Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lessons in life learned from being a girl in the country

There are certain things in a persons life that can only be learned by practicing such activities.

A lot of the lessons I have learned in life city friends overlook and because of that have not come to realize the humble moments a person can live without constantly being stuck in fast forward.

Today as I was pulling into the farm when I passed a truck on the turbine lane that was making a loud hissing noise. I thought maybe they had some sort of compressor in the bed because theres was a lot of tools back there.

Apparently not enough.

After my frantic search for my favorite pair of lost sunglasses, which I never found I was pulling back out to run into town to get some stuff for the first 4-H meeting tomorrow. The truck that was previously hissing like a compressor as I thought had a chronic case of completely flat tire.
One guy was under the truck trying to look like he knew what he was doing and the second was attempting to construct something on the tailgate that should have resembled a foldable tire iron of sorts. The hood was also up for some strange reason. What an amusing sight.

I rolled down my window and asked them if they needed any help.
The guy under the truck sat up and grinned back with some snark "Only if you actually have, and know how to use a jack"
Of course I had a jack in my trunk. Who the heck would be caught living out here without one. It would cost you an arm and a leg to get someone to come out and fix a flat here.
I went to the trunk and pulled out my scissor jack, not the best one but it would do it.
The guy who snarked at me jumped up and grabbed it, thanking me.
He hopped back underneath the truck and put it in place and sat there for a moment before I pointed out he needed the handle, which was in my hands to jack the jack up.
The guy jumped back up and grabbed it saying thanks before taking a moment to figure out how to work it.
I had this stupid grin on my face right about now, this was mighty amusing. They were totally from the city, never had to change a tire by themselves in their life and obviously never seen a girl who knew how to change one who was probably half their age.

About halfway to getting the truck jacked up the boss of the flat tire guys came rolling down the lane in his immaculate polished expedition. Here I am thinking "gee thats an awfully clean, shiny, expensive truck to be driving down the lane" He jumped out and exclaimed "I see help arrived. Where'd you get the jack?" I grinned smugly and greeted him. We talked for a moment about the turbines. He kept asking if I didn't have someplace to be. I told him I wasn't in a hurry the store was open for another hour yet and I really did not have to be anyplace that night. About this time we turned our attention back to the flat tire.
The two guys were attempting some sort of back alley brain surgery on the poor truck's center cap with the end of a tire iron and bending it.
Here is where I start racking up points for "Sydney knows how to change a tire" vs "city construction workers who really don't". I gained another point for pointing out how it was far more efficient to take the center cap off by pushing the clips, than going caveman on it with a tire iron. I think they were on to my little game at this point. They started to make cracks about women out here knowing more than men when it came to mechanics. I pointed out that in the country you gotta change your own tire or walk the long country blocks home (mostly because cell reception out here is a black hole so no one would know to pick you up). In the city the garage on every street corner can do it for you. They all piped up, I was right again.

So after pointing out a few more things to help them change a tire they were almost on the road again. They handed me back my jack and their boss thanked me for saving them time and money. I wished them well and threw the jack back into my trunk. They talked amongst themselves for a moment before the boss driving the -too nice for the farm truck- came over and says "Can I buy you a coffee for your help?" I denied his offer, I haven't drank a full cup of coffee in my life and I never expect anything from anyone. Hell I know someday if I am stuck with a flat someone would be there to offer me a jack if I didn't have one (which I always will have one). He stood back for a moment, reflecting on the past 15 minutes and says "You know theres something different about people out here I have met compared to the city. Everyone is in such a hurry in the city they never learn how to live. Heck I don't know how to relax. I hope my children grow up to be something like you kid. It makes me hopeful there are still nice people in the world ready to go out of their way to do nice things for complete strangers" and he tossed the $20 for my help into my car window and drove away.

I guess no one told those guys theres no Tim Hortons out here for 20 minutes in any direction but I appreciated the gesture. No coffee for me. So I put the money into the -Sydney needs a new pair of sunglasses- fund. I made an all time record today. Lost one, my favorite pair someplace in the barnyard this morning without noticing until later, which are now likely stompelated into smithereens. The second I bent the arms on when I caught them on my sweater and the third I dropped and both lenses popped out. Man am I on a roll today this is a record.

So as I am reflecting on my victory in the chapter of "I am woman hear me roar" I think about giving what you have, and receiving much in return.
A simple act of thinking of others instead of yourself, because quite frankly I could have just given them the number of the local garage and spared myself the 30 minutes of amusement but I didn't. I never even thought of that until now, my first reaction was to ask them if they needed my help and offer them what I had. If the store closed before I got there, oh well theres tomorrow.
But then theres still a lot more to learn from living out here, where life only goes as fast as the beat up tractor three cars ahead of you cruises.


Grey Horse Matters said...

You're absolutely right about taking it slower and being nicer. I find that all the time. I'm willing to help someone if they need it too.

I do love the fact that they started out being snarky to a 'girl' but were put in their place by your expertise. It's hard to believe someone doesn't know how to change a tire or have the equipment to do it. And isn't it nice to get a compliment from the older boss man. Maybe when he gets home he can start teaching his kids how to be more like you.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Now I now you enjoyed that opportunity a whole lot, too. But you're still one very kind-hearted gal.
And really....is there anything you can't do?


word verification: picksheit

Now...that fits your job description perfectly! lol!

Jayke said...

Teehee. I grew up in the country so I now exactly what you mean. Except now I've moved to the city and I occasionally get to surprise people with a bit of that country generosity.

A good example happened to me last weekend, when my Significant Other locked his keys in our car, out of range of the bus service.

Well my city friend demanded $20 gas money for driving me and the extra key out to him, and in general made a fuss about it.

Later on in the night my country friends got the message I'd left them and called, all in a thither, asking if everything was resolved and did my Significant Other still need the extra key because OF COURSE they would drive me out there.

Just different mentalities I suppose. Excellent story!

Beth said...

"I think about giving what you have, and receiving much in return."

This is so true! Slow down, say "hello" to everyone, what you have to say on the cell phone can wait until your not driving, and gosh darn it if it is planting season or harvest time just add on a few extra minutes to your drive time because there will be tractors on the road. It won't kill ya to slow down and enjoy the farm scenery! :)

Long live farm girls!

Golden the Pony Girl said...

Congrats. You showed those city boys a thing or too. Though I live in a city (a small one but still) and I have never paid someone to fix a flat. Strange.

lisa said...

That was a good story, don't you just love it when men think you don't have a brain in your head? Girls are all prissy and don't know how to get dirty! City boys!!!

JeniQ said...

hahahaha I am and always be a Country Girl. Who is now trapped in the city! ugh

I was raised on a farm with my grandparents. I have the whole "God helps those who help OTHERS" mentality. If you need it and I got it, you can have it!

Back to the whole country living thing. I always shock people when I tell them there are three things I can do really well:

Change a tire
Change oil
and shoot a shot gun!

LOL But back to your story.. I loved that those poor city boys didn't have a chance to be any further 'snarky' with you.


Rhonda said...

Thanks for sharing a great story! You are right, there's a great difference between city living and country living. Helping one another is so great, and it's just second nature. :)

Sydney said...

Thinking about this you really can tell a city from a country person by the way they handle a situation.

It's a lot to think about. I think about it all the time and how it defines the person I am. I am responsible and generous yet no one walks all over me because I hand out things, expecting nothing in return.

Jo said...

Thatta girl syd. I'm super impressed!

My word verification is "studly"


Jessie said...

A couple of years ago I was a country girl living in the city. The HR person for the company I work for had a flat on her BMW and was complaining that she had to wait for her husband to arrive to change the tire. I thought that was such an odd notion for someone to have to wait on a man to change a tire! I told her I could change it in just a few minutes for her and all the people standing there gave me the oddest look. I guess they thought it was as odd for me to change it as I thought it was odd for her to wait on a man LOL. I guess her hubby felt bad that I had offered because he took off from work to change it out early, so I never did it, but I didn't think it was nearly as big of a deal as everyone thought it was.

I guess us country people are just a lot more self-reliant! :))

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