The Heart of a Rural Sister: Belinda
This is the very first installment of interview type posts that I'd love to eventually turn into a podcast! My vision is to show the strength, courage and heart of rural women in agriculture by interviewing them and sharing their stories!
This Rural Sister is Belinda! Here is her story:
Tell us about yourself!
Well, I live in Slater, Missouri with my husband Mike and our 9 year old daughter Asya! We have a pet turtle, named Myrtle or Melissa depending on who you ask, a rescue dog named Mark, 3 full time barn cats and 1 part time tom cat that visits occasionally! My husband and I have been married for 2 years, but have known each other through church for many more. After seeing each other on yahoo personals, we finally decided to try dating! The rest is history!
When I was little my Grandfather farmed and we visited frequently. He raised pigs and cows! So I grew up around farming, but it wasn't until I got married that I've been so involved in it! Up until this last week, I worked full time in town, so am now really involved and working full time on the farm! We grow row crops of corn and soybeans.
What is the most challenging part of farming?
For me, the challenge has been in learning everything. Especially learning how to run equipment and drive a 13 gear semi. I’ll be practicing driving semi a lot, because we haul the majority of what we harvest straight to the elevator. We don’t have the bin storage to store it on the farm.
Would you mind sharing with us a time that was the most challenging for you and how you made it through?
Probably my first harvest. It felt sooooo long and I felt like a single mom again. But, we just pushed through and made it through the end. Now I make sure I get involved more!
Do you face isolation and loneliness that many women in agriculture face? If so, how do you deal with that?
I feel this especially during harvest, because of the long hours. I often feel like a single mom again. I have learned that staying busy and involved in harvest helps. This isn’t difficult with basketball, girl scouts and other activities that our 9 year old is involved in. Our farm also sits 1/10th of a mile outside of town, so we kind of have the best of both worlds!
How do you balance enjoying rural life and keeping the family at the center, but also giving your kiddos a chance to see/experience things outside of ag before they “leave” for college?
Our family is unique because our daughter spends time during the summer months with her dad in St. Louis. So she gets to spend time in the city and the country! She enjoys both and it gives her a good view of both lifestyles.
How do you integrate your kids into your livelihood and lifestyle?
We involve our daughter in everything we can. She rides in the combine and even likes to help work on the equipment too! She loves going to farm shows and climbing up into the equipment and pretending she’s driving!
What are the unique ways you find to keep your love and attraction alive with your hubby?
We really enjoy each others company, so I make a point to ride with him in the combine. We also like to make typical everyday things, just a bit more special. For example, on a parts run, we take a little extra time and go get ice cream sodas.
What do you believe are the three most important qualities in a farm wife?
A good sense of humor. Patience. Definitely patience. A good work ethic!
Knowing what you know now about life and farming what would you tell yourself 10-20 years ago?
Lift weights! Exercise! You’ve got to be strong to farm!
Do you have any daily self-care non-negotiables?
(For some this might be reading the Bible daily, others it's getting up a little bit earlier than the rest of the family to have a bit of quiet time, others it might be getting their nails done, journaling, etc.)
This is something I’m working on. I love to take a little time, go into my bedroom and read. I love to read. Having a bit of quiet time, just helps me calm down. My favorite books are books inspired by historical events. Two of my favorite authors are Janette Oak and Tracie Peterson. One of my most favorite books is called Dawn’s Prelude and is set in Alaska, just after it is purchased by the United States!
What is one piece of wisdom that you would share with another woman in ag?
Always have patience. Listen carefully. Don’t take it personally when your hubby is frustrated.
Anything else that you’d like to share?
"Each farm wife is different and unique. It takes special women to do what we do!!"
Belinda shared a recipe that she loves to use when she comes home tired and wants a quick, easy, yummy dinner!
Brown 1 pound of hamburger and season like you would for tacos.
In a casserole pan layer chips (Doritos, Tortilla or Corn Chips), hamburger, and shredded cheese. Layer again.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour.
Serve with your favorite taco toppings!
I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Belinda! I hope you enjoyed reading about her family and life! My favorite part was where she said, "Each farm wife is different and unique. It takes special women to do what we do!!" She is so right!
I hope that you know that you are unique, courageous, appreciated, and loved!
Love to you and yours!