“I think we should plant some timothy grass for next year,” my husband said one morning. “I’ve been looking at the market prices and talking to some people, and I think that the north field would be a good one for it.”
He then showed me some figures he’d jotted down, and all the reasons why it would be a good idea.
“OK,” I nodded in agreement, while trying to get the tea pot on the stove with a baby hanging off my leg and the cat screeching to be let out and the dog barking to come in.
“See these figures?” he asked, pushing more information across the table towards me, so I glanced at them. “I think this would pencil out a lot better than the alfalfa that’s planted there now.”
I nodded, trying to unload the dishwasher while keeping the hanging baby on my leg away from the shiny dishes. Every once in a while I’d get too close and he’d “help” by plucking a dish out of the drainer and dropping it on the floor.
“But then again,” my husband was saying, “we could maybe grow corn in that field...” He started furiously scratching in his notebook.
“Momma, we need to eat breakfast so we can be filled up like squirrels,” my son said.
I had to smile. He’s been learning metaphors and similes in school, and our life has become one bizarre simile after another.
The tea pot whistled.
“The French toast will be done in a minute,” I answered him. “Do you want some tea while it’s cooking?”
He nodded, and I poured three mugs of hot chai. I set one in front of my son and started sipping on another one.
“Are you going to drink both of those cups? Or are you going to share?” my husband bantered, finally taking a moment to look up from his crop planning.
“You know my caffeine intake is only recreational on Sunday. The rest of the week it’s medicinal,” I exclaim, grudgingly passing him the second mug of tea. He rolled his eyes at me, and took a big sip before delving back into his world of commodities and pricing.
“I think we could really make it work,” he said.
“So let’s plant some timothy,” I agreed.
“No, not timothy. I think that Austrian peas would be really successful. It would allow...” his voice faded into the cacophony of our home as the cat was now yowling to come back in and the dog was barking to go out. “...more successful than barley...” he was saying. Sometimes I think successful is just getting the laundry out of the washing machine before mildew sets in.
“Yes, successful.” I nodded.
I reached for my cup of tea — it was empty. How? When? I poured myself another mug. I don’t drink that much, I told myself. I only consume tea on days that start with T: Tuesday, Thursday, Today, Tomorrow, Thaturday, Thunday. My reverie was broken with loud bagpipe music coming out of my son’s room.
“Momma, don’t you think that is a sad song? Sad, like when you are out of cookies...”
“Well? What do you think?” my husband was asking.
“Uh, huh, Austrian peas — sounds good to me.”
“Austrian peas?” my husband questioned. “I was talking about growing pumpkins.”
“Yes, I was thinking that...” he went on showing me more scribbles in his notebook. The cat started yowling again at the door. Cats don’t believe in the adage “When life shuts a door, a window opens.” No. The cat’s philosophy is “When life shuts a door, open it again. It’s a door. That’s how they work!”
“Or barley? What do you think of barley?” my husband asked again.
“I don’t know, I don’t care! Just pick something and plant it. Right or wrong. Make a decision and stick with it! The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision!”
My husband looked up surprised, then replied, “I’ll remember that next time you’re shoe shopping.”
Brianna Walker is an independent columnist who writes about the Farmer’s Fate for the Blue Mountain Eagle.