Farm wives are a special breed of women. And while I'm much closer to being one than the VAST majority of females in this nation, I'm not really sure I'm a genuine farm wife.
I have known a few REAL farm wives in my time. I'll compare myself to what I think of when I say "farm wife."
Farm Wife: Has conducted bloody operations on pigs/calves/lambs/chickens with needle and thread in her own kitchen.
Me: Are you kidding me? It's all I can do to allow husband to store his pig medication in the refrigerator in bottles--I make him use the veggie drawer.
Farm Wife: Drives the tractor with hay baler, cause that's the girl job. Jumps off at noon to prepare fried chicken and potatoes for all the farm hands.
Me: I mowed the lawn once and reduced a six foot pine tree to toothpicks. Afterward, I decided to Shake and Bake some boneless breasts. Does that count?
Farm Wife: Covers her hair with a kerchief, grabs a pitchfork and gets to work.
Me: I did fill MANY a manure spreader during my 4-H years, including the morning after my Prom (no, this wasn't even punishment, just the way my Dad did things) I have since retired my pitchfork.
Living off the Land
Farm Wife: Tends an enormous garden full of vegetables, which she cans and freezes to enjoy year-round. Raises chickens for eggs and has a freezer full of hamburger from the last steer she had processed.
Me: I like to eat a few tomatoes from the in-laws' garden but I hate chickens. I know most farm wives would shudder, but I buy all of my meat at the grocery.
In fairness, I am comparing myself to farm wives from a different generation who made wife and mother their career. I guess in this day and age of two-income families, a farmer is happy to be married to a woman with a 401K and occasional business trips to satisfy her need to travel further than than the end of the lane.
I think my husband appreciates all my attempts to help out on the farm. Like all the times I have looked out the window and said, "The cows are out. Who should I call?" Or the time I drove the truck and trailer during a long trip so he could nap--luckily he woke up just in time to help me cross four lanes of traffic and make our exit. I know husband will always remember fondly the time I filled out the paperwork for a litter of pigs and used his pet name for one of the boars--that we sold and had announced at multiple shows and sales afterward.
Maybe those weren't the best examples after all, but I know that I do try to be a good farm wife. What other kind of woman would still be around months after uttering this real, actual sentence to her spouse: Why does our lettuce smell like pig s&men?