Wednesday, September 7, 2011

BACK ON THE FARM; part 3; By A Farm Woman Who Went Back; 1930

My husband was not happy in town. He took an insurance adjustor—a dandyfied looking personage who winced at the sight of a hog lot—into the country one day to settle a lightning loss.

“Lord!” ejaculated the immaculate one, trying, unsuccessfully, to pick his way through mush to the busy farmer. “If there's one thing I hate about the insurance business it's wading through manure.”

I can imagine my better half as he laughed at that. “That's what I like about my job. If it weren't for this occasional wading through manure I'd quit the insurance business tomorrow.

Inelegant as that remark may be, I like it. It revealed so plainly that his contact with farmers, while he sold insurance, was his only freedom. “That man ought to be back on the farm,” I assured myself for about the millionth time, as he repeated the story.

I have never known so perfect an example of resistlessness as my husband is. He takes each day as it comes and does the very best he can with it. He never gets angry, nor too discouraged to smile. After twenty years of living with him I marvel more and more at his sane, clear way of looking at life.

But he was different in town than he ever had been in the country. His vibrancy seemed to have gone out of him. He had to hound himself to his work. He was always coming home from his business trips into the country with “Saw a dandy farm today a fellow could fix up with a little money.” The only time he seemed his real self was when he fussed with the chickens he insisted on keeping, or worked in the garden.

“Funny,” he'd say, as he packed down the dirt—oh, so tenderly—around the tomato plants as I handed them to him, “how so many fellows want white collar jobs while I've got to work with my hands.”

Never could any one make a vegetable garden a spot of beauty as he did; smooth black ground, long even rows of growing green, all closed in with vines and rose trellises. How our gardens flourished!

The more I thought about it the less I could bear to have this uncommon man, the roots of whose heart went deep into the soil, so what common men were doing—struggling for a mere living—while I grew more and more certain that by doing the thing he loved to do the living would come.