City Girl Meets Country Boy
My mom isn’t what you would call a country girl. Prior to meeting my dad, she had little to no contact with farms or farm animals. Her parents bought a house in a subdivision near 35th Avenue and Bethany Home in 1956. At the time, it was right at the edge of the city. Today, it’s an urban area.
My dad’s family was always involved in farming at some level. My grandmother and grandfather kept chickens, bees, cows, and pigs over the years. They raised their own produce – everything from pecans and apricots to strawberries and tomatoes. They owned a cotton field for a while. As the city grew, they moved to the edge of the sprawling metropolis, eventually settling on twenty acres in the desert west of Phoenix.
The fact that my parents both attended Alhambra High School says a lot about the city in the late 1960s – the farmers were gradually being pushed further and further into the desert as the subdivision builders snapped up land near the city. Small towns that once dotted the area grew toward each other, their borders eventually merging into the metropolis of today.
When she spotted my dad in his Navy whites leaning against a post in front of the TG&Y, she had no clue that he was from a farming family — and she wouldn’t have cared anyway. Dad was six-four, redheaded, and looked damned good in that uniform.
However, my mother learned everything she knew about farms and farming from Looney Tunes. This obvious gap in my mother’s education has led to a number of humorous stories. Mom once remarked that my great-grandfather must spend his whole day turning his windmill in the direction of the wind. When everyone laughed at her “joke,” she was confused.
Have you ever seen the cartoon where the chickens lay egg after egg all day long? That’s not true – chickens lay, at most, one egg a day. Mom thought Grandma’s hens were lazy and told her so. Grandma still laughs about that.
But the story I really want to tell you is about the time my mom thought our dog had eaten a leg off the cow that was grazing in our backyard…