Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Unsolicited Advice

Have you ever noticed that people are fantastic resources for telling you how you should do something?

Everyone else always knows how to do it better.
It’s true.
Think about it.

The gal in the grocery line in front of you knows how to better soothe your toddler in the middle of a pediatric breakdown.

The friend visiting your farm always has a better idea of how you should have set up your fencing. 

And Pinterest is the expert in giving you five ways to manage your time, ensuring that family comes first.
(Hint on that one: log off of Pinterest.)

Well, today I’m here to tell you…

1. Couples should experience a ruined load of laundry. 
Why? Because I guarantee you’ll only experience it once. I screwed up Cody’s honeymoon laundry the week we got back from Alaska as newlyweds.
That did three things for us:
  1. Confirmed the honeymoon was, in fact, over
  2. Cost us a bit of money for replacement clothes
  3. Relieved me from doing any of his laundry from here on out. I’m serious. I haven’t touched it since then. And this is a wave I’m willing to ride…

2. Couples should go to church together. 
It is a great way to start the week and also a wonderful conversation starter. It is always interesting to see how Cody interprets the sermon and applies it, whether to himself or his expereinces with others. There are Sundays we walk away with different messages, and I appreciate that so much. Perspective is everything, remember? 

3. Couples should work together to park a livestock trailer in an unfamiliar area. 
Or a boat. Or a trailer of any kind. I will try to communicate this important advice as clearly and simply as I can: You don’t realize you have communication problems until you have to act as the eyes for a man fifty feet away who can’t hear your (shoddy) directions due to the roar of a diesel engine and a load of cattle bellowing through aluminum. 

4. Couples should have one person run over a t-post with the lawn mower and see how the other reacts.
This experience isn’t nearly as fun as church. The lawnmower had just gotten out of rehab and I put it right back in. Cody handled it with grace. He asked a lot of questions, and I had a lot of answers that started with, “I don’t know! I was just driving along…” He didn’t raise his voice a bit, but he did show me the damage when he removed the deck and that was lesson enough for me:
No more daydreaming on the mower. 

5. Couples should work cattle together.
Why? Because this event rarely goes as planned. It’s about teamwork, and coordination and patience. It’s basically thirty-five years of marriage wrapped up into one afternoon. 
While working cattle, couples may say things that don’t compliment the other like,
“Why am I the only one moving my feet?”
“Here is why your idea will not work…”
“You know they can all see you standing there, right?”
Him: “Can you hand me that?? …….........… Me: “Your arm is entirely in that cow. So what will happen if I don’t?”
Letting the wrong animal through the gate is as serious as throwing away your retainer with your lunch tray. There is this surreal moment of did that really just happen? Then the dirty work starts to get back “the one that got away” – literally.
But when the chute work is done, the couple can share a sense of accomplishment, relief and flat out JOY.
After working cows together for over an hour, a while back I sat on the tailgate as Cody left chute side and went to get warm water to breed a cow. He stopped just before he went in the house and yelled across the barnyard, “Are you still going to be here when I get back, or are you going to run?”
I considered my options.

“I’ll be here. 
You’re not that lucky 
and tomorrow is church.”

These five things: Trust Me. 

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