Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Farm Girl

The trailer for the show came onto the screen. A woman dressed in shorts with a crop top, wearing pigtails said, "I am a farm girl."

Yesterday I wrote my Grandparent's Voice Blog about the new equality. How we have come a long way from the men going to one room to talk while the women sat together in another. Now we go to gatherings where there is no division. Conversations involve everyone. Men and women join into conversations together. One more step forward. Then I looked up at the TV screen when I heard the words accompanying the above. One more step back.

I dislike this image that promotes a vision of farmers similar to those depicted on Hee Haw. A piece of straw in the teeth, bibbed overalls, pig tails and barefoot. Sure some of those things are what we had on the farm...just like other places...even cities. I never once saw my mother in any of the above. Nor my father. My cousin wore bibs, and they worked for him. I even wore some in the 60's, and I think I got them at Rike's. Well, I'm here to tell you that I protest!

I've been reading my cousin's letters from the Philippines back in 1951. He talked about the science of farming, intricate plans that went into planning the yearly crops. He investigated new products and farming techniques. He took his career as a farmer seriously. My father investigated ways to save the soil, to produce better crops. The farmers of Darke County are men to admire.

My mother, like the other women I know, worked harder than any other women I have known since. They are proud women, beautiful women. They spend their time doing chores, working in their yards, cooking for their hard working men. They can drive a tractor and a truck.

We weren't rich, but our parents worked from dawn until bedtime watching over farm and family. We were clean and well-fed. We were intelligent. We might have had an outhouse early on, but then most everyone else had gone through the same. We might have had a gravel lane, but then it held the tires on ice and allowed the water to nourish the earth. Our clothes may have often been dirty, but we worked hard to get them that way. Put any of us in a town or city, and we look the same.

Farming provides for a county, sometimes several. Farming is the most honorable of professions. It takes professionals to nourish the earth and to reap the bounty. It takes professionals to make a living from dirt and seed. It takes professionals to live on a dime until the next crop comes in. It takes professionals to can their own food, to raise their own groceries, to make a proud home, to raise successful children.

It is time for recognition of those men and women who work the land so others can survive. Those men and women who know the worth of the soil and of the house residing on that precious land.

I, Pamela Loxley Drake, am a farm girl and darn proud of it!


Anonymous said...

Pam, I have often said that I am PROUD to be the "Farmer's Daughter"! Our fathers worked hard and have instilled a wonderful work ethic in to their children, and taught us so much more! Golly! I sure miss our Dads!

Pamela Loxley Drake said...

Carla, I miss our Daddy's, too. It was so nice to hug your mom and be back at your farm house again. How I miss those days....back the lanes. Thank you for your comment. It means a lot to me.