Saturday, January 5, 2013

Farm Girl Lessons . . .

I promised a post this week explaining the new blog design, the 1961 New Year's greeting, and the comments about a shift in focus.  Unfortunately, I've had the flu since New Year's Day and I have been unable to focus on much of anything except Alka-Seltzer Plus, blankets and bad day-time tv.  However, I'm the road to recovery so that post will be up soon(ish).  In the mean time, I did have a short story I wanted to share.

I recently joined Mary Jane's Farm Girl Sisterhood.  I discovered Mary Janes Farm Magazine through Grit Magazine which I found through a friend of a friend of a friend on Twitter . . .  Whatever the path, I subscribed to the magazine and discovered the sisterhood - which is part of the upcoming post - but today I may have failed the first rite of initiation.

An old pickup is a staple at some point in most farm girls' lives (even if it's just for towing the boat, like ours.)  I rarely drive it except when the roads are impassable without 4-wheel-drive or I need to dispose of a dead coyote (have I shared that story?)  But, today Dave went out of town for a funeral and I stayed behind to starve my cold and feed my fever . . . or vice versa . . . and after four days in the house, I needed to get outside.  So I decided to make a quick run to town for a few groceries.  At this point, three things conspired against me: 1) The weather - melting snow has left our gravel roads messy so Dave's been driving the old pickup which means that  2) rather than being parked out by the shed as usual, it was parked in the driveway behind my car so that Dave could get his car out when he left. And 3) the dog!  I felt bad that I hadn't been able to take her on a walk recently and Dave hadn't been home to play with her, so I decided to let her ride along for at least some mental stimulation, if not physical.  So I drove the pick-up to town.

The pick-up no longer has a functioning gas gauge, which isn't a big deal - certainly not worth the money it would cost to replace.  We simply fill the tank, reset the trip odometer and monitor how many miles we've driven.  Piece of cake!  So, somewhere between the driveway and the grocery store, I dutifully glanced at the odometer and saw 265 miles.  "Hmmmm...." thought I, "I wonder how many miles this pickup can go on a tank."  I got an inkling when the odometer flipped to 267 and began to chug.  But I was only a mile or so from town.  Surely I could coax it into carrying me to a gas station.  

I coasted down the last hill to save fuel, rolled into town and turned down a side street - just in case I didn't make it, I wouldn't be in the middle of the highway.  That's when the odometer flipped to 268 and I knew EXACTLY how far that pickup will go on a tank of gas. Two hundred, sixty eight miles on the dot!  At that point you must coast into the handy parking lot of a Lutheran church, which just happens to be having some sort of activity on a Saturday afternoon.  Oh please, let it not be a funeral!  

Let me tell you ladies, no matter how many romance novels you read about knights in shining armor aboard faithful steeds, they can't compare to a man in a pickup with a 3-gallon gas can!  A friend answered my distress call and I was back on my way after only about 20 minutes of smiling weakly at well-dressed church-goers walking around the lady and her drooling dog, in the pickup blocking the sidewalk.

Farm girl grade card:  Self-sufficiency - F; Advance preparation - F; Problem solving - C; Friendships - A+


  1. You are too funny! Great story. I hope you feel better soon.

  2. I checked out the Farm Girl Sistershood; it looks like a fun thing to be part of. So sorry you were sick; I hear a lot of the country has flu outbreaks; guess you were one of the "lucky" ones to get the germs; do hope you feel better soon.

    What a day you had. I'm thinking you'll be mindful of miles in the truck from now on :) So glad someone was able to assist you and get you up and running again!


  3. LOL! Life is never dull is it? Hope you feel better soon! My mom is in the hospital with the flu.

  4. Lol - at least you made it into town and weren't stuck somewhere in between on a muddy road. Although, then you wouldn't have had anyone staring at you!

  5. I love your narrative style. I write our Christmas letter this way, it comes out very long, and my husband complains, "Just give 'em the facts". How fun would it have been for me to read if you had just said, "I ran out of gas after 268 miles"? Enjoyed your story. Clearly you like to write as much as read! Feel better soon. Writing, like quilting, is healing.

  6. Loved this post!! I'll bet Gab had a great time too!

  7. Good friends will pull you through anything!