HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
May 21, 2007, Herald Journal

Destination: manure pile


It’s hard to carry common sense 24 hours a day, especially when you’re tired. This is a story about good intentions gone bad.

I’m not one to get worked up terribly easy, whereas my husband is the exact opposite of me and can pop an artery at the drop of a dime. We are definitely a case where opposites attract.

By the way, he encouraged me to write about this incident knowing full well that it will plead my case more than his.

So, all last week I was bringing my husband dinner in the fields as he was working ground. I’d get off work, pick up the boys, head home and make a quick portable meal, and head for whichever field he was working.

I’d ride in the tractor and visit for a little bit, then dash home to get my exercise in before dark.

Well, Wednesday I was running even more behind because I had to scour Howard Lake after work for a picture of a dog to go with a story I was writing.

My husband was nice enough to pick up the boys that particular night and take them with to the field.

By the time I got to the field where they were with dinner in tow it was almost 7 p.m. and the entrance to the field was shaded by some tall pine trees.

What appeared to me as a thin layer of crusted-over manure spread across that field approach was actually a couple feet of manure with just barely a crust on top.

I tend to take my car off road in fields that look decent enough for a low clearance car so it was not all that strange that I would drive into such an area.

As soon as the front end of the car sunk into the ripe pile of delight I quickly put it in reverse, but only managed to spin my front tires, which threw manure onto my windshield.

By this time, my husband was about 300 feet directly in front of me with the tractor. I called him on my cell phone to which he answered by saying, “Are you kidding me?” before I said a word.

I knew that any explanation I came up with would not be acceptable to my husband, so all I said was, “It looked dry,” as he hung up the phone.

So I decided to try to get out of my car, which was challenging, but luckily was able to walk in some tire tracks through the not-so-sweet smelling stuff, courtesy of myself.

My husband drove the tractor closer, got out, and continued to moan and groan loudly about the situation as if I had amputated his leg.

I’m sure it killed him to keep the profanity down because the kids were around.

Yes, he was in a hurry to get field work done, so any extra-curricular activity caused by his lovely wife was not on his “list.”

My boys got out of the tractor and started running to me and ran right into the stuff, as well.

I may be not-so-smart at times, but they are smart, and their running into the area in question proved that it indeed looked dry.

My husband was so distraught that he actually said, “What am I supposed to use to pull you out with?” while standing just feet from his Grandpa’s tractor and farm truck.

I didn’t want to make things worse, but suggested either the free tractor or truck to which he pessimistically replied there probably wasn’t a log chain around.

Fancy that, there was indeed a log chain attached to Grandpa’s tractor.

So, the tractor was backed up to my poor, stinky, manure laden car and pulled it out in about 27 seconds with the help of my husband’s 15-year-old cousin Chris, who was mowing Grandpa’s yard at the time.

To add insult to injury, Chris’ mom called right afterward, asked him what he was doing, and was informed of my skillful driving.

Chris was very sweet about the ordeal, unlike somebody else, and said, “These things happen. At least we have the equipment to pull you out!”

My husband parked Grandpa’s tractor, walked back over to me, and started laughing.

Now why couldn’t he have done that from the beginning? Instead he reacted as if the world was coming to an end.

He said even though he thinks I’m cute, it doesn’t mean I can get away with things like that without a tongue lashing.

I handed him his dinner and he asked, “Well, aren’t you going to ride with me for a while?” as if nothing had happened.

So, I rode with him as he joked about telling his buddies about the incident.

I do still stand behind my claim that the area looked dry and even tried to blame some of it on my astigmatism and its connection with depth perception.

The drive home in my stinky car was not so enjoyable. I stunk just about as bad as the underside of my car after I got out.

I didn’t drive my car for three days after that. Luckily, we have a spare vehicle that I drove while my car aired out and was thoroughly cleaned.

Well, I’m pretty sure I won’t make that mistake again. That’s the good thing that comes out of mistakes.


After leaving Grandpa and Grandma’s house, where there was a calf out of the fence, my 6-year-old asked, “Why are cows so looseable? You know, why do they get out on the loose so much?”