How to recognize a farmer/rancher
Reports from rural real estate agents in the Fly-Over Nation indicate that lots of urbanites from such western states as California, Oregon, Washington are seeking a quieter lifestyle by purchasing farms and “farmettes” in rural America.
That got me to thinking that relocating urbanites likely face a bit of culture shock after they arrive. I’m sure they will want to fit into the farming/ranching scene, so, in order to be helpful, I’m putting together a short list of things I call — “How to recognize a farmer/rancher.” Here’s my list.
• Your dog rides in your truck more than your wife — that’s okay with you.
• You wave at every vehicle whether you know the occupants or not. It’s called being country friendly.
• You always look when a vehicle passes your farmstead — day or night. Chances are good you know the person.
• You have convinced your wife that an overnight, out-of-state trip after equipment parts or a new bull or a new colt is an actual vacation.
• You have specific hats worn to farm sales, livestock auctions, customer appreciation meals, church, when mowing the lawn.
• You have had to wash off in the back yard with a garden hose before your wife will let you in the house.
• You have never willingly thrown away an empty 5-gallon bucket.
• You have used baling wire to attach a license plate to a vehicle, well, you have used baling wire to fix about anything you own.
• You have used a chain saw in remodeling your house.
• You can remember fertilizer rate, seeding rate, herbicide rate, and yield on a farm you rented years ago, but cannot recall wife’s birthday and dress size.
• You have fibbed to a mechanic about how often you greased a piece of equipment with a dry bearing.
• You have fibbed to your veterinarian about how long a sick critter has been sick.
• In an emergency, you have used a velvet weed leaf as toilet paper.
• You have driven into the ditch while examining your neighbors’ crops.
• You have “borrowed” gravel from the country road to fill potholes in your driveway.
• You have buried a dog and cried like a baby.
• You have used a tractor front-end loader as scaffolding for roof repairs.
• You have used your castrating knife to slice and eat apples — but you always wipe the blade on your pants leg first.
• And, finally, you never complain about outdoor odors.
Ol’ Nevah and I celebrated our 57th wedding anniversary on Aug. 16. For a short excursion, we went to Wichita where we redeemed a $50 gift certificate to an upscale oriental restaurant.
The food wuz good, but, as my ol’ pappy Czar E. Yield used to say, “It was a huckleberry above my persimmon.” I knew I wuz eating out of my league when we wuz required to scan a bar code with a cell phone to read the menu in the phone’s screen. Nevah finally got hers to work. Mine never did. Bottom line, as I mentioned, the food wuz good — mine wuz Korean steak — but we ended up spending $30 more than our gift certificate. I’m sure the wait staff were amused at our quaintness.
I felt more at home shopping at a famous outdoors store for fishing stuff afterwards and she felt more at home shopping in a big fabric store.
I really felt totally at home when I pulled into our driveway.
This has been a sad week for me on several fronts. First, the unknown varmint that’s killing my hens apparently likes white meat. It’s only killed two white hens and it’s pretty brazen about it — attacking both in the middle of a hot afternoon. It’ll make a mistake soon I’m hoping.
Second sad thing. One of my all-time favorite country music stars, Tom T. Hall, died this week. “The Storyteller” could write and sing the best lyrics ever. Some of my favorite songs of Tom T’s are: “The Beautiful River of Life,” “I Love,” “Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine,” “Faster Horses,” “The Little Lady Preacher,” and “Me and Jesus.” RIP Tom. I’ll play your songs as long as I can hear them.
The saddest part of the week wuz the passing of my great friend, Lon. G. Horner, after a long debilitating decline. We spent a lot of fun hours playing cards, fishing, and cussing and discussing politics. He loved his Longhorn cattle and the cattle, in turn, did a good job taking care of him down through the years.
I can honestly say one of the worst parts of getting old is outliving your good friends and having to say that final good-bye as they head down their new trail.
Words of wisdom for the week: “Good friends are like gold: rare, reliable, beautiful and valuable.”
Have a good ‘un.
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