Our Rural Roots

Dinner on the Wrong Turnrow

(Progressive Farmer image by Getty Images)

Having grown up a farmer's daughter, I felt rather prepared for life as a farmer's wife. My grandma June and my mom were the strong, supportive keepers of all things family and farm. Although they had careers of their own (nurse and educator, respectively), our family shared three meals a day, and we kids always made it to where we needed to be right on time.

So, as a newlywed 18 years ago, I was smitten with the idea of being the quintessential career woman and farmer's wife. One beautiful fall evening, just a few weeks after we married, I decided to surprise "My Farmer" with dinner in the field.

I don't even remember what I prepared, but the picnic basket overflowed. My Farmer gave me careful instructions to the field. Confident in my skills to navigate back country roads, I neglected to write down the details.

P[] D[x] M[x] OOP[F] ADUNIT[] T[]

Arriving at the field, I pulled into the drive and was overcome by the brilliant fall sunset, red and shimmering in the dust of the tractor and chisel crawling toward me. The tractor drew up to the drive, slowed, turned and headed back down the field.

Dumbfounded, I sat waiting for My Farmer to stop. But, the tractor rolled on.

I picked up the radio and asked, "Why didn't you stop?!"

"You aren't here," he responded, sounding confused.

"Yes, I am ... " my voice faltered.

Turns out I was on the right road, just not the right field. The neighbor who almost ate My Farmer's dinner that night still teases me to this day.

The simple detail of the story everyone else remembers so well and that I'd like to forget is the color of the tractor. Our neighbor drove red. My Farmer drives green.

> Katie Pratt writes, tweets, farms and feeds her neighbors from north-central Illinois. Find her blog at theillinoisfarmgirl.com, and follow her on Twitter @KatiePratt4.

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