Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Friday, April 1, 2011

How to become famous in a small town. Part Two.

I'm not the biggest Miranda Lambert fan, but I did believe her when she sang,

"...Whether you're late for church or you're stuck in jail 
Hey words gonna get around 
Everybody dies famous in a small town..."

Around here you don't actually have to die to become famous in a small town. You can just do something stupid. Like scream like a banshee at your Bad Neighbors, or get your 4x4 truck stuck in town on pavement, or even something more ridiculous.

When we first moved to this property from the Old Farm we were warned by several people not to tell anyone our business lest "everyone" in town started talking about us. Well. From where I stood that just sounded like some kind of challenge. I resolved to make up wild stories to really get the tongues wagging.

Its not like I hadn't done it before. Once in my corporate life I got tired of everyone asking me why I was taking a medical leave. I finally just got fed up and told someone I was getting a boob job. For months after I returned to work random people would just stare at my top half. A "frenemy" finally came up and said that "it didn't work." In truth I had gotten my tonsils taken out. It worked just fine and I laughed that my own rumor got back to me.


As luck would have it, we have had plenty of ridiculous things happen that sent the townfolk into a flutter. I don't even need to make any of this foolishness up. Most times all's I had to do was walk into the local feedstore and start talking about whatever happened that day. But one lovely late summer day I actually achieved the kind of fame I'd hoped for in this small town.

We were getting ready to take Vita, our big ol' Saanen back to her home herd for the winter. It was one of those weirdly hot fall days and we were little nervous about driving her all the way back in the heat. But we opened the windows on the cap of the truck and figured she'd be just fine. What could happen, right? Right.

We set off and everything was going just fine until we were about about a quarter mile outside of our town. All of a sudden The Big Man's completely unreliable, much hated, hunk of junk, craptastic little truck started to fail. And not like it usually fails where you have to get out and whack it with a heavy duty flashlight to get it to start - I mean to tell you it died right there driving down the road. We made it to the side of the road and were half hanging in the field - but we got stopped safely.

Well this was bad. The problem with living so far out from civilization is that there isn't anyone around to just come and get you... and its not like you can call a taxi. So I did the only thing I could think of.... I called the Good Neighbors.

Since I have a history of leaving garbled and misunderstood messages on their answering machine I was careful not to scream obscenities or anything else inappropriate...just a mild call for assistance. I did that the first couple times I called. Then my messages started to get desperate. Eventually it became clear weren't home. We were really in a pickle.

We needed a plan. Fast. The sun was getting hotter and Vita was starting to pant. We determined the only thing we could do was get her out of the back of the truck and The Big Man should walk home to get the good truck. It was about 3 miles up hill but I figured he could do it so off he went.

That's when the fun, and fame, started. People started wondering what exactly was going on just outside of town. There had been rumors that some gal was standing by the side of the road with a goat. The townsfolk elected representatives and they started driving out to see what was going on.

I tell you the the truth, no fewer than four separate people got in their cars and drove out from town to ask me what I was doing. Satisfied with the answer "Oh.. you know.. just standing here with my goat," that I provided they got back in their cars and drove back into town to spread the word.

Mind you, they weren't driving by where we were stranded. They all turned around and went back the way they came. They were just curious to see what was happening.

It was just me. And Vita. Standing there by Old Man Shaylor's field. A girl and her goat. And a broke down truck.

Nervously I watched The Big Man disappear out of sight. Frankly I started to panic a little. Me. The goat. Alone. Well, except for the onlookers.

I wasn't convinced that anything really bad would happen. I mean, if alligators or grizzly bears or what not attacked I'd sure as heck leave Vita standing there as bait while I ran off. But then I realized she's pretty fast for a goat so maybe I'd be the one "buying her time" while she got away.

Then the panic really set in.

I turned to prayer.

"Oh Lord, please don't let me die here by the side of the road, in Old Man Shaylor's field, with this stupid goat!" I pleaded. I needed a miracle.

And then... and then..... not two minutes later a shiny blue minivan pulled up.

"Say neighbor, whatcha doin'?" Asked Bob Good Neighbor.

I was agog. "Um.. well.. you know.. standing here by the side of the road with my goat." I managed to stammer.  I was so happy to see our Good Neighbors that I almost burst into tears right there. I couldn't believe that they appeared...miraculously.

"Well, why don't you hop in and we'll take you home." He said.

I was starting to crack. I was actually going to cry right there in front of them. But I come from a family that doesn't believe in crying so I sucked in it.  We strategized instead. It was decided that the Good Neighbors would go and find The Big Man and take him to get the good truck....and then he'd come and get me. And the goat. They drove off waving.

And that's when I finally broke down and cried with joy that we had such Good Neighbors. And I cried that they "just happened" to drive home on that road - the way they never, ever drive home. I buried my face in dear Vita and wept with gladness. And that's when I realized that even tears of joy smell bad on a goat and so I pulled myself together.

In a few minutes The Big Man showed up, we reloaded Vita, and away we went.

Of course, we left a note on the dashboard of the dead truck saying we'd come and get it the next day. But chances are the sheriff already knew what happened. Heck, he probably knew we were late to church the previous weekend.

News about me standing by the side of the road spread pretty fast. When I walked into the feed store a few days later they all just started laughing and asked me if I rode my goat into town. Hilarious.

So you see, Miranda, you don't need to get the first buck of the season or even die in a small down to get 'em to point and stare in disbelief...all's you really got to do is stand by the side of the road. With your goat.

Happy Friday everyone - Anybody else famous in their small town?

ps don't forget Farm Friends Friday! Thanks Verde Farm and Dandelion House!


Kristin @ Going Country said...

Infamous, probably. Our last name is very distinctive, and my husband's family has been here forever, so everyone knows the name. The only question is whether they associate it with the crazy cousin who got in more than his fair share of fistfights or my somewhat-crazy-but-in-an-interesting-way grandmother-in-law.

Now we're known as the sheep people, because one of the sheep pastures is right next to the main road leading into the village. I think my husband is also known as an eccentric, because he drives a truck that sounds much like the one in your story, regularly shows up in the village smelling of sheep and dressed in clothes covered in roofing tar stains . . . AND is a lawyer.

That's a nice thing about small towns, though--they're pretty accepting of quirks. If you're a local, anyway.

Robin said...

Like my Irish grandmother used to say "if they are talking about you, they are leaving someone else alone"

I think it's amazing how fast news travels in the country...maybe faster then the internet!!

Mr. H. said...

Thanks for making me smile so early in the morning.:) Ah yes, small towns...reminds me of Jeannie C. Riley's "Harper valley P.T.A" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOZPBUu7Fro

Autumn said...

I am famous in my small town... I'm That Crazy Kid With That Goat. Every day, people slow down and wave and holler "HI!" even if I don't know 'em. After living here for 10 years, people are starting to accept my goaty-eccentric-ness.

Weekend Cowgirl said...

Yes, there are never any secrets in small towns and rural areas!

Grandpa said...

I remember the garbled message...funny but could have caused you a relationship with your neighbor.

So prayers work sometimes. Glad you are all ok, even though famous in the end.

Me? I can't be famous. I'm all alone in this jungle. Take care pal.

David P. Offutt - The Gastronomic Gardener said...

You crack me up!

JeffJustJeff said...

Everyone at work is giving me strange looks because I'm laughing like a loon in my cube! I can only hope I have half as many adventures on my little farm as you do. By the way, we close Monday!


Rae said...

That post was fantastic. Gave me a good laugh to kickstart my Friday. I especially liked your prayer. Heehee.

We're currently known by the neighbors as that nice young couple that bought the property that $&@hole used to own. Lol. Could be worse. :)

taio said...


Mama Mess said...

S'cuse me, but don't nobody be sain' nutting bad 'bout Miranda Lambert! ;0)

Can I ask a totally stupid question? Why come you no not ask one of those nosy folks for a ride back the way your hubby was walkin'? They weren't goat fans?

I've lived in small towns my whole life. As a matter of fact the town I live in now has 1800 people and it's the biggest one. My hometown had around 750. We are pretty stick to our self kind of folk so if people talk about us, we don't know about it. But I'm sure they do cuz we've had the cops called on us twice! Mind your own bidness and ya won't be mindin' mine is what I like to say!

Journey11 said...

So funny...thanks for the chuckle! I don't have a goat, but I wonder if a chicken wouldn't work? I think I may be famous enough just for owning a pitbull (who 10 years later hasn't eaten anyone yet.)

Gotta love those small towns. Everything's news to them. Our small town newspaper is currently publishing reader's complaints on their neighbor's eyesores. That should prove for some interesting reading. ;)

Dave @ HappyAcres said...

I lived for 25 years in a small town and I never achieved any fame, or infamy. Well, I got d-i-v-o-r-c-e-d, which probably got the folks from the Baptist church a-talkin. I did have a Good Neighbor, and he was also Famous for his escapades, some involving livestock. Hard to top your story though!

Leontien said...

Haha THANKS! that was a great post! Did you really tell everybody you got that boob job done?

Haha thanks for making my day!


Chai Chai said...

Have you ever seen the "Tammy" movies? I would think that folks in your town would possibly think you were "Tammy" from "Tammy and the Bachelor". Tammy and her goat Nan walk all over and she sleeps in the barn with her.

Tammy is also known for speaking her mind, very directly - like someone I know....

Mrs.Weeb said...

We haven't made our mark in this town yet, but in our previous one they really thought I was nuts.

Aside from the fact I had a seemingly perfect horse that I never rode, only walked by hand up and down the road multiple times a day (she was a foundered rescue in rehab) or that I exercised 3 of my dogs by riding up and down the road on the lawn tractor with them running along side (they were show dogs, and *I* am not about to run THAT much!), but I think the clincher was the sign on our electric fence that my electrician husband got that said in big bold letters....

34,500 volts

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great laugh! I know ALLLLL about that "small town feed store" mentality, since, ummm, well, now I work there :sheepish grin: And I absolutely LOVE it! Thanks for still keeping me laughing!

Summersweet Farm said...

You have the best stories, sweetie. One of the reasons I like to stop here first whenever I get a chance to take a little break. We're coffee buddies, did you know? :)

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks for eveyone's fun comments! I'm a little behind this weekend - the big cheese and all...

Kristin, he sounds like my kind of lawyer! We are the goose people. Except for the whole goat thing.

Sure, Robin, I'll take one for the team. And I'm not afraid to make an ass of myself.

Mr. H - you have no idea. One time some VERY conservative folks showed up. I was in cut off shorts and a tank shirt without...um appropriate undergarments. It went badly.

Autumn, I love that people holler atcha! Whoot!

WCG - I'm working on my next wild rumor to start. But mostly the truth is good 'nuf.

Grandpa, you are famous to me!

Thanks David, its always ridiculous but always fun.

Monday is the big day! Whoooot! I'm very excited for you.

Rae - I totally laughed at who you guys are. I think we are still the "new people" even tho we've been here for awhile.

Thanks, Taio - come by any time!

hey GW - Miranda is just a little too angry for me. But I'm glad she's winning all those awards tonite. And none of them towns folks were headed toward our house - they were just coming out to see what we were doing. And then they went back. I'd already humiliated myself in the feedstore plenty of time so I wasn't going back in to ask him for a ride.

Journey - sure! Just walk around with your chicken in your purse! One of the small town newspapers publishes who got traffic tickets every Thursday.

Villager - scandalous!

Leontien - yes I did!

CC - the Tammy clips kinda freaked me out, man. Um.. goat as a best friend? Nah. That just ain't fittin' at all.

Mrs. Weeb - thats hilarious. We want a sign that says "If you can read this you are in range."

Bethanial - I bet you've seen everything at your feedstore!

SSF! Yay! Coffee buddies! I read you too when I'm having my cuppa

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

"And that's when I realized that even tears of joy smell bad on a goat and so I pulled myself together. " Hahahaha!

Thanks for the laugh - you really need to consider writing a book!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks B2B! These crazy things happen to all of us... but somehow I think we get an extra helping

Chai Chai said...

I loved the handpump and the wood burning cooking stove in the first TAmmy movie, it would probably cost a fortune to get them installed in a house now.

* Crystal * said...

Bwahaha!!!! You and I dear must be related some how, some way!! That was fanfreakingtastic!!!!! LOL!!!!

I love your contemplations about leaving the goat for bait, only to realize you'd likely be bait!!

And oh yes, oh yes.....Tis fairly easy to be famous in a small town!! I had a small bout of "fame" as well... I was recognized, *gasp* by a complete stranger!!! lol http://noodlevilleadventures.blogspot.com/2011/09/finally-famous.html

Anywho, thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting & thanks so much for sharing your blog with me....Got such a kick out of this!!! :) Sent you a pm on FB so check your "other" folder :)

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