Monday, August 27, 2007

Ode to the Splendor of the Grain Field

As I mentioned in my last blog, numerous friends and family members are currently enduring the Refiner's Fire. Because of this, I waxed a bit on the serious side. This go around, I'm going to post something with a bit of humor, since as we all know, laughter is indeed the best medicine.

Fall is in the air. Harvest time is around the corner, and in this neck of the woods, that means the pipe-moving days are at an end. Here's a little something I wrote in 1993 regarding the joys of moving sprinkler pipe. My 3 young sons & I had been assigned pipe-moving detail on my mother-in-law's 80 acre field. Good times as I recall. Enjoy:

Ode to the Splendor of the Grain Field
or
Next Summer I Ain't Movin' Nobody's Sprinkler Pipe

It started out as summers do, except for the frosty temps,
But by and large last summer was filled with dreams we all had dreamt.
A little bit of camping, fishing, and the like,
We even took time out for a nifty summer hike.
Then one day it ended, our blissful season cut too short,
"Sprinkler Movin' Time" was announced & I was not a sport.

"I don't do sprinkler pipe, it's really not my thing,
"If I'd wanted to play farmer, I would've accepted a farmer's ring!"
My husband smiled and assured me, there was no need to fear,
"I would never make you lift a pipe, so settle down, my dear,"
"But it is time, our boys have grown, they need this summer chore,
"It will be good for them to earn their school clothes from the store."

And so with pained misgivings, I grudingly gave in,
Sensing I was outnumbered concerning our children's discipline.
My husband had but one request---we take turns with this new delight,
To see that no one would be hurt, and make sure the pipe looked right.
"The night shift will be hardest---I'll handle it," my husband volunteered.
Giving him a suspicious look, I questioned what I'd heard.

"Surely morning would be the worst, with ice and cold and such?"
He told me I was mistaken, to relax, I worried too much.
Reluctant and still not convinced, I decided to give it a fair try,
My sons were too excited, and it was their manhood I would deny.
Agreeing to the deal, I vowed to do my best,
To help my sons succeed in this wondrous, newfound quest.

My first dilemma concerned the truck, my husband's pride and joy,
In my humble opinion, it existed to irritate and annoy.
It loved to kill and sputter when I was behind the wheel,
Causing me to utter vicious things when it refused to be mobile.
And so I'd call it appropriate names for being cantakerous,
Naturally it always started for my husband without a fuss.

The first morning of our adventure dawned chilly, frost hanging in the air
Even with thermals on, we all froze our derriere.
True to form, the truck wouldn't start until I'd threatened its very life,
I was tempted to tell my husband I didn't want to be his wife.
But on we went to persevere in the piece of junk called truck,
Driving through what most would call, disgusting farmyard muck.

Pulling alongside the fence, my sons alighted to the ground,
Excited for this chance to prove their muscles were quite sound.
Our first mistake was assuming this excitement would last long,
They were ready to give up when things went very wrong.
They couldn't turn the valve on, though they obviously strained,
And so I moved to assist, my expression extremely pained.

It wouldn't budge even with my help until I gave it a final tug,
And was hit in the face with a geyser and a device they call a plug.
Now that I was wounded and thoroughly soaked to my poor skin,
I decided to help the boys along and grabbed a grey pipe to begin.
It's good thing women have hidden muscles, items men don't know we possess,
It took every ounce of strength I had to pull us through this mess.

My boys groaned their combined misery as pipe was hoisted into the air,
This pain-filled endeavor nearly inspired me to cave in to despair.
But the pioneer blood within my veins refused to be denied,
We would survive this torture, it was now a thing of pride.
No longer cold, we were glistening from the effort that was needed,
To make sure the pipe was moved to water what was seeded.

Finally the last pipe hooked; I sent one son to turn the valve full blast,
Too late we saw one pipe hadn't sealed, the disaster was unsurpassed.
Water flowing into the air, not through the pipe we'd moved,
I called it names I reserved for the truck for each pipe had to be removed.
Starting over with expressions grim, we retraced every step,
Until at last the water flowed without an intercept.

Rejoicing in a job well-done, we marched through mud up to our knees,
Reaching the truck in record time, my hand gripped the needed keys.
I approached the truck with a manly stride, one both true and sure,
Swaggering up to open its rusted metal door.
Inserting the keys with gusto, I defied it to throw a fit,
And when I turned the ignition on, the truck sensed that I meant it!

It fired up the first time, the gears shifting beneath my hand,
It had learned I was the boss, even though I was not a man.
We headed home much later than we'd intended or designed,
But to our roles as sprinkler movers, we were now resigned.
Breakfast tasted wonderful, though it was closer to afternoon,
And when my husband returned from work, I made sure he sang a different tune.

But after the tongue-lashing, much deserved I must admit,
I assured him I would tough it out, much as I hated it.
I was breaking new ground within, I was tougher than I thought,
And I loved seeing my husband grovel, now that he'd been caught.
He'd known all along the challenge this task would be,
And he spent the remainder of the summer, making it up to me.

Cheri J. Crane

6 comments:

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Cheri, welcome to the LDS Blog. I read your poem. IT ROCKS! I had to move pipe one summer too --- I HATED IT! Your poem is priceless and it had me giggling as I read. Oh the memories that rushed back. Next week, this post, has won the Highlighted Blog of the Week! Congrats!

Highlighted blog of the week is in the right column, just cruise down until you find it. I like to fill that column with all kinds of fun things.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Thank you for the warm welcome and the kind words. =)And, can I just say, "WOW?!!" Highlighted Blog of the week?!! You've totally made my day/week. Kudos to a fellow pipe mover/survivor. ;)

Shelly Wallentine said...

Cheri,
Congrats on your highlight of the week! It is certainly deserving. I'd forgotten how funny this poem was. Remember you gave me a copy several years ago when I was moaning and groaning about moving pipe? Thanks again.
Shelly

Cheri J. Crane said...

Hi there Shelly, fellow pipe mover & talented lady. =)You're too kind. (This is why we're such good friends) ;)Glad you enjoyed the poem.

Anna Maria Junus said...

Congrats on moving pipe (although I still don't know what that means.)

And congrats on being the highlight. That's how I found you.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Hi Anna,

I'm so glad you found me, and thanks for the kind words.

As for the lovely task known as moving pipe, this involves moving sprinkler pipe across a field of grain or alfalfa, etc. This is how fields like this are watered---a form of irrigation in dry states like Idaho. =)