Any farmer worth their weight in salt keeps quality conditions for their animals in the forefront of their agrarian efforts. There is a lot that goes into protecting and maintaining the range houses for our turkeys. One of the stinkiest tasks is topping-out the buildings. This process entails driving through the building with a tractor and litter machine. The litter machine sifts through the sawdust shavings on the floor and separates out the waste. The waste that is removed from the buildings makes terrific fertilizer, as it is completely natural and environmentally friendly. Once all of the waste is removed, we add fresh sawdust using a spreader bed. This allows the building to stay drier and healthier.
My job in the process of topping-out buildings is to open and close the doors as Hubby drives the tractor in and out of the barn, and to walk in front of the tractor shooing the turkeys out of the way. It may sound easy, but it’s NOT!
On a recent topping-out experience, Hubby yelled at me, “Don’t let me run you over!”
Well, as a I love my husband very much, I was somewhat terrified that he believed I had the power to stop over three tons of tractor and litter machine while he was in the driver’s seat. I guess the fact that he was the driver should have instantly solidified my trust in the process, but I was still leery. To make things worse, turkeys are stupid birds.
I nearly allowed Hubby to run me over a number of times, because on almost every trip through the building, a stupid turkey would run under the tractor. Aaagghhh!
Every time, I would yell for Hubby to stop and then try to shoo the poor, endangered bird out from under the tractor. Hubby continually reassured me that the tractor was moving slow enough that they would always find their way safely out before a tire or the litter machine got them. (He was right. Don’t tell him I said so, but he was right.)
In spite of Hubby’s rightness, I still felt mild panic every time a turkey snuck past my expert shooing strategies and moseyed under the tractor. After realizing that the turkeys would indeed be okay, and that my constant stopping of the tractor was slowing our process, I came to the epiphany that I was going to have trust the man on the tractor and do my job without getting run over.
Farming and marriage have a lot in common. We are trying to grow something that will lead to a healthy life, and, while it may sometimes be scary, we have to trust one another and work together. There are going to be issues, like stupid birds and heavy equipment, that slow us down, but those experiences are what make our time together more productive. Trust is a tricky thing, but a willingness to let our partner take the driver’s seat can be a terrific choice when trying to attain a goal. Giving each other a heads up about potential dangers or problems is a solid way to communicate and help curb those moments of mild and major panic. So really, Hubby’s heads up about not running me over was a way for him to say, “I love you. This could get scary.” (He’s so great.)
Consider your relationships. Give them some Intentergy and allow trust, communication, and a willingness to work together be your implements for healthy connections.
Don’t let uncertainty or panic stop you from taking on the world together and growing in ways that are healthy.
If the situation feels too scary, stop the proverbial tractor. Talk or shoo away the stupid stuff. When all is said and done, hopefully your relationship will be less stinky and refreshed by the knowledge that you did your jobs well, and no one was run over.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. I don’t think Hubby would run me over, but topping-out buildings is like our marriage counselor. Each barn we clean is like a trust and communication building exercise. I just wish the turkeys would quit interrupting our sessions by running under the tractor.