Ulterior motives

by Katie on March 15, 2010

So I’ve finally figured it out.

The reason Brandon needs so much of my help on the farm? To help me avoid packing on the “happy pounds”. Isn’t that what they call it? The roundness females tend to develop post-marriage?

Anyway, even after toiling up and down the ditch bank in the 115 degree days all last summer, one stretch of which stripped me of seven pounds (they have since reappeared, don’t worry), I didn’t catch on.

It took until just a couple weekends ago. Brandon spent the day driving to an auction four hours away, and I spent the day with a shovel in my hand.

Now, like I explained to my dad when he found what each of us had planned for the day, both things had to be done, and unfortunately, I have no expertise in selecting farm equipment, namely grain drills, so we had to delegate the tasks the way we did. No choice for either of us.

This particular day was the second of three times I would spend shoveling an entire field. We’re talking hundreds of rows here. Half a mile in walking distance.

And on this second day, it was raining. Not a hard rain, mind you. Just enough to make the dirt nice and moist. And heavy.

It had been awhile since I had taken the brunt of the physical labor on the farm, and boy, did I feel it the next day. My back, shoulders and upper arms didn’t like me much.

This is when I started to think about how bad my “woman arms” (that’s what I’ve started calling them since they started jiggling underneath) would be if I didn’t participate in all this farm work, particularly the shoveling.

Which brings us to the third day I had to shovel the field. Alone.

This was the hottest day of the year so far. Which, I know, isn’t saying all that much. But it was warm. And again, I shoveled the half-mile field. Or actually, un-shoveled, since I was undoing the work I had previously completed (we had our reasons, trust me).

When I got halfway down the ditch, it hit me.

I immediately sent Brandon a text message reading, “I figured it out. Is this all part of your plan to keep me in shape?”

His response? “Whatever works.”*

And just the other day? I got a cardio workout by trekking one full mile across our barley field and back, half of which was through mud. My arms got some strength training by loading five bales of hay into my truck and lifting a check the size of myself out of the ditch. And I stretched it all out by straddling a giant ditch to cover said check with a tarp.

Just another day at the office, right?

*Now, obviously, he was joking here. But in all reality? I tell all my friends who talk about wanting to drop a few pounds they should try farming. We eat like pigs around here, then jump start our metabolism with a 3am water change.


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