Day Writing by Heather Hamilton-Maude: Bags of Dirt
A few days back I was doing laundry when I noticed the bags of dirt. Just sitting there at the entrance to the laundry room. On my second pass I had to chuckle a little. While I know all about the bags of dirt these days, as a ranch girl who married a guy who both farms and ranches, there was a time they would have caused a raised eyebrow. Possibly even relocation to the yard or garden.
This would have been tragic. See, those bags of dirt were soil samples. Again, something I know now, but did not a few years back. Had I relocated them, the story of the uphill trek across acre upon acre of frankly, nearly flat land, that had occurred to sample a specific portion of the field that was low in yields, suspected to be deficient in one thing or high in another, etc… would have been extolled on me. Repeatedly.
But, on the flip side, had I married a hardcore, cowboy sort, my laundry room would have likely housed drying tack this past week, with a menagerie of what most would call mutts, but he would refer to as bovine relocation specialists. I can smell the combination from here.
If he were a purebred guy, there may have been a stack of tissue samples, vials of blood, and paperwork of some sort or another that dare not be washed.
Or a commercial cattleman. Has anyone accidentally washed a paint stick? I know 16-gauge, three-quarter-inch needles are fun to dig out of jeans post-washing.
Or, if he were of the mechanical sort, there would be those fun, spiraled bits of metal, and no doubt something especially greasy in the sink or shower that needed cleaned up. Just a little.
If you find yourself newly married to one of these guys, or more likely a combination of the types described above, just remember you aren’t alone. Greasy laundry room/porch/bathroom sinks aren’t worth divorcing over. He won’t really leave you if you dump his soil samples in your flower bed. I have washed the calving book, and spent the better part of a day laying it out page by page on a freezer to dry, before rewriting it into a new book. Forever since I have taken the initial fall for any inaccuracy occurring that year, because it is in my handwriting. Naturally that is how we place blame on calving-related issues that are mis-recorded.
Life is messy, much like most laundry rooms you find on farms and ranches. You can check yourself, or all the pockets you want, but occasionally things are still going to be missed, unintentionally washed, dried, and possibly ruined. You can literally lock the door, but at some point, there will be something land in a sink in your home that never should have seen interior lighting.
Tempers may flair, sinks may be ruined, and so on. But, as the good Lord does for each of us whenever we make a mess out of things, we should forgive such grievances, and strive not to get hung up on what are little things in the grand scheme of our time on earth, Focusing our efforts instead on Him and what he has called us to do.
No need to carry those bags of dirt around with us everywhere. After all, they’re completely useless if we hang on to them.
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