Growing up, I watched my parents as they supported each other through the years – through the droughts, and rains and threat of late spring frosts. I learned a lot from them, about how to deal with the stress of whatever season we were in.
Now that I’m grown, I take all of those lessons and memories from my childhood and apply them to my marriage. I can’t say I have a favorite season. All of them have perks I'm fond of.
However, there's just something about spring that makes me excited when I think about it. When spring hits, I break out some of my “farmer's wife skills” – encouragement, flexibility and optimism.
Flexibility is a must when it comes to eating
I love to cook. But during spring, my cooking skills usually get put away for a rainy day. I never know if Mike will need help with something or if I'll get busy helping him and not have time to make a meal.
My usual supper menu plan for the week goes out the window during spring. It's easier to make “quickie” meals than to try to plan and prepare a home-cooked meal. What's a quickie meal?
- Anything that can be made (or bought) quickly at the last minute.
- Can it easily be transported to the field? Nothing beats a home cooked meal, but they aren't always practical when you want to transport them or eat in a hurry.
- I know that Mike wants something simple and easy to eat in the tractor – usually with one hand – while driving. My main picks are pizza, hoagies and sandwiches.
What can I make quickly on the rare occasion that he decides at the last minute to come home and eat? Spaghetti, frozen pizza, chicken fingers, pancakes and eggs work best. I stock up on them when planting season hits!
Be an expert at being extremely positive
It starts when Mike starts to get that first “itch” to do field work. This year, spring was late and frustrations were running high.
Almost every day, I find myself saying things like: “You can’t rush Mother Nature. The weather will change eventually. Just think of all the little things you can get caught up on while we wait!” and “Hey! At least the fields are just wet, they could be flooded.”
Then there's: "Remember it could always be worse. Things are looking pretty good right now, considering. Everything is going to be ok.”
My favorite is: “Quite worrying. You’re going to get everything done in time. You can’t control the weather so we just have to deal with what we're given."
I may be having some of the same worries that Mike has. But I try to put them aside and do my best to bring out the positive side for both of us.
Hard to do sometimes, but . . .
When the positive things I say take stress away – even if only for a little while – and I see that smile, I know it's the thing to do. When I pull into a field with food in tow and get a big wave, it amazes me that something so simple can give me such joy.
And when Mike says: “You were right. Everything is working out. Thank you.”; that just makes it all worthwhile. Being a farmer’s wife isn’t easy; it's rewarding.
The Reskovacs farm near Uniontown, Pa. Read their "Two Hearts, One Harvest" columns in American Agriculturist.
This opinion is not necessarily that of FarmProgress.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.