Friday, May 21, 2010

It's a Man's World

Rain is so nice when you can sleep in till 7 and not have to worry about soaking wet chickens that need to be fed three times a day.

What a strange year this has been so far - last November I hadn't even heard of Joel Salatin, and by January I had read every single one of his books.

I've been to more ag stores, farm stores, feed stores, hatcheries, dairy farms and hay fields than I can count, made more phone calls to complete strangers than in my prior 19 years of existence, and had more, um, awkward situations than I know what to do with ;)

Farming: it's a strange path I have chosen and God is blessing the work, as I don't have the strength to do it otherwise. BUT - it is a man's world, and a quiet girl jest don't fit in real well.

For instance...

There was the time I visited Marion Ag. and bought some of their rock phosphate - timidly I asked the big foreman, "is this soft rock phosphate?". He gives me THE LOOK (what sort of crazy question is that?), leans over to the pile of rock to feel it and asks incredulously, "soft rock?"

Then there was another time I made the mistake of wearing a pretty skirt in an ag. store and got called a princess, told I had beautiful brown eyes, and was given a cap with the store logo - helpful for keeping off the sun as my face certainly needed some cooling afterwards.

And then there is the employee who is single - after I visited the store several times for odds and ends, he asked, "oh, does your husband work off the farm?" I answered, "I'm not married" and he promptly introduced himself and shared his life and situation details. Hmm.

The opposite end of the spectrum is the time I needed to purchase some T-posts and poly fencing for our portable MI grazing system. When I mentioned the size of posts needed (pretty lightweight), the gals at the counter gave me THE LOOK and said, "you think that will work for cows? You've got to be crazy" When I timidly suggested that I had used exactly the same size posts and same type of wire for a full month prior with no cow escapes, they kept saying, "still won't work for cattle." I mentioned again, timidly, "I just have two Jerseys" - turns out the gal at the counter raises close to a hundred head of Angus. Go figure. They still wouldn't believe me ;)

I drive to the load-out dock to pick up the posts and the young guy gives me THE LOOK (do you realize how unutterably condescending THE LOOK is? Drives me crazy.), asks, "you think you're going to get all those posts into that car?" I tried to nonchalantly shrug, "if you can't fit them all in, I'll make an extra trip". After a few more comments along the same lines, the guy told me I was brave (or stupid, is more like what he must have been thinking), and all the posts were loaded and brought home safely.

In spite of these few oddballs, most of the folks who work at these places are really nice, and even let me help load those fifty pound feed bags. I've got to say the employees at Concentrates are the best ones I've met, helpful, kind, and genuinely desire to know me by name and hear about the farm projects.

I don't mind the fact that I don't fit in. I'd rather not even be in charge of these projects, if someone else in my family would step up to the plate. But I can think of nothing more wonderful than working outside where God's creation is in full array, growing hale and hearty for His service, learning about life and how I need to change into Christ's image, sharing how He has changed my life with the people I come in contact with, watching new life come into the world, and seeing His creatures fulfilling their roles in comfort and peace - neither idolized nor abused. The random cow chase just adds flavor to the full meal ;)

What about you? Are you where God wants you to be?


King's child said...

ROTFL!! You should share your adventures more often! Hast thou had any more conversations with the single employee at the ag. store? ;D Just kidding!

Shucks, I love wearing a skirt into farm stores. It always brings a good chuckle for later.... More often than not I get the "What-century-are-you-from"? look. It always cracks me up when I'm standing in line for 50 lbs. of grain, wearing a skirt and my hair is in a bun; while behind me is a weathered rancher, who can't seem to figure out what my deal is. ;)

Tell Mattie and Janie I said hi! :D


Brian said...

Haha, yep, it sure can be interesting. ;)

It helps if you act like you know what you're talking about, and not unsure.

Garden of Glory said...

Who says I know what I'm talking about? :P And who says I can act out anything? Just kidding, I'm honestly gettin' better at acting confident, but some people jest don't know what to make of a girl like me - confident or otherwise.

Caitlyn, I'm avoiding that particular farm store like the plague ;)

Christi said...

Em, that is so funny... *laughing*

Say hi to Jani and Mattie for me too :)

The Front said...

Next time you visit that ag store, bring an intimidating brother along. Six-foot Josh should do the trick...