Machinery is getting moved around at the farm. I can hear tractors, trucks and the combine faintly. It’s that time of year again. The corn has turned that beautiful soft pale ochre that I love. It sparkles against the dark fall sky. The clouds are getting fluffier, bolder in their reminder of what is coming.
It’s often a stressful time of year. Farmboy comes home from his 9 to 5 job, changes clothes and goes to the farm to do what is possible in the dark. Thankfully the combine has lights. He often can go into the evening long after the kids have been put to bed. They miss him and so do I.
Farming was foreign to me growing up in Mississippi. My grandparents had land and cows. Every now and then timber was harvested. My grandfather had the most beautiful vegetable garden. Our freezer was always stocked with brown peas, butter beans and okra. That is all I knew about farming.
The first time I visited Farmboy’s farm I was enchanted- the barns, the land, the sunsets. On the surface it was all so romantic and picturesque. I was so naive. I was clueless. I didn’t know the dangers of spinney things, the neverending jobs, the dependence on the weather, the delicate relationships of farm families. To me, harvest meant- Cornicopia! Harvest moon! the warm fuzzies! The first year after we were married I was in a state of shock. I mean, I know I got married… I saw the pictures. My husband was no where to be found. Now, memories are funny… especially mine because I seem to have so few of them, but that year was tough. I wondered what in the world I had done. I’m no princess but geez, how do you compete with a mistress so demanding?
Sixteen years later, how lovely that mistress is. She is still demanding, sometimes dangerous and wildly unpredictable, but how she revives me. How she revives Farmboy. He would suffer without her. Now I am happy when he is with her. She is good for us. She is a blessing. She embraces our children. I’m thankful that they have this taste of life. Both of our children have slept strapped to their dad in a baby bjorn in the heated cab of the combine on snowy nights. I am also thankful that Farmboy has a job off the farm. He doesn’t like the term “gentleman farmer” but I think its fitting because for us it works. Somehow he and his dad make it all happen after hours and on the weekends. I don’t know how full-time farmers do it but that is another post.