If someone blindfolded you, took you for a ride, then took the blindfold off, after they led you into a house, you would still know if you were in a farmer’s home.
Coming in the back door, whether through a garage, porch, mudroom or utility room, you would most certainly see a row of muddy (and by muddy, I mean manure-covered) boots. There would be coveralls, coats, hats and caps (also muddy) hanging on the wall or thrown across the back of a chair or bench where dressing and undressing takes place every morning and night of the year.
Upon entry to the house, you would most assuredly see a framed, aerial photo of the farmstead and you would also observe framed pictures of the children or grandchildren leading a prize steer, pig or lamb at the county fair. In another room, one would most likely view a certificate of appreciation or plaque from the local 4-H club or FFA Chapter. The magazine table would be filled with at least a dozen breed association magazines, agricultural journals and farm-business publications, and the curio cabinets would be filled with miniature models of the owner’s favorite brand of tractor.
If your hosts offered you (and they would) a cup of coffee or glass of iced tea, the beverage would surely be served in a cup or tumbler adorned with the logo of a seed company, implement dealer, feed store or co-op. And, if you opened the door to the refrigerator to help yourself to a refill, you would probably see a bottle or two of penicillin, vaccine or other animal medicine somewhere in the door of the appliance.
Most of us have a drawer or shelf, somewhere in our house, that contains a myriad of things that would not be found in anyone’s home other than a farmer. Mine, for instance, is a cabinet above the clothes dryer, where I keep syringes, a bolus gun, an IV needle to treat milk fever, tattoo ink (for calves ears, not me), and an odd assortment of other devices that would raise serious questions if my home was ever raided by the DEA and, even though I attempt to keep these oddities in one place and out of the view of visitors, there are times eyebrows are raised.
A good example is what happened this past Thanksgiving.
The house was filled with family and friends as Judy was in a cooking frenzy that morning. As my wife scurried around the kitchen, putting the finishing touches on what would be a wonderful meal, one of our guests generously offered to help. “OK,” Judy instructed, “You can get the powdered sugar for me. It’s on the top shelf of the cabinet to the left of the refrigerator. I think it’s in the very back.” The guest began the search.
I was sitting at the kitchen table, sipping on a cup of coffee when the friend looked at me with a confounded expression. “What is this?” she asked.
I looked at what she was holding and then turned to my wife and hollered, “Hey, honey, Alli found the powdered colostrum that I hunted for all of last spring! It was right behind the powdered sugar – where it should be.”
Only in a farmer’s home.