. I was thinking maybe “His and Hers” shovels. Then maybe I could find mine when I want to scrape off on my side of the barn. But then again, I tried “His and hers” screwdrivers. You’d be amazed how fast a man gets accustomed to shocking pink and florescent orange tools, when he can’t find his and hers are right there in the toolbox. My little pink-handled screwdriver is in the milkhouse right now, 1.2 miles from my toolbox. The big Craftsman ones that he bought me as a romantic Christmas gift are either on tractors or lost in the sand behind the toolshed. An orange-handled hammer that once belonged to me has been turned over to cow barn use, provided the old, loose-headed one in the kitchen stays in the kitchen.
Suggestion number 17, “Shoot your TV”. Now that I could really get into, as long as they leave my computer alone. I have yet to find anything romantic about John Wayne’s gravelly voice interrupting my sleep at some ungodly hour because the boss and/or the kids fell asleep in front of the infernal tube again.
“Get a bumper sticker that reflects his view of life”. Now there’s a suggestion. As long as he considers Border Collies to be the world’s smartest dogs, that is. I’ve got another good bumper sticker that reads, “Cow Dog Cadillac”, but there isn’t room for it on my bumper. Do you suppose that means that it’s time for a new car? Hint, hint.
Then Mr. Godey has a list of gift suggestions. He recommends all sorts of items from books to perfume and wine. As far as perfume goes, I figure all a farm wife really needs is a dab or two of WD-40 on her wrists and she’s good to go. Any parts manual will do for a book, or in our house, one of Horace Backus’ Holstein books always supplies smiles.
As you can see, romance on the farm just does not compare to the city version. We don’t have time for such nonsense. However, on the other side of the issue, we have sunrises and sunsets that rival drive-in movies for romantic value, birds that sing every chorus you could wish for, a family that shares our every activity and a sense of humor that allows me to write stuff like this and stay married, right honey? Honey?
Those were sure the days. If one of the kids sat on my lap now....but we still have a lot of fun together and farm romance hasn't changed a where is my WD-40......


Cathy said...

That is so perfect.
No really!
In so many ways.
(And I always wonder . . . is a great sense of humor in the genes? . . .. Thoughts?)

Terry and Linda said...

I had to laugh about a romantic meal...come harvest here Terry thinks having a homemade burrito in the cab of the combine is luxury!


threecollie said...

Cathy, I think sarcasm runs in families...or at least it surely runs in mine. What a bunch of clowns. lol

Linda, I think most farm families do the same. Except for the underlying urgency of harvest it is kind of nice too.