All posts in Humor

The Terrible Two’s

We’re heading into our third year of farming. I think we’re out of the terrible two’s. I’m counting on the thrilling threes. Otherwise, I might have to be a greeter at “you know where.” Visit at the Grit site and add a comment… Or better yet, email me!

http://www.grit.com/community/humor/the-terrible-twos.aspx

 

 

It’s a Starbucks Day

The downside of moving to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains to a pristine 66-acre-parcel of land is that the nearest Starbucks is 35 miles away.

Really.

It keeps my adult children away. Or when they visit it’s only for a few days.

Because Starbucks represents civilization–the emblem of America.

Even Gibbs shows off his java on NCIS.

So my question for the day is; Is there life after Starbucks?

I’ve wondered that over the last 21 months.

Here are my conclusions…

Yes, but it’s way different. At Starbucks, people carry designer bags and wear grown-up clothes. They speak Starbuckian–an alternative coffee language involving 17 syllables to order one coffee drink. They conduct meetings around said coffee and order fancy pastries while composing spreadsheets on their computers and texting clients.

On the farm, I pull on the same clothes each day appropriately designed with red clay and often laced with chicken manure. We drink black coffee and conduct our meetings on the front porch, on the way to the dump, or at our rustic pine table.

It’s a simpler life. Presented with fewer choices of what to wear, (Tom and I share a small closet and my dresser sits in our living room since our bedroom is too small to house it.) clothes become a tool–useful or not useful. My Livestock Guardian Dogs don’t care what shoes I have on when I visit them. They are equal opportunity shoe ruiners. Their large paws often step on my feet, swipe my jeans, or end up planted on my shirt.

It’s a harder life. During the winter our schedule slows down immensely. It has to since our bodies couldn’t stand up to 16-hour-out-in-the-field-days. I gain weight but Tom doesn’t. (I’m kind of bitter about that.)

But when the time changes, our lives change, too. More light means more work. There are weeds to pull, animals to feed, crops to plant, markets to attend, eggs to collect and sell, and jellies to make.

Sometimes I long for a 9-5 job. Especially one with benefits. With lunch dates and coffee breaks.

So once a week I make the trek to civilization and drink black coffee. Starbucks isn’t the only reason I come since I attend a Bible study and visit possible customers. But it’s important to me.

Right now, I’m sitting by a gas fireplace writing and people watching. And I realize something, people are the same whether in Mayberry or Winston-Salem.

They work hard but long for a connection with others. Sometimes, it’s over a lunch date or movie. Or sometimes, it’s just over a cup of java. Whether it’s in a trendy shop with a gas fireplace, or my front porch.

Come visit. The view is marvelous! But could you bring the Starbucks?

 

 

 

A Funny Thing About Prayers

Today I’m blogging on CBN.com. Check it out if you’re looking to pray more, share more and dare to be involved…

http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/Devotions/hylton-funny-prayers.aspx

Where is Waldo? Michael’s Replaced Him

Is it just me, or is Michael Strahan–like Waldo–on every channel at all times of the day or night?

I don’t watch a lot of TV. My mom owns our only one. It’s mounted in her 10 by 13 square foot room. So to watch the TV, Tom and I have to sit on her wheelchair, or wall hugger, or hospital bed.

Sports are our favorite and when I mention sports, I mean American football and American baseball. Rarely do we watch an entire game since we’re usually busy farming. So we satisfy ourselves with snippets of this and replays of that.

We commit to NCIS and reruns of it. Gibbs is timeless and Dinozzo is a hoot.

But since Mom has been weaker and needs more care and company, I’ve tuned in to Kelly and Michael. I have to admit, I love them. If I were on their show and took the quiz of identifying other actors and actresses for $50 a shot, I’d have to declare bankruptcy since I’m clueless.

But I can identify them. Especially Michael.

I enter Mom’s room while her other caregiver is there. Who do I see but Michael, happy to have a good tasting laxative bar. Or he’s chowing down on a footlong. On Sundays, he’s commentating on the game–giving his opinion about this player and that team. And he’s good.

In the evening, I peek in on Mom and there’s the spot about St. Jude’s hospital. Michael’s smiling with the signature space between his teeth. He makes me smile.

Smiling is important.

So is laughing. Kelly and Michael make me laugh. And laughing is essential. Especially if you’re caregiving. Or at a difficult job. Or in a hard marriage. You may be coming to the end of your life, like my 94-year-old mama and need a good chuckle. Kelly and Michael will give it to you if you still have your hearing.

Today is New Year’s. Since it’s below 30, farming has come to a screeching halt except for feeding the chickens, pigs, and dogs. So TV is on my to-do list.

I’ll begin with the Rose Bowl Parade, then I’ll flip to college football. Michael might show up on the screen. And then there’s NCIS reruns all day. So I might catch a few episodes of those. I wouldn’t be surprised if Michael becomes the fourth member of Gibb’s team.

The man is everywhere! Michael, do you sleep?

Kelly and Michael, keep it clean, and thanks for making America smile.

We need it.

Good Friends, Great Time

The recommended pizza place with our “dear friends.”

Middle-aged people should frequent middle-aged vacation spots and middle-aged lodgings.

We batted 1000. Meeting our Florida friends in Florida wasn’t even on our radar a few weeks ago. But unused vacation points beckoned the Gordons who beckoned us. We couldn’t turn down a free stay in Ormond Beach, Florida. Since becoming farmers, we’d hardly taken a day off, much less six.

We packed up, tucked Mom in with competent caregivers and hit the road. I’d never traveled to that part of the state so I googled it.

“Tom, it says the city is a great quiet place for middle-aged couples.”

“What?” Tom asked.

Arriving at the beachfront hotel, our friends hovered over the balcony. A smile spread across my worn face.

“We’re in luck, they have shuffleboard!” Michael grinned.

I felt as if I’d been in a dessert and reached an oasis. An oasis of friends and memories and fellowship. We walked the beach and talked. We ate “Sticky Burgers” that combined a hamburger, peanut butter, bacon and cheese on a bun at a local hangout and watched college football.

The next day, our other friends, the Brinkers, made the three-hour trek to visit for a few hours. We crowded into the apartment and laughed, snacked, and reveled in just being together. Priceless.

Tom and I haven’t made much money over the last 18 months, but I feel rich. Those friendships didn’t bloom overnight. They took years of cultivation and feeding and pruning. Now we have a beautiful strong friendship that’s endured storms and even neglect–because like a magnificent tree, it’s rooted and established.

On Monday the four of us traveled to St. Augustine.

“Oldest city in the country. How appropriate.” Tom said.

Overwhelmed with touristy venues and parking, we stopped a mailman to get a quick restaurant review.

Without hesitation he said, “To be honest, all the places around here are overpriced and the food is (expletive).”

“Gee, tell us how you really feel,” Diane added.

We ended up at a pizza place he recommended. It was near the chocolate factory we toured earlier in the day. Lots of “early birders” there, too.

The Gordons left yesterday and Tom and I spent the evening alone last night. That part is a secret.

Today we see our son and his wife at their apartment. We also meet the Grand dog, Kratos. Tomorrow we head home.

I don’t miss Florida. I miss walks on the beach, sure. Mostly, I miss my friends. I’m making new friends in North Carolina, but friendships take time.

For now, I’ll remember great times with good friends.

If I can remember.