The first year of married life has come and gone, and now, hopeful for the many more to come! This week, Scott and I celebrated our one year anniversary. Folks aren’t joking when they say, “Time FLIES”! One year of life as a farmer’s wife, and one year of lessons learned. Let me share a few with you 🙂
- Over the years, I’ve binge-watched plenty of HGTV and have grown fond of the ever-popular farmhouse style. White and neutral tones flood our home. A year later, the term “farmhouse” to describe this style of interior decorating has me stumped. With the constant traffic of work boots and filthy hands from handling cattle, it’s become obvious that white is not at all cut out for the actual farmhouse style. Lesson learned.
- Scott once asked me if we ought to plant alfalfa for hay bales this year. Bring it on, why not? The seed was planted last fall and sprouted in the spring. Over time, the crop was ready for harvest. Then comes the moment you realize that bales are rolled at night… as in begin working at 10 p.m. and finished at 3 a.m. Another lesson learned.
- A home-grown vegetable garden has always been a dream of mine. Fresh squash, cucumbers and cantaloupe. A dietitian’s dream. Scott was on board with my plans and even built raised beds, a real fancy garden! He spread soil and, of course, a little fertilizer. I understand now that a “little” is an BIG understatement. The dozens of dried clumps of cow manure (that would typically cover over half an acre of pasture) may have been a little overkill for the two 4’x4′ garden beds we have in the yard. That puts a little damper on the term “fresh vegetables”, especially when they begin growing in shapes and colors I’ve never seen that vegetable in before. Another lesson learned.
- On the note of gardens and our yard and such, a farmer’s most prized accessory– the rain gauge. Our yard happens to be home to two, one for the front and one for the back (because cloud coverage and rainfall may differ over 100 ft? I’m not sure). Either way, dumping the gauge before Scott’s read it as a good ol’ fashioned morning prank is not as funny as you’d think. For those of you having a mild panic attack at that thought, yes, I made a mental note of the reading for him. Still doesn’t change how NOT funny it was. Another lesson learned.
- My love language happens to be quality time. Quality time was redefined over this last year to include, but is not limited to, plenty of tractor time (which I love). The pieces of farm equipment that were foreign to me only a few short years ago now have my permanent indention on the passenger seat. Another lesson learned.
- With a bit of a Type A personality, I tend to love plans. Not only is my monthly calendar organized, but also, my daily–complete with a to-do list (it’s okay to cringe a little). Flexibility has never been my strong suite, so imagine my surprise when I have supper hot and ready for 6:30 p.m. and Scott’s chair at the kitchen table is empty. Unfortunately, the farm isn’t always able to stick to my plans. Another lesson learned.
- The radio, a previous companion of mine during long hours on the road, has certain stations it WILL play at certain times. This includes Farm Talk Radio, Kansas City Royal’s baseball games, the Market Report and all pre- or post-game talks for Kansas State University. This is non-negotiable. Another lesson learned.
- Tater Tot Casserole. If you are like me, this would mean nothing. If you are like Scott, you’d have a pile of drool hanging from the corner of your mouth by now. Luckily, this was a recipe I could learn quickly to keep a happy husband. Ground beef–French onion seasoning–cream of mushroom soup–frozen tots–shredded cheese. Nailed it. Another lesson learned.
- Yes, the tractor does have brakes; however, the farmer is only willing to use those brakes a limited number of times. We only have so much daylight! Plan your tractor rides and meals accordingly. Another lesson learned.
- I was raised to be a strong, independent woman. This may have something to do with being the youngest of three girls, and my dad never having a son to teach the handy-man way of life to. A year later though, I now understand the importance of being vulnerable enough to ask for help. Faith, family and friends are essential in the life of a farmer’s wife. Extra thankful for all three! Another lesson learned.
Not a lesson learned, but something I’ve known for awhile now. I am married to an incredible man. Between the long hours at the farm, he still walks into our home every day with the biggest grin and brightest eyes. His perseverance through the tough times astounds me, driven by hope and a trusting faith. Not a man of all too many words, he still gives a listening ear and has a willingness to learn. First a son, next a farmer, then a husband, and now, A DAD.
Lots of adventures ahead! Baby Stroberg is expected in September 2018. Follow along with our growing farm family for year two!