After talking with a rice farmer a few days ago, he reminded me of the important part that “the other half of the team” plays in successfully running a farming operation. In his particular case, a rice farming operation. So, in sticking with the particulars, the other half of the team that we were discussing referred to rice farmers’ wives.
Many of these hard-working ladies participate directly in the fieldwork, such as running for parts or running the combine, for example. Others may take care of the bookkeeping and other paperwork related to the farm.
If not working directly in the field, a rice farmer’s wife is for sure taking care of business on the sidelines or in the background, if you will. She’s up just as early as her husband to fix breakfast and coffee and spend some time discussing what’s in store for the upcoming day. Most of the time she is probably multi-tasking, even while performing these activities.
Flip the bacon or sausage in the skillet, and while it is cooking, prepare the kids’ lunches for school, locate the missing shoe and braid your daughter’s hair. Once you’re out the door, she takes the kids to school or, if it’s summertime, takes them to the many activities and practices in which they are involved.
Meanwhile, still multi-tasking. Get back to the house to check on the lunches that she began preparing that morning while fixing breakfast, finding the lost shoe, braiding hair and discussing the upcoming day with you, etc. Load up lunch, drinks, utensils, napkins and head to the field to serve up the food at noon. Obviously, these are just a very few examples of the things that a rice farmer’s wife takes care of, but enough for you to get where I am coming from.
To say the least, without her love, energy and dedication, it would be a pretty tough row to hoe out on the farm.
On a lighter side, I ran across an item on the Internet that addressed a similar train of thought in a humorous way. It was a collection of thoughts that all began with, “You Might Be A Farmer’s Wife If….”
Following is a sampling of what I saw:
- If you call the implement dealer and he recognizes your voice.
- If your husband has ever used field equipment to maintain your yard.
- If you’ve ever washed your kids or the dishes with a pressure washer.
- If taking lunch to the field is as close as you get to a picnic.
- If the shopping list in your purse includes the sizes of filters, tires, chains, belts, lights, cables, spark plugs or shotgun shells.
- If you’ve ever called your husband to supper using a radio.
- If your husband says, “Can you help me for a few minutes?” and you know that might be anywhere from a few minutes to six hours.
- If “sharing a cab” has nothing to do with a taxi and everything to do with getting across the field.
These observations may sound familiar to almost any farmer’s wife, but I am wondering if there are specific observations that a RICE farmer’s wife would identify with. If you have any that you would like to submit, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to share them with our audience.
Good luck with the 2014 rice-growing season and give your wife a big kiss for all she does to make everything happen (and happen smoothly) both on the farm AND the home front!!