Monday, March 28, 2011

Lessons from the farm

If you read my blog you may see that I kind of like to play in the dirt and I like to can and do various things like that.  And it is true - I like to do those things now.  But there was a time when I did not want anything to do with gardening or a farm house or land.  You may have read my Lessons of the Shoe post.  Well, that incident happened on a farm.

Let me back up.  Before my husband and I were married we were trying to decide where we would live.  I always assumed it would be a nice little cozy, new apartment where all you had to do was keep it clean and take the trash to the dumpster.  Those were your only responsibilities.  You had heat and air conditioning and of course cable.  It would almost be like staying in a hotel only we would live there.  Then something happened.  It was New Year's Eve - six months before we were to get married.  My husband's grandmother had fallen and was hurt.  She had to be hospitalized and then her children had to decide what to do with her because she was getting a little senile and she had been living alone at her farm house.

The kids decided to put her in a permanent care facility.  Now, the farmhouse was empty, but they did not want to sell it so they came to us with an idea.  They asked us if we wanted to rent it for a very cheap rate.  I could tell my husband was beyond thrilled about this idea after all this farm held very good memories for him and it was cheap rent.  I wasn't so sure because I had envisioned living in my cute little apartment close to the grocery store and close to movies and shopping.

The farmhouse was 20 minutes from town and there was no air conditioning and no cable and well, I had not lived without cable since I was 7 and I had never lived without air conditioning, yep I was a little spoiled.  I could see how excited my husband was and we were pretty poor when we first were married so the cheap rent won us over.  I finally agreed to it.  I mean, what could go wrong?  I was going to be married to the cutest boy I knew and I would have my own little house complete with a root cellar, a barn, a shop and an old chicken house (today I would be in heaven!).

Well, we were married in July and that was a hot, hot summer so after our short honeymoon we moved into the farmhouse.  Let me just be clear, I honestly had no idea what I was doing.  I did not know how to care for a home let alone a husband.  It kills me now how we spend so much time and money planning our wedding day (one day!) and very little time learning homemaking skills to live out a good marriage which will last a lifetime.

So being the spoiled girl I was, I was not prepared to cook meals in a very hot kitchen and I was not prepared to watch 3 channels on an old TV that came in a little fuzzy.  And I was not prepared to not be able to run to town anytime I wanted to.  I was not prepared for the amount of spiders and bugs that called our house their home.  I was not a fan of bugs of any sort.  I also was not prepared for the amount of mice we would have when the fields around us were plowed.  I was not prepared for the small tree frogs that seem to come into the house at the most unexpected times - like when I was using the bathroom or when I was closing the bedroom window for the night.

I mean I guess I expected some spiders but I really did not expect to be living with frogs.  Ants were also abundant in my kitchen.  They just wanted to be everywhere.  And the quietness at night - chirp, chirp, chirp - you could hear crickets from miles around and you could hear them in our bedroom because they were there too.   Can you tell I never really lived in the country?

During this time my husband was in the National Guard so he was gone at least one weekend a month and I really didn't have any married friends at the time.  All of my girlfriends were mostly single and it was hard to mesh those two worlds.

So to say I was lonely would have been the understatement of the year.  I was lonely and hot and cranky and I hadn't been able to watch cable news (I was addicted to Fox news).  I had no idea how to make a menu, budget my grocery money and I barely knew how to cook.  All of my family were 500 miles away and I didn't want to let them know how badly I was doing at this whole marriage/wife thing.  My in-laws were very sweet and helpful but I did not feel like I could tell them anything because it really seemed ungrateful of me.  I needed help but I didn't even know what help I needed or where to start.

It was a very rough summer and it wasn't going to get better, at least not until it got worse.

More to come  . . .

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