Laugh Tracks in the Dust 10-4-10 | TheFencePost.com

Laugh Tracks in the Dust 10-4-10

Rural America is populated by a mix of old and young farmers and ranchers, or as I prefer to call them “experienced” and “gonna-get-experienced.” 

And, as I’ve personally progressed into the “very experienced” group, I want to share some ways that anyone can tell the two groups apart. 

So, here are sure-fire ways to know if you are in the “experienced” group with me: 

You can consider yourself “experienced” …

… when you don’t roll down your pickup window to spit because you can hit the hole in the floor board – even when it’s on the passenger side.

… when you get to town and realize you’ve seen more of what’s happening on both sides of the road than you’ve seen in the middle of the road.

… when you know to turn at the end of all your fields without interrupting your afternoon nap.

… when you can grease your combine in the dark – without a flashlight.

… when you don’t even take a look to see what’s wrong before you grab the can of WD40, pliers, a roll of duct tape, and a length of baling wire.

… when you have a bad chest cold and you just give yourself a good big dose from that bottle of Agri-cillin from that old dusty fridge in the barn.

… when you, as the senior member of the farm management team, always blame “that darn kid” for all the problems on the farm or ranch – and that darn kid just turned 50.

… when a city friend mentions hamburger and you think of the steer that broke his hip yesterday.

… when you get athlete’s foot from wearing gum boots, but you just consider it human foot-rot.

… when you turn the first calf heifers with the bull and dread the day your grand-daughter heads off to college.

… when time alone with your husband consists of bringing him lunch on the combine, or helping him haul big round bales.

… When your family members have their own sign language.

… When you see a discarded bath tub and automatically think “stock tank.”

… When you enjoy your second honeymoon in the living quarters in your horse trailer while parked at the state fair.

… When your very best dress clothes are either nearly new blue jeans or overalls.

… When you’d rather play cards with your grizzled old buddies than go to the field or gather cattle.

… When you insist on driving the air conditioned tractor or else you won’t help out.

… When suspenders are essential for keeping your britches from falling down around you ankles.

… When you become the “parts picker-upper” rather than your daughter-in-law.

… When you won’t walk anywhere when there’s a 4-wheeler within walking distance.

… When you intentionally pick the shortest horse with the longest stirrups on its saddle so you won’t need assistance in mounting up.

… When you’re the “water gate is out finder” and not the “water gate fixer-upper.”

… When you become the automatic “ag convention attendee” in your family because you’ll be missed the least.

… When you can’t see your boot toes without bending WAY over.

… When you are relegated to lawn mower duty and your grandson is promoted to tractor driver.

… When everyone in the family urges you to slow down and take more vacations.

… When you figger that some of the world’s greatest philosophers are Baxter Black, Jerry Palen’s Elmo and Flo, Lee Pitts, and hopefully Milo Yield.

***

Last week, I had to resort to high tech common sense to find my lost cell phone. I had the phone snapped – safely, I thought – into the top pocket of my overalls, but when I returned to the house, I soon realized my cell phone wuz missing.

I thought about what I’d done when outside and the list included picking up a few broken limbs, doing my chicken chores, picking tomatoes, radishes and okra, and digging sweet potatoes.

Of all those activities, I figgered I’d been standing on my head the most while digging those sweet taters. So, I had ol’ Nevah get her cell phone and we took the ATV to the sweet potato patch. 

When she rang my cell phone number, sure enuf, the well-known jingle came from under the stack of sweet potato vines. My cell phone wuz literally saved by the bell.

***

Enuf for this week, I’ll close with these wise words about gardening from Texas Bix Bender: “The best way to garden is to put on a wide-brimmed straw hat and some old clothes. And with a hoe in one hand and a cold drink in the other, tell somebody else where to dig.” 

Have a good ‘un.