It occurs to me that I may have been leading you astray. All these lovely photos of country life, horses shedding their winter coats, grass thriving greenly, soft clouds scudding across the wide open sky...all misleading. Now I must break the harsh truth.
It's the end of April, and where I come from that means it's that special season. That's right, this weekend out at the farm it was Honeywagon Day! It's SHITSPREADIN SEASON!
I don't usually swear on my blog. Other bloggers do it much better than I. I'm saving the cussin for when my kids are at school and I'm alone in the house. But when the subject of manure comes up, there's only one word that will do. My mom and dad never discusssed "manure management" in my childhood. Nope, they went out to the barn to Shovel Shit.
So I head out to the pasture field Saturday morning, armed with my brushes, ready to groom up my dandruff plagued dirty horses. I'm aware that the owner of the place has been out with his mega-tank shit machine. I figure, ah heck, I can handle this. I'm wearing my coveralls. The stink won't stick to me. I mean, it's cowshit after all. We used to spread pigshit. That was way worse. How bad can this be?
Well, BAD. So bad that I found myself wondering if they had some human effluent mixed in there because as we all know, it's the worst. I don't know what the deal was, but this stink had colours I'd never smelled before.
It drove me into the house eventually. I was so ashamed. This is what nearly fifteen years of townie life has done to me.
Part of country life is tolerating the Shitspreading Week. It has to be done, and you have to put up with it. In a day or two the sun breaks it down and you're back to normal but you have to just get through those days when you run from the house to the car, holding your breath. You don't hang your laundry up on the line. You DO NOT, under any circumstances, open the windows.
Me: Mom, was it this bad when I was a kid?
Mom: Yeah, it was bad, we just forget.
Me: I dunno. This is creeping into the house.
Mom: I remember it creeping into the house.
Dad: Not this bad. That shit they're speading is really concentrated. It's worse. Our shit sat in the sun for awhile before we spead it. And ours came out of the open spreader, not a big liquid tank like theirs.
The subtleties of shit, courtesy of my old man.
This is the shit spreader we used to use. Obviously it's been parked for 25 years.
This is the tank the owners are using.
That's not a John Deere. It's some kind of Dutch tractor that they brought over with them from Holland. I admit, it's an ass kicker. It's got a hell of a highway gear on it.
All that stink and yet I was still close to tears this weekend because I want to move out there so bad! All of this, plus needing a tractor to clear the snow out of the lane in the winter, plus feeling the north wind pound the crap out of your house, plus being a ten minute car ride away from the nearest place where they sell that evil drug People magazine... and I want to live like that! What kind of a sick mind wants these difficulties?
My sick mind.
Look at the way the sunlight glints off of the spray of shit. This shit sparkles.