You gotta love church ladies, always bringing in article clippings about your Grandpa, and finding surprisingly pristine farm wife essays from 30 years ago to share with you.
This afternoon I flipped through the booklet reluctantly, bound by social obligation to at least say I appreciated it. What I wasn't counting on was that through these decades of innovation, of the change in role that many women play on the farm, of the technology at our disposal, one thing hasn't changed a single bit for farm wives: our husbands.
I found myself laughing at stories that started out with their farmer husbands promising, "this will only take a minute," and ended with the wife covered in the foulest muck on the farm. There was a whole essay about how NOTHING that leaves the house in the hands of a man ever makes it back again, especially scissors, or that hammer you try to keep for household tasks. I chuckled at an article by a lady named Lavon who had "invented" an agricultural workout that included opening and closing gates for the truck and shoveling grain for the animals.
I just about burst out laughing reading the essay from a woman in Georgia who shared a due date with her husband's prized sow--and she wasn't entirely sure whose birth he was going to attend.
Lastly, after this terrible winter, I sympathized with the farm wife who ordered a load of driveway gravel for three of her husband's birthdays in a row, only to continue to fight holes and bumpy travel.
I guess the lesson here is that while farmers haven't changed a bit, farm wives will always find a way to tell their stories to remind us that we're not alone in our humorous struggles.
And thanks to the church lady, I got to be reminded that my stories aren't unique--farm wives have been dealing with farmers since the the dawn of agriculture.
NOTE: If you would like to order "Why Farm Wives Age Fast," Volume I or II, "write your name and address on a slip of paper and mail with payment to..." Oh, how things HAVE changed.