Back to the Basics

Three hour plan ride. What do I do for three hours? How do I remedy my boredom in my two by one foot area that I paid far too much money for? I could read another Nicholas Sparks romance novel. You know the books. The one you want to read, not for the brilliant description that pulls you in with one sentence. No ladies, we pull that book off the shelf because Hotty Mchotty Liam Hemsworth is on the cover. Am I right or am I right?  Mr. Sparks knows exactly what he’s doing.

I could listen to my outdated playlists on iTunes. I think the last time I downloaded a song from iTunes was when I was a freshman in high school. JT, Garth, Katy Perry, Sir-Mix-A-Lot…….that one must of been a few years earlier. I was still trying to find myself. Hm.

Or I could sit here and people watch. Oh? you think that’s awkward? Strange eye contact with people within a three foot radius? No. Awkward is sitting next to Snore- Mix – A- Lot who just let air out of a place I can’t put on this PG blog.
Cool. I am five minutes in. The flight attendant with worse jokes than mine (I know I know, I just found out today there is an existence as well. I’m just as shocked as you are)  announces wi-fi availability while we are thirty thousand feet in the air.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know wifi during flights has been available for awhile now. But let’s just go there for minute.

What in heaven’s name did people do before wi-fi? I’ll tell you what they didn’t do. They didn’t get to sit in their two by one foot area with all these options. They sat. They sat in their thoughts or they struck up a conversation with the people around them. (Unless they snore….or pass gas. Those people usually had ear plugs and a donut pillow. )

Let me ask you this. Have you ever gone to a public outing with your grandparents? Do you recognize their ease of communication? Or what about their not so awkward encounters with acquaintances? Their ability to make weather sound interesting when talking with a complete stranger is note worthy.

Yeah looks like snow tonight. I may have to get my shovel out. Or maybe my snow blower. I actually just washed that off yesterday. My power washer is the best investment I’ve ever made. Have you been to the new Stop and Shop on the square?

[I don’t believe I’ve ever heard that exact conversation in my life… I’ve also never heard of a Stop & Shop…My example is ruined]  annnndddd here I am in the ditch again…

If you are a millennial such as myself, I bet you can’t remember a time without other options than just your ability to converse with those around you. I can’t. I don’t think I can recall a time in the last ten years that I didn’t pull my phone out when I was standing alone waiting on a coffee or waiting in line at the grocery store.

Let me rant for two paragraphs. Does our generation or anyone after us have a fighting chance to redeem this technology driven world? Have we completely lost site of personal interaction? Everything from communicating things as innocent as the weather and as difficult as a confrontation have become easier to do with the one inch letters on our cell phones or computers. (Or  if you’re my mom, your letters are three inches… Nothing says my eyes need a magnifying glass like blowing up the text on your phone so Grandpa can see if from across the living room) ((love you, Mom, please keep reading and supporting my hobby))

How did we get here? Will we continue down this path as email addicts and passive aggressive texters? Can we even get away from this new normal?

No. Why? Because it’s a part of our world, our jobs, our families, our hobbies. You can’t just give that up. And that’s okay.(Don’t get me wrong, if I could play Farris Buehler with my phone instead of school for a day, I’d do it in a heart beat)  But it’s okay that we are phone fanatics and email junkies. Technology has become so saturated into our every day lives that functioning without technology would almost not be possible. But let me tell you what else our generation has a chance to do. We get to be the generation to look at our kids and say:

“No, you can’t get a phone until you have a car. Now go play outside. ”

“You think binge watching tv is fun on a rainy day? You should try building a fort and playing Lava with the cushions”

Because we are going to want our kids to experience the fun and imaginative childhoods that we remember before a low battery light started to consume our lives.

They say what goes around comes around. Well, I can officially thank my grandparents and my parents for teaching me the art of self contentment. I can’t wait to teach our kids the same values and beliefs that you have given to me.

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Ameteur Hour

Here I go, down the aisle, to stand in front of the most handsome boy I’ve ever laid eyes on. He’s 6 feet tall, dirty blonde hair and blue eyes. I am marrying my prince farming. How did I get so lucky?

That was 3 months ago. Now I am sitting in a brand new, heated cattle barn office listening to a heifer struggle to deliver her very first calf. It is 10 degrees outside and 6:30 pm. Around 5 pm this evening, we had plans to go eat and enjoy a night out together as one of those newly married couples. (We are still in that cute honeymoon phase where we can’t get enough of each other…precious right?) Hold that thought…at 5:30 pm, my husband realized that one of his heifers was about to conceive what is promised to be a calf prodigy of the herd according to genetic history and the farmers almanac …you know the really hairy, sound and deep bodied types. Do I sound like I know what I am talking about?…..

Going into this marriage I knew there would be late night tractor rides, early mornings taking care of livestock and a cornucopias amount of dirty laundry. I was so excited to be the support system, the cheerleader and the comedic relief after a long day.  I thought I was prepared for what was ahead in my text book farmer’s wife life. I even had cute new coveralls to dress the part on these cold nights in the barn.

What I wasn’t prepared for, was the late nights of him in the tractor while I am sitting at the kitchen table by myself, with a new pork chop recipe I couldn’t wait to show him. Or the early Sunday mornings when we are supposed to take the Christmas lights down together, but he gets called away to feed.

{So … there I go… up the ladder…not scared of heights ….not me…not at all. Crap… this is high… look down… I have only climbed two steps.}

Or the days when there is not enough Shout stain remover in the world to get this stupid oil stain out of his jeans…

WHY DIDN’T YOU THINK TO PUT A GARBAGE BAG AROUND YOUR ENTIRE BODY BEFORE THE HOSE BLEW ON THAT SKID LOADER!!??

As I sit here, pondering these preconceived notions, trying to live up to the standards of a farmer’s wife, I realize there is so much more to this role than I could have imagined. The stakes are high, the risk is huge and the reward is unthinkable. Yes, I still get to be the cheerleader when he comes into this office after delivering a new heifer calf. I will always try to be the sunshine at home when the rain won’t quit in the fields and of course, my awful jokes will always make him smile. But I have so much more to learn.

So, for all the other new farmer’s wives out there who thought they had the storybook farm life figured out and you are feeling a little discouraged, keep scrubbing, keep cooking, and keep up the good humor. Because he notices and you are so important in his storybook. He may not say it today or tomorrow or even next week. But he’s thinking it! And on the next rainy day, I promise you’ll hear it from him. (If you don’t… maybe wait until it’s not pouring down rain and making a mess of his cattle lot).

Here I am now, 8 pm… Mom and baby are doing swell, Husband has cracked a cold one and I am sitting here in a heated barn office in pink coveralls…Crap Ashlee..you look ridiculous….What is this amateur hour?