Farmers: A rare breed

Published 6:22 am Friday, August 31, 2012

One of my farming neighbors stopped by the house the other day.

Just pulled up, cut the truck off and stepped out.

Common behavior here in the South.

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Reached in the back, took out a cold one, just to relax.

As he stepped up on the porch where I sat, taking off his cap, you could have wrung it out.

Said he had been up since before dawn, moving travelers, rolling hoses and laying pipe.

Just thought he would stop by on his way home to get a little shut-eye.

Said he hoped he woke up in time. Sure would hate to find a tractor and traveler combined.

We talked about the heat, the rain, the lack of it. The crops burning up in certain spots. Lord! We talked about a lot.

As he sat and talked, I could see the tired ease off.

I could see the hope behind his eyes. Each concern or complaint spoken with pride only a true farmer cannot hide.

Hope for a good rain. Hope the money would last. Hope the equipment would hold together.

Hope he would have enough money to pay “The Man”! So, maybe next year he could do it again.

Looking down at his hands, rubbing a spot, a cut most likely, he got as he fussed with a pump, a pipe, or pivot,

Might even have made him cuss.

Pondering, it would seem, over the old farmer’s past. Wondering if the new ones could last.

Wondering if they could win this hand,

Against the elements, the man, and the land,

Thinking with God’s help maybe they can.

As the conversation started to wane, he got up, put on his cap, turned with a smile and a wave, thinking again about the crop he is trying to save.

As I watched him drive off I thought, I’m glad I understand what it takes to get that can from the land into our hand.

My Daddy was a farming man.

So, Thank you all for what you do.

Your sore backs, cut hands, skeeter bites, gnat fights, sweat, tears, and yes, maybe even a few beers.

Because you are a rare breed indeed!

Jan Newberry