Saturday, December 1, 2012

Behind Every Good Farmer...

Several years ago our little family was holidaying in Maleny. We were enjoying the lovely weather from the verandah of our hotel room, when Miss (then) Four struck up a conversation with the man next door, who was also outside enjoying the weather with his wife.

"How old are you?" Miss Four asked him innocently.
"I'm 35." He replied. "What about you?"
"I'm 4. And how old is your mother?" She continued, to peals of laughter from him and not that much laughter from his wife.

Or the time that Miss Five asked her ninety-something year old great granny if she was 'nearly dead', to which great granny replied 'one foot in the door my dear!', before bursting into a giggle.

I write things like this down all the time. I blog about them and I share these little anecdotes online for my friends and family. I want people to remember them, and I want to look back and laugh at all the funny little things my children said and did, so that I don't look back in years to come and wish that I had.

I also take photos. My middle child once drew all over our new cream bed sheets with a black marker pen. I was furious, but still managed to stay level headed enough to take photos, before dragging her in to our room and hauling her over hot coals for it! I knew that one day I would laugh about it. Definitely not on that day, but one day nonetheless.

"Am I going to be in trouble for this?"

"Well... this one over here is..."

"And this one over here is..."
Oh wait... number three has done this before as well...
Yes... I mean you...

Because I take the photos, I am rarely in any myself. Unless I beg someone to take a new facebook profile pic for me, I will always be the mysterious photo taker behind the lens. Thankfully I have a group of social networkers around me who ensure I have the occasional photo taken too.

It seems to be (more often than not) the women who are set on making and recording memories of their family. The Farmer could tell you how much rainfall we've had over the last three years, and what the price of wool is doing this year compared to five years ago, but will struggle to remember birthdays, anniversaries and other important family information. He's not being slack, it's just that his brain prioritises things differently to mine.

In rural communities, it is the women who do the lion's share of the fundraising too. The school P and C, the Kindy parent group, the CWA, the show society; whilst all have men who will help out (and who do a fantastic job I might add), it is the women who seem to keep things flowing, and who ensure that the organisation stays on track. The men are more hands on when it comes to getting things done, whereas the women seem to stick to deadlines and offer gentle reminders, and tend to the minor details; the essential details.

I never cease to be amazed by women who manage to keep their house and families running, and then they either go to work or join a bunch of committees to pour any remaining time and energy into! One minute these women are out playing with children and making lunches and washing clothes, and the next they are cooking sausages on a BBQ for a school fete, and baking scones and cakes for the Christmas in the park.

I have been the driving force behind many of The Farmer's ventures, and find that it often ends with me in a crying heap on the floor. I often wonder if it's easier to hide from committees if you live in a city? And then in the next breath I remember that without women like me to offer some community spirit, energy and effort, small communities become a very quiet place indeed. And so it is that we keep going with our baking, catering, quiz nights, tuckshop duties, show committee roles, and stalls. And really, if it means we all get to hang out and bask in the glory of female company with like-minded women, how bad can it really be?

I once read that 'behind every good farmer, is a wife who works in town.'

But I also believe that behind every good farmer is an even better wife, regardless of where she is.

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1 comment:

  1. LOVE THIS - and it is just as true here in the United States!
    I am never in any pictures and replace wool prices with corn, soybeans & hog prices and keep in the rainfall and you just described my hubs too!!!!


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