For real farmers. For real friends.
This one’s going out to the Minette’s.
Because real friends stick, even when years pass and distance grows.
During a big chunk of my teen years, I considered myself one of the Minette’s, a sort-of-sister to Melissa, Marcus, Teresa, and Jill. I picked rock in the summer, thus winning over Jerry with my excellent rock-picking abilities. I washed dishes after lunch because Maria treated me like one of her own and her own had to wash dishes after lunch. I went ice fishing and snowmobiling. I was there on the deer opener when all the guys headed out in what felt to me like the middle of night. I mucked out horse stalls and climbed hay bales. Heck, I even sat in a deer stand with Melissa during bow hunting season. We may have talked about our dream weddings, and I may have fallen asleep, but I was there.
Am I a city slicker? Sure. But a farm girl, too? I like to think so.
If you’ve ever driven along I-94W just past Sauk Centre, you’ve seen the Minette farm. You’ve seen a picturesque pasture of grazing cattle. Like the farms you read about in books, the cattle contentedly munch grass out among the oak trees. Like your postal carrier, the cattle are there, rain or shine. Because cattle are meant to be there, rain or shine.
Every time we drive by that farm along 94, I shout out, “Hello, ‘Minettees’!” In the summer, I love seeing their gentle cattle meandering through the pasture. And at winter dusk, I look for the big street lamp in the Minette’s backyard. I imagine the cattle on their way to the barn at days’ end, trusting, dependent, cared for.
There’s a long driveway we can’t see from the interstate, but I know that at the end of it the kitchen lights are pouring warmth out onto the front porch, waiting to greet evening guests. The Minette’s are true friends, and true farmers. And for them and for all the sincere farmers out there, I hope the rest of us can find a way back to caring about where our food comes from and caring about the people who produce it for us.
(Now available on DVD.)