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Sanders: The life of a farm wife

What is the physical heart of your home? Ours — and likely most farm homes — is the kitchen. It is the first room anyone enters. That's where we gather around our corn stove on cold days and cool off on hot ones. It's the room where we brought cold baby calves to warm when they were chilled. The kitchen/dining room is where my grandkids learned how to measure ingredients, make cut-out cookies and appreciate riding their little cars around and around and around the Ranch Oak table.

We built a new kitchen when we enlarged the house. The original kitchen was 10×12 feet. Literally, when a guest was sitting at the small table, he had to get up out of his chair so I could open the oven door. It was definitely intimate. The larger problem though was it had a large south-facing window over the sink which created a blistering hot environment for washing dishes and cooking. That room became a nice library.

Contemplating my role on the farm as a traditional farm wife, I am appreciative for my lifestyle. My family is now six generations of agricultural producers in Fall River County. In a day when folks move about frequently, this fact almost shocks some people.

I prepare the noon meal for my husband and married son as his wife works in town. This meal is where discussions are held and plans are bantered about. The guys often have community news to share. Three grandchildren join us in summer and during school breaks.

I work at home with my writing so I can run for parts at a moment's notice, help move machinery and vehicles to farm units and of course, take snacks and coffee to the field once or twice a day, depending upon the farming process that is underway. It works out well that I can also run Sanders Shuttle Service, transporting grandkids to swimming lessons and other activities.

When I take afternoon coffee to the field, often with cookies, I sometimes ride a round or two on the tractor with my husband. Tractors now have comfortable buddy seats so I don't have to try and half-stand, half-sit in the cab. Thanks, John Deere.

I know that the farm is the priority. During haying season the activities may mean missing church services. You know the adage, "Make hay while the sun shines," and I would add, and when it's just right to bale. Weather is chiefly the deciding factor of the day's work. During busy seasons farmers cannot work by the clock and must be flexible. Farm wives too. In fact that is our farm motto. I plan meals that can be ready at 11 a.m. and hold nicely until 1 p.m., even knowing that I might be called at the last minute for a meal in the field. Since many recipes are not conducive to picnic-type eating, I have a back-up plan in my head, as well as my refrigerator.

In short, my job is that of a traditional farm wife, which is a support system for the family and the farm.❖