I am the fancy farmer lady on this farm. Being a fancy farmer does not mean that you farm in heels or diamonds. It does not mean that my hair is done up or that my nails are always painted. It doesn’t even mean that I wear make up. Being the fancy farmer means that everything I do, I do to the best of my ability.
Even when I’m digging in the garden.
Even when I am assisting in the yucky part of delivering baby animals.
Even when I am cleaning up all of the poop.
The Pastor is sometimes the brains of the operation.
The Pastor and I both grew up in the suburbs and both had grandparents that owned farms. The Pastor’s grandmother was widowed at a young age and managed to raise five children by herself on the farm. Everyone pitched in and worked hard. This included The Pastor when he was growing up. The Pastor learned a lot about farming.
My grandfather was a successful farmer who also had five kids. My grandfather also had a good sense of humor and a soft spot for his granddaughters. I was not required to pitch in and work hard. As a matter of fact, my only real childhood farming experience was the time my grandfather decided it would be funny to have me (age 6 or so) ride a cow. He put a blanket on the back of the cow and threw me up on its back. The cow, not thinking little girls riding cows was at all funny, bucked me off and tried to gore my grandfather. This resulted in the one and only time I ever heard my sweet, soft spoken grandmother swear. I learned a lot about humor and swearing. Not so much about farming.
This means that when we do a major project like fencing, The Pastor is in charge and I have to just trust him.
Fencing day started after church today. We all put on our least fancy clothes and headed out to the field. There were basically two parts to our fencing job. The first was to take down the old electric fencing that had previously been used for someone’s cattle. The next step was to put up the new super fancy goat proof fencing. Goats can’t be contained with electric fencing because goats think that electrical shocks are fun.
My first job was simply to take the wire from the old electric fence and roll it into a nice round wreath shape. Easy peasy, right?
Imagine you have a giant slinky. Now imagine you have to unroll it and then reroll it up backwards. Rolling up electric fencing is a lot like that. I wanted it to be neat and tidy. The fencing wire wanted to sproing up and smack me in the face. The fencing was winning.
After quite a while of wrestling with the stuff, I did one of two things. I either gently set down my roll of fencing wire and said something deep and meaningful, or I surprised my entire family by being able to throw a large amount of wire a really long distance while screaming a string of words that would make a sailor blush. I’ll just let you guess which one it was.
It was at this point that I realized a very important historical fact. Once upon a time there were no fences. People who had animals would employ highly skilled shepherds or cowboys to keep track of their livestock. These men loved their jobs and were good at it. Then, one day, Satan looked at these guys and felt a little angry, what with shepherds playing such an important roll in the birth of our savior. Satan thought “I know what I’ll do! I’ll create electric fencing! That way all of the shepherds and cowboys will lose their jobs!”
People totally bought into the idea of electric fencing, as we do with most of Satan’s lies, and soon all of the cowboys and shepherds had to find new jobs in the fields like telemarketing and customer service.
Some of them were, understandably, a little bitter.
Upon this realization, I started to tell this fencing exactly where it could go.
The Pastor decided he had better intervene. “Look, Snarky! I brought you something!” He said.
“Chocolate and tequila?” I asked “Cause that’s kind of the place I’m at right now.”
“No,” he said patiently “I brought you some zip ties!”
Now I am a pretty simple woman. I don’t own a lot of jewelry, I don’t wear a lot of makeup, and I own maybe four pairs of shoes. As simple as I am, not even I could get as excited about zip ties as The Pastor was.
I just glared at him.
“Look!” he exclaimed. “You can use two zip ties to hold the wire down. All you have to do is wrap one zip tie around each side of your circle! Now it can’t sproing up and hit you in the face! Here, I’ll leave the package with you in case you need another one.”
The Pastor knows a lot about farming. Soon I was finished. I proudly brought my roll of 400 feet of wire to The Pastor. I was pretty sure I had just accomplished a major farming achievement.
The Pastor just looked at me confused. He was probably confused as to how I could be so beautiful and such an amazing farmer at the same time.
“What do you have there?” he asked
“I rolled up all the wire!” I answered proudly. “Look! I even kept it in a perfect circle!”
“Wow!” he answered “I only expected you to use one or two more zip ties, but you… How many of those things did you use?”
“Sixty four.” I declared proudly.
“Sixty four…” he repeated “on four hundred feet of fencing.”
“Yup.” (yup is a farmer word. It means yes.)
“Oh! You know what? I forgot to tell you about the fanciest farmer rule!” he suddenly exclaimed. “On most real farms, the fanciest farmer runs to the store and buys special drinks like beer and soda pop while the rest of the crew finishes the fencing! You had better get on that!” Then he also said something about saving a lot of money on zip ties.
I am the fanciest farmer. I do a lot of things. I shovel dirt. I clean up a whole lot of poop. I help with all of the gross parts of delivering baby animals. But on fencing day, I am in charge of snacks, and frankly, I am okay with that.