Responsibility is the thing people dread most of all.
Yet it is the one thing in the world that develops us,
gives us manhood or womanhood fibre.
It’s raining. Not one of those soft gentle rains, but one of those “Raining cats and dogs” kind my Grandma always talked about.
I sit here in our old farm truck listening to the rain pound on the roof, while watching farmers dressed in coveralls with rain gear over top. Carrying umbrellas of every description, they juggle everything from boxes of nuts and bolts, to armfuls of shovels and picks. They are soaking wet but pushing on. I wave to the young man without rain gear as he walks by and smiles as I sit here nice and dry, writing. He drops his boxes in the back of his old pick-up sitting beside ours. A young woman not wearing rain gear, with a young child in tow who is wearing tiny red rubber boots and a yellow slicker, carry things that no doubt the farmer in their lives just had to bid on, thinking they were needed.
Auctions need to happen rain or shine, that is just the way it is. Any farmer will tell you that. It is part of the business of either someone retiring, or settling an estate for a farm family. We all hope for perfect weather but sometimes it just does not happen.
Farmers, young and old, huddle inside farm buildings where machinery and cattle used to run. Huddled, and listening to the auctioneer’s voice that bounces and echoes off the empty walls. The auctioneer shouts out numbers and sometimes silly banter to entertain, to capture and to hold the attention of those standing round trying to support this family. The crowd will laugh, ultimately lightening the mood. The words SOLD Sold Sold penetrate the steel walls of the building entering the ears of a farm girl sitting in her farm truck writing, trying to get up the courage to venture out into the pounding rain.
An older gentleman dressed only in an orange hunting cap and a flannel shirt and jeans walks by his arms full of rolls of black and white electrical wire. He is soaking wet. This does not stop him from depositing it in the back of his pick-up and once again heading across the barnyard and into the building to rejoin the other auction goers.
Those auction goers who huddle inside the building full of wet people, a building where cattle and equipment used to run. A building that is now so full others stand huddled outside under umbrellas in the pounding rain while supporting this farm family.
Farmers are a hardy bunch, trying to support one of their own, no matter what Mother Nature has in mind. I grab my umbrella and finally get up the courage to venture into the storm, knowing this is what we do. The rain is now pounding on my umbrella as I walk. I join the crowd huddled outside under their umbrellas of every description, outside that building where livestock and farm machinery used to run.
I am proud to be a farmer today. Take that Mother Nature.