Grit Blogs > Cultivating a Dream

Not What I Expected, Only Better

Pauline HyltonI guess I imagined my life as a farmer's wife would look something like this:

"Time for dinner, Tom!" I'd shout after I rang the ornate dinner bell perched on top of a sturdy wooden frame.

Tom would look up from lush plants and graceful grape vines strewn artfully along strong twine. He'd wipe his brow while he smiled at me and saunter to the farmhouse.

I'd wait. Hair pulled back in a cute ponytail, attractive apron around my thinning waist, a rosy hue on my cheeks, Tom would pick me up, twirl me around and say with a drawl, "Howdy Sweetheart. You look gorgeous!"

He'd follow me into the kitchen where smells of homemade bread, baked chicken, and fresh greens filled the air.

Silky music would crescendo and then die down.

Here's reality:

Bent over our sickly beets Tom says, "I guess we shouldn't have separated the leaves and planted them."

"Yeah, I guess when one seed produces several shoots you should leave them alone." I frown, thinking of the three hours I spent gently placing about 200 beet plants in the ground." 

I look down at my fingernails. They are caked with red clay that matches my skin color. My hair is pulled back in a ponytail as rebellious strands stick out in unusual places. My hairline is graying and I toy with the idea of getting it colored and then remember our negative budget and balk at having to put up grown-up clothes to visit a salon.

Speaking of clothes, mine are reddish orange with some brown mixed in.

Tom hits me. "What was that for!"


We finish.

After sloshing around in our wet field, we head toward the house.

"What's for dinner?" Tom asks.



"This time I put them over tortilla chips with cheese and canned salsa."

Tom grunts as we head into the house.

After dinner, I head for the shower. "Anyone need the bathroom for ANY reason?" 

Grandma, Tom, and our caregiver decline.

I contemplate a soak in the bathtub but realize it will take 25 minutes to fill it with the well water.

I splurge.

30 minutes later, I have 5 inches of water in the tub. I've scrubbed all the dirt I can off of my toenails and smile at the sight of my colored toes. Who needs a pedicure? I lean back and relax.

Knock! Knock! Knock! "Your mom needs to use the bathroom," Daphene announces. 

I empty the water, towel off and head for my room. Tom is waiting. "Do you want to read about asparagus tonight?" he asks with a smile on his face--lately, there is always a smile on his face.

"Sure," I say is a crawl into bed, knocking a dead spider off the wall.

Being a farmer's wife is not at all what I pictured, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.