About Me

Twenty years ago I asked a Tarot card reader what would I be doing when I was 50. She replied, “I see you doing something so wildly creative, it defies a job title.” Only recently did I realize that was a slick way of saying, “I have no idea of what you’ll be doing.” But that prediction kept me charging ahead to the fifties with zeal and anticipation. Now that the future is today, I’m ready for anything!

The Picture-Perfect Rural Life and Other Myths

I recently heard a Minnesota Public Radio interview with Michael Perry. He’s the author of Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting. Many of the callers said they were, or wished they were, a writer who lived on a farm.

Couple that fact with the 70 million people who play FarmVille on Facebook, and I realized that yes, people might actually want to read my rural ruminations.

live on a five-acre farm in the east central Minnesota township of Bruno. It’s a name that elicits one of two responses: “Where in the heck is Bruno?” or “I know exactly where that is! I go fishing/hunting/berry picking there.” If you haven’t heard of Bruno, the nearest big cities (meaning populations of 1,000 and over) are Hinckley, Sandstone, and Moose Lake. And if nothing rings a bell yet,  there’s always Duluth, population 86,000-plus.

The popularity of FarmVille made me realize there may be misconceptions about farming. My own conversations with others have confirmed it. Here are some of them.

Farm life is quiet.
Keep that in mind the next time you hear the chatter of guinea fowl or the honk of Embden geese. Both have a fondness for conference calls.

Roosters only crow in the morning.
That’s when they start. See above.

Stop by a farm and there will be a piece of pie and a cup of coffee waiting for you.
True, there are moments when I’m going full-tilt Aunt Bee, like when I’m baking apple pies for the Kerrick Volunteer Fire Department’s annual turkey dinner. Other times, stop by unexpectedly and you may find yourself impressed into service unloading hay bales or stringing electrical fence.

Fox cubs are cute. Howling wolves sound cool.
In nature documentaries, yes. On a farm, though, the context changes. A wolf that’s howling in the distance could be celebrating the kill of a neighbor’s sheep or goats. Someday I’ll tell you about a not-so-fantastic fox and its brood who came across a turkey hen and her young.

Farm life is pretty and tidy.
We live in a shrink-wrapped, sanitized world where someone else does the dirty work. On a farm, unless you have Eb the Hired Hand on call, the muck stops with you.

In future posts I’ll be talking about egg laying and idea incubation, extreme commuting and optimal hours for creativity, and striking a balance between living on and off the grid. I invite you to stop on back; catch me on a good day and I’ll have a slice of pie waiting for you!

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