My retired parents seem to have some crazy need to wake up at 4:00 each morning. When did they turn into farmers? Is there a field of corn behind the Lay Z Boy that I’ve missed? For that matter, when did everyone over 70 turn into farmers? My 87-year-old neighbor cuts his lawn with a flashlight at 3:30am and from the sound of it, has either a herd of sheep or an asthmatic cat in the back yard. Quite the farm.
My 90-year-old grandmother used to eat dinner at 2:00pm and wake up at 1:00am. Was she harvesting beets in the living room? And I don’ remember seeing a tractor in her driveway? I’m thinking my older relatives are still confused about this whole time zone thing that was recently invented in 1874. If you are getting up too early, move east! The only way you can say hello to Aunt Bessie before breakfast is to call at 2:00am from Norway!
The only thing most retired people are missing are the farm animals, because if you keep farmer hours you might as well buy a cow and churn your own butter. While you’re at it, why not shear some sheep before breakfast! Meanwhile nothing makes my elderly “farmer” relatives happier than talking about how early they got up that morning. Like by sleeping in until 7:00am, my 30 acres of imaginary wheat is gonna wilt? I’m lucky to keep store bought lettuce alive in the fridge. If it turns brown and smells, is it still alive? Better throw it out.
I get the typical farmer comments from my relatives each morning: “Must be nice to sleep in till 7:00am.” Like my dad has some conference call with the Governor of Iowa at 4:30 in the morning to discuss the turnip crop situation? He’s lucky to call the Johnsons next door to tell them they need to cut their grass; which does need cutting by the way. Most mornings, I’m trying to eat Cheerios without drooling and dad is firing up the grill for hot dogs for a late 6:30am lunch.
Their elderly friends also come by to let everyone know dinner is being served at their house at 2:30! That’s great, but I think I’ll be busy.. eating lunch!
If the dream of my elderly family members is to become farmers, we’re in trouble since the last thing we “harvested” was a pole bean seedling I got from elementary school in 1969. It eventually died. Meanwhile Aunt Beatrice worked at Dairy Queen for 40 years, which last time I checked did not require threshing wheat as part of the job description. We’re gonna starve, but at least we’ll be up early!
I think they have confused the idea of cutting the lawn with being a farmer. My dad has a lawnmower large enough to cut his 1/4 acre in 3 minutes. So if that’s the case, why is he waking up at 3:00am? Maybe he’s shucking corn behind my car? “Sorry I can’t make lunch today son. I’m getting ready to cut the grass on Tuesday.” They become farmers and their crop of choice is rye grass? If you’re gonna get up before the moon sets, at least plant some cotton!
Eating meals is always difficult with your grandparents because they’re always eating a meal for the next meal time:. You’re having eggs & bacon, but they’re eating tuna on rye with chips. At lunchtime, you’re having chicken salad, but they’re grilling salmon for dinner. We can never eat at McDonalds as they are trying to order a burger and fries for lunch at 6:30am. Maybe I’m in the wrong time zone?
I could almost handle eating dinner at 2:30pm if every meal wasn’t at the buffet line. Apparently when you reach 72 years of age, you suddenly realize that buffet lines are the only real way to eat food? So I get picked up at noon to make sure we get in line for our mid-afternoon dinner before “it’s all gone.” Meanwhile every senior citizen from Canada could eat here till Flag Day and they’d still have leftovers.
Here’s the horrible part of this story: I’m starting to get hungry for dinner around 4:30 and usually eat lunch at 10:30 in the morning. It’s coming and that buffet line is starting to look pretty good. I’ll see you for dinner at 3:00 and don’t be late or it’ll all be gone!