Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cog in the Wheel

Sometimes your job may not seem that important. Your name isn't on a door in a downtown office building. There's no gold-plated nameplate on your desk. You may not even have a desk. You may do what you do without a paycheck.

But it doesn't make the job any less valuable. Meet Susie. She lives at Miller Seed Farms, where I visited last week to pick up some seed wheat. Susie isn't the CEO, the CFO, the COO or any fancy letters.

But you know what? Her job is mighty important. She and her friends keep the mice away from the ceiling-high stacks of seed wheat.

They are the unofficial welcoming committee for customers who come to collect their seed wheat. But we might walk right by and not recognize their value.

Susie, Sammy & Gabrielle

It's easy to take things for granted. We enjoy Oktoberfest and don't thank the people who went to committee meetings for a year so the rest of us could enjoy a small-town festival. We complain to our city leaders or our school board members instead of appreciating their sense of civic pride and the time they spend to make our communities better. We don't think about the lady who spends her morning in the church nursery so that young parents can go to Sunday School. The list is endless for people who serve quietly and without fanfare.

I was amused by a recent blog post from another farm wife. Jent, who writes "From My Front Porch," had a conversation with her 12-year-old daughter, who wondered what Mom did all day long.

Jent said, "Oh, you know: Take naps, lay around, surf the web."

Emi Lou: "Huh, well that makes sense! I can't wait till I have kids and they go to school so I can lay around doing nothing all day like you Mom!"

It reminded me of a long ago blizzard. Randy's folks were on a cruise. The guy who was supposed to help chore couldn't get here. I was recruited to help feed cattle. Jill, 6, and 4-year-old Brent had to go along for the ride. We were all stuffed into the tractor cab for the jaunt through the snow drifts.

As we made our way, our little 4-year-old male chauvinist said, "Mommy, I didn't know you knew how to work."

Driving through blinding snow gave me an opportunity to explain that Mommies certainly did work, whether their tasks routinely included doing cattle chores. After his Dad wiped the smile off his face (all that took was a glance at my face), he helped explain the facts of work to our young son.

Some days, it may not seem like what I do is important. A hot meal delivered to the field may not bring world peace. Going to Zenith for another tankload of fertilizer is a trip of only a few miles, but it saves Randy time. Honking the horn in a pasture to "call" the cattle seems paltry when compared to rounding them up with the 4-wheelers.

But just like Susie and the Gang, we all have our jobs. And they are all important ... whether we collect a paycheck at the end of the week or not. (Thankfully, I have a husband who appreciates that. If he didn't, he just might have to send his own emails!)

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