Driving through Omaha last week, of course smack dab in the middle of rush hour…Scared the living crap out of me! I had mom and Bubba keeping an eye out on whether or not I had room to change lanes, mom kept saying I was doing fine and to stop worrying and Bubba was freaking out and kept asking if I was okay. Several times I said that next time I have to drive through Omaha I was going to have to write FARMER DRIVER on the back window! On the way back home we dropped off the interstate at Lincoln and took the back roads home, added an hour to the drive BUT it was way less stressful!
Has made me realize just how glad I am that I grew up on a farm in the middle of no where! This Old Girl is just not up to the city thing. Possibly a little set in my ways?
I’ve thought about just how blessed I was to grow up on our farm, surrounded by a great family and extended family. We had fields surrounding our home where we could roam and we had parents who allowed us to roam. How they didn’t go crazy with worry when I’d disappear for hours while out riding my horse or just out walking the fence lines of the fields, I’ll ever know. There were no cell phones, no gadgets to listen to music, it was just me and the world!
I remember summer days lasting forever. We were allowed to sleep until we woke up on our own, mom was a stay at home mom, so we basically only had to keep our rooms picked up, she made out beds and did any major cleaning. Definitely a different time!
Of course we didn’t have cable or satellite tv, we weren’t allowed to sit around and watch tv. We could watch late afternoon kids programming on the local channels, we didn’t schedule our activities around those shows either, we watched only on occasion during the summer and most school days when we got off the bus and were having our after school snack.
My brother and I lived outside, my sister was born a town girl, she didn’t venture outside too often.
I started riding horses alone in the first grade when my dad bought a green broke black horse at the cattle sale. Charlie was my first taste of freedom, we could and just be. He could take me anywhere in the world I wanted to go, in my imagination we went back in time with the wagon trains and were scouts, so many places we went. He was my first best friend!
My first experience driving was the Ford 7000, I’d ride with dad to feed cattle and he’d let me drive on the straightaway. I’d walk the fence line feedbunks, clean out anything that wasn’t edible that had found it’s way into the bunks, eventually I’d run the tractor and feedwagon and dad would walk the bunks.
In time I’d learn to drive the old van when driving the five miles to the cafe in The Hill for afternoon coffee. From there dad set me out in the alfalfa field with the old green pickup and said I had a tank full of fuel, by the time it was empty I should have the clutch and shifting down, then off he went back to work.
Have to say that I had a pretty charmed childhood on the farm with the horses and cattle, riding along in the fields while planting, harvesting, helping work cattle, taking the horses out to get cattle in when they’ve found their way out onto the highway. Wide open spaces and parents who trusted us to remember what we were and weren’t allowed to do when we were on our own outside. Sometimes I wonder how my brother and I survived some of the dumb ass things we did when no one was watching.