Farm life is very different from my city friends’ lives. And it’s really hard to explain. Here are just a few struggles that I face that my city friends don’t know.
1. Mealtime is non-structured.
Mealtime can be a struggle. Since there is no such thing as an 8-5 job on the farm, your evening meal could be anywhere from 4 pm to 10 pm (or later?). Meals could range from “made from scratch” homemade meals to throwing a frozen processed bacon cheeseburger you just bought from Sam’s Club in the garage microwave. On the run meals–especially during the busy times. Oh wait, isn’t it almost always busy??
2. Dates take on a whole new meaning.
Farm life is hectic and dates can look different. It could mean a ride in the farm truck to pick up a tractor part located 90 miles away. Daytime dates are a real thing. Sometimes it’s just “let’s go to town for an ice cream cone” or “just a walk down your gravel road so you can catch up on the day.” You just make the best of it and take them when you can.
3. You will know more about ‘farm things” than you ever wanted to know.
And some of it may even make sense–eventually. There is no shortage of farm discussion points. Some days, after a 20 minute one-side conversation, I give him the “dead stare” like really, you think I know what you are talking about? Or do I really need to know that? Like the time he tells me in great detail how he fixed the baffles on the hog barn. Or taking apart the tractor to fix the hydraulic hoses. He knows immediately when I give him that look that he probably has crossed the line and he is boring me to tears and have no idea what he is talking about.
4. Farm husbands are not always in tune with pop culture.
Your kids love the fact that dad isn’t always up on the latest fad. Case in point. Years ago when our daughters were young, Hardees sold California Raisin posable figures. Being the cheap mom I was, I never bought into those fads. One day, my husband needed to pick up supper using the drive-through (probably because he either smelled or was dirty) at Hardees. The order taker asked my husband if he wanted Raisins. He yelled back to the girls and asked them if they wanted Raisins. Here is where the “cluelessness” comes in. My husband, thinking he is ordering cookies, though he was asked if he wanted raisins in them. The girls, who are NOT clueless, knew exactly what was being asked. I am sure they looked at each other and thought, yes, we have one over dad. Of course, they wanted Raisins! So, yes, they came home with (California) Raisins and my husband had no idea why they were part of the order. To this day, it still makes us laugh.
5. The Sights, The Sounds, The Smell
When we have people visit from “the city” we know our environment is different than what they are used to. We have hog barns on the same place that we live. Maybe it’s because I am used to it, but there are only a few days of the year that I don’t open my windows because of the smell. To my city counterparts, I am sure the faintest smell is noticeable. But the sights and the sounds are undeniably the best. To see wildlife such as rabbits, squirrels, pheasants, coyotes (well maybe not coyotes), deer, opossum, and the occasional skunk scurrying across the farm, enjoying nighttime campfires, and to hear the constant bird chirpings in the early morn, frogs croaking in the distance, the scuttling of squirrels scampering and the distress call of the killdeer when you come too close to her nest. It. just. doesn’t. get. better.
Even though our life on the farm is different than my city friends and the struggles are real, we wouldn’t trade it for anything else. Life isn’t about the big things, it is the little things. And I have learned to appreciate and enjoy the little things in life.