|The Good Life: A farm girl in my heart|
|March 28, 2013 Lisa Betz|
Growing up here, I always wanted to be a farm kid. The word farm meant grandpa and grandma, Sunday dinners after church, helping with irrigation, handing grandpa the tools he needed to fix the tractor, sitting in front of him on the motorcycle, catching kittens and playing with puppies, climbing trees, exploring the hills, finding pretty rocks, smelling the most beautiful roses, watching out for snakes, learning how to pound nails into 2x4s when grandpa had had enough of my chatter, and trying to make friends with the cows, which, ultimately I decided was a waste of time.
Of course, I wasn’t a real farm kid, and I knew this, but I always wanted to be one. Grandpa and grandma retired and started going to Texas for the winters the year I was born. They came back in the summers and grandpa helped Les Thompson on the farm for many years before he truly retired. My grandfather was very proud of his farm, and took excellent care of everything in his power.
According to my mother, who grew up on the farm, once a month there would be a clean-up day. On that day, everyone would put things away, make repairs to broken items, wash the vehicles and the equipment, and everything on the farm would be put aright, shipshape, where it belonged. This is why it was always so beautiful while grandpa farmed.
I remember when I was very young, we used to have an orchard with apple trees and other fruit. It was the most beautiful part of the farm. Later, after those trees died, the grasses in that area got very tall and weedy. My farm playmate was Clint, who lived on the farm with his parents, Les and Gloria, after my great-grandma Pansy sold out to them. Clint was about a year older than me, and sometimes he was ornery.
Looking back, he was probably just being a boy, but since I was an only child, I wasn’t used to that. He would tease me and tell me that the kitty my grandparents fed scraps to wasn’t really our kitty because we only fed it in the summer, and of course, this bothered me very much.
I have to laugh at it now, because it really was so silly. One day, Clint and I decided to “weed” the orchard. We put all our might into it and started yanking away. We were quite scared out of our britches when under one clump of weeds, we found a den of baby rattlers. That put an end to the weeding project.
Though I had farm experiences, I was never really a farm kid. When I moved to Kentucky after college, I was stunned to see a bag of beans from Mitchell, Neb. on the shelf at the restaurant I worked at. I called my uncle who farmed in Mitchell and told him about it in my excitable way. He wasn’t impressed and said, where did you think the beans went?
Now I own the farm. Last year was my first year learning the ropes of being a land owner. I am still not a farm kid, I don’t do the farming but I love the farm more than ever, and though I know I’m not a real farm girl, I’ll always be one in my heart.