“Boy, what a life you have!” the woman remarked.
I put the cap back on the syringe, and stuck it into the pocket on my coveralls. “Yep,” I replied, “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
The woman nodded her head, “I mean, really, you are lucky, because you have more time than most people do.”
“More time?” I suddenly realized where she was going with this. “I thought we all had the same allotted 24 hours?”
“Oh you know what I mean,” she said.
I raised an eyebrow.
“Well, you don’t have to go to work,” she said exasperatedly, “which gives you time that most people don’t have. Time that allows you to do crafts and projects or just whatever you want to do. Most people don’t have that, you know.”
I smiled a fake smile, “Well, speaking of time, I need to get back to vaccinating these sheep.”
“Yeah, I need to get some stuff taken care of, too,” she smiled. “After all, some of us have to work for a living!”
It was a beautiful day to work the animals. I kicked the mud off my Muck boots as I climbed back over the rickety fence. I really should fix that thing, I mumbled to myself. Good thing I have all the time in the world to do it.
So in all my free time — in between watching soaps and eating bonbons — I decided to write up a bonbon recipe for all the women in agriculture that “are really lucky” because they have “more time than most people do.”
My bonbon recipe
• Start with coffee. This is an important first step.
• Mix in something for breakfast. You can substitute coffee for this step if you choose.
• Brush your teeth. You can use coffee for this step as well. This is known as multi-tasking.
• The fuel filter on the tractor is back ordered, and the battery on the ATV is dead, so you pack hay to the animals by hand.
• Read the “to do” list you made last night and start on the first one.
• Before you complete the first item on your list, answer the phone to discover another tractor has broken down and the closest part is three hours away.
• Drink another cup of coffee. It’s going to be a long day. (Good thing farmers have more time than most people).
• Load up the kids. Bring their schoolwork along — may as well get their reading done on the drive.
• Six hours later, part in hand, it’s time to find some food for lunch.
• Gourmet, home-cooked, all natural sounds great, but everyone’s stomachs are growling, and the “to do” list hasn’t even been started on. So gourmet soup out of a can works. And coffee.
• Finally ready to climb in the tractor, where you will disc and play flash cards with the kids — at least until it’s too dark in the cab to see what 9x3 is.
• Upon arriving home, feed the animals, feed the kids, restart the washing machine (maybe if you’re lucky you’ll get it in the dryer this time).
• Make another “to do” list for tomorrow. Basically, just add a few more things to your existing list — as you never even checked off the first item. If you can, set your coffee pot for the next morning. A rancher friend once told me the reason she drinks so much coffee is because she’s too poor to buy alcohol.
• Sit down to pay bills and hear a loud commotion outside. There are sheep prancing on porch, which awakened the cats, which awakened the rooster, which awakened the hound — insert phone call — which has now awakened the neighbors.
• Drink coffee, sleep when you can, repeat every day. Slight variations may occur in different elevations, seasons or the type of agriculture you find yourself in.
The woman was right about one thing, though. I wouldn’t know what to do with a 40 hour work week.
Forget 9-5. Farmers and ranchers prefer 5-life.