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.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

And that is all that I got to say about that.

A rattly truck squeaked to a stop in front of the feedstore in a certain small town. The driver heard the ruckus inside before he even got to the steps and opened the door to the shop. Townsfolk were hollerin' – real mean like –  at someone. The crowd was big and angry. A small figure was taking the brunt of their anger. She was defiant but there was no mistaking the tears behind her eyes.

Just behind the driver a short, unkempt woman with a dirty shirt, a bad pony tail, and muddy workboots walked thru the door.

“Hey there, OFG!” Said the man from the truck. When he smiled his eyes twinkled like the morning stars. When he hugged her hello it was like green fields and blue skies. She felt like the sun was shining just for her.

“Shep!” She cried, “I'm so glad to see you!”  He was like an older brother she always wanted. He was comforting and kind and always gave her good advice.

They called him Ol' Shep on account of how he was a good shepherd – he was the best and that was the truth of it. But he wasn't particularly old, of course. He was tall and broad and strong. Ol' Shep looked like he'd been roughly used by the weather and he was well scarred by his work. He always carried his shepherds hook. He had never been known to stop looking for a lost sheep until he found it. Everyone who knew him loved him. He didn't always say much but when he did – it mattered.

OFG noticed the crowd and their anger and the woman who was gettin' the worst of it. She gestured with her head toward the goin's on, “What's that about, Shep?” OFG asked.

“Well,” He said, “You know how folks are... that woman... she's made some mistakes.”

“That's terrible. Does she really deserve all that hollerin'? I mean, what could she have done?” OFG was looking at the crowd. The woman was on the ground now and someone had kicked her. She pulled herself into a ball trying to protect herself. OFG wondered how far this was going to go. She gave Shep a worried look. Shep nodded his head faintly, concern on his face also.

OFG then recognized the woman. She had seen her around...and yeah. That woman had made some mistakes. Farming mistakes. Business mistakes. There had been losses. Some of it was just bad luck.  It could have happened to anyone.

“Someone should do something, Shep.” Said OFG.

“Yep. Someone should.” Shep was looking right at her.

“Oh no...no.. no.. not me.” Shep was still looking at OFG with those morning star eyes. “That gal doesn't even know me, Shep. That is not my fight. She's doing just fine on her own. She'll figure it out.”

Just then a tear welled up in the woman's eye... the crowd started to laugh and mock her. The woman tried to get to her feet under her but someone pushed her roughly aside and she fell. “Serves you right!” Someone from the crowd yelled.

Ol' Shep put his hand on OFG's shoulder and pushed her forward. “I got you, don't you worry.” He said.

OFG surveyed the crowd. They were all there.... Hypocrite Harry, Do Nothing Dorothy, Loud Mouth Lucy, Mean Spirited Margie, Self Righteous Steve, Flaw Finder Fred, the one they called Mocking Jay, and all the rest. Malcontents. Trouble makers. Meddlers. Criticizers.

OFG squared her shoulders, Ol' Shep's hand was still on her back. “Hey!” She called to the crowd.

Some of them turned to her. “Oh good. You're here, OFG! Look! Just look what we got here. This one...” Said their ringleader, Mean Spirited Margie, as she shoved the woman down again.  Mocking Jay laughed loudly.

“What are you doing to her? Why don't you just leave her alone! Do you really have time to come here and make fun of this woman?” Asked OFG.  “Ain't you got chores or something farm related you should be doin', Margie?”

“Oh no! I got nothin' to do all day but call out all this gal's problems. She made mistakes and she got too big for her britches and we are gonna put her in her place.”

“That's right,” Said Flaw Finder Fred, “Too big for her britches! Unlike us decent folks who ain't got the pride on them – like her.”

Flaw Finder Fred kicked at the woman with his dirty boot. “Ain't no one likes anybody who's got the pride on them. Take me for instance, all's I got is humility. Tip top number one humility that is me.” He pointed to himself proudly.

“Is that right?” Asked OFG wonderin' where all that humility went to if you used yourself as the plumb line for the judgment of others.

“And she is trying to make money off her farm!” Called Hypocrite Harry. “Can you believe it! She's trying to earn a living from her farm. And sellin' things! Yes she is! Sellin' things.” He practically hissed.

“How's that farm market doin' you for, Harry? You makin' money on it. On your farm?” Said OFG giving Harry a hard look.

“Well. Now that's different.” Said Harry.

“Really.” Answered OFG still lookin' at the hypocrite standing in front of her.

Loud Mouth Lucy pushed forward from the crowd. “You don't get it, OFG, that woman – some of her chickens died. Died! It was horrible. Just horrible. Whoever heard of chickens dyin' on a farm! And she raised her pigs in the mud! The MUD!” Lucy got a fan out of her oversized purse and started fanning herself like she had the vapors.

This was all getting to be to much for OFG.

“Which one of you had livestock losses last year? Or I should ask, who didn't?” OFG called to the crowd, “You? Fred? Didn't you lose a whole clutch of chicks? Lucy, didn't your ducks all get killed by coyotes? Steve, I believe it was you who lost 3 baby goats to the cold, wasn't it?” OFG looked each of them in the eye.

Now came Do Nothing Dorothy. “OFG everybody knows that livestock shouldn't die! You haven't had any losses, now have you, dear?”

“Where did you get such a ridiculous notion, Dorothy? Of course I've had losses.  Do you... wait...do you even farm? I thought you lived in town.” Said OFG.

“Well I read it on the Wiki, for heavens sakes!”, Said Dorothy, “I don't actually have to farm to know about it. Any fool could see...” But then Dorothy's voice kinda trailed off then she heard what she was saying out loud. “Well... I mean...” Flustered, Dorothy muttered something and headed out the door.  She slammed it with a huff.

Some others in the crowd had started to drift off also.

The complainers, the agitators, the pointers, the mockers, the fault finders, the hangers on, the former friends, and the worst -  the folks who just wanted to feel important by putting someone else down. OFG was disgusted by the lot of them.

“But she deserves it!” Said Ranting Randy. “... why, there was someone who knew someone who saw a guy a the Gas n Sip who said their cousin was ripped off by that woman.”

“Then I'm sure there is a better way to handle it then a bunch of you goofs all getting together to nit and pick every little...and big... mistake that someone has made.  If you don't like what she sells then don't buy it. If you don't want to hear what she has to say then don't read it. But why would you all get together every other day and hash and rehash it all?” Said OFG wondering if any of them had any sense at all.

“How about you, Schadenfreude Shelly, do you really feel better by mocking someone who may lose their livelihood? You really don't have anything better to say or do?” Said OFG incredulously. She was getting mad now and put her hands on her hips.

“Well she's POOR!” Spat Point It Out Paul. “She ain't got no money and talks about it.”

“Yes,” Said OFG nodding her head, “Because I never heard of anyone having hard times during the worst financial stretch in several generations. Yep. I'm positive she is the only one with money troubles. If I had a dollar for everyone who made a bad financial decision in the last couple years … well, then I wouldn't have any money problems either.”

“Oh hell's bells.” Said Paul as he slapped his leg with his dirty hat and stomped out toward the door.

“Look,” Said OFG to the rest of the crowd, “I'm not saying that mistakes weren't made. I'm not defending everything this woman has done – I don't even know her. But what I do know is that you probably don't have the full story. All's you are is a bunch of strangers on the internet.  And you have to know that what you are doing is senseless.  And mean. How would you like every mistake you've ever made scrawled all over the interweb? What if every loss, every incorrectly spoken word, or every hard lesson learned was used against you? Is this really how you would want to be treated?”

The crowd started muttering and backing away from the woman. Pretty soon the crowd had broken up and it was OFG and the woman in the feedstore. “You want a ride home, honey?” Asked OFG.

The woman just shook her head, got up from the floor, and hurried out the door.

OFG turned to see Ol' Shep still standing there. He was smiling at her as he handed a flier he pulled from the bulletin board. It was about an anti-bullying program starting over at the local high school.

“I think some of the grown ups around here need this more than that kids, Shep. Maybe we should start a new program for adults?”

Shep just kinda laughed and looked down at his boots and then back up to OFG.  “Well, OFG, that program has been around for a while but I suspect folks have just forgotten that you should treat others the way you'd want to be treated.”

“Ah yes. I think I remember that one. We should all keep that in mind, huh? I get that....But why are they so mean?” Said OFG.

“You see, OFG, everyone wants grace. But no one wants to give it. If you are the one who's had a run of bad luck or had a hard loss or said something stupid... well. Then you'd want folks to overlook it and move on. But them folks... well. All they want to do is put other people down. If you were to hang out their laundry you'd see their mistakes too. See their losses and all the dumb things they have said or done. It's a hard thing. But you can bet that if they were the one getting kicked around all they would want is someone to step up for them. ”  He smiled at her.

“You done good, OFG.” Said Shep “You done real good. Now come here. ” He hugged her goodbye and promised to come round her place. “You keep your head on straight, now.” He called as he walked out to his rattly old truck, put his shepherds hook in the back, and climbed into the drivers seat.

“You think that did any good, Father?” Said Shep to the older one in the passenger seat.

“We'll see, Son, sometimes it just takes one person to make a difference. You know that.” Said the Father. “But you keep your eye on that OFG just in case the crowd turns ugly on her.”

“Oh. I'm not worried about her. She's good and tough.” Ol' Shep smiled and they pulled onto the road and drove away thru sunshine, blue skies, and green fields.

Editor's Note:
For those of you who don't know what this is about just go on about your day.  I'm not giving it any more airplay. Do not read any further. Have a great weekend.

For those of you who do know what this is about and came over here expecting me to jump in with you in making fun of someone who has made mistakes or has hard times.... well then. You have come to the wrong place. We don't do that here. We don't ridicule or belittle or make fun of people who may or may not deserve the kind of stuff you are dishing out.  If that is you then shame on you. Get your kit together and get off my blog, get off my facebook, and do not comment here.  And if I may quote the great bard, Taylor Swift.... "All you are is mean."

You wanna have something to say about me in your mean farm girls club because I don't have time for your foolishness? Do it. I ain't about to bawl because of what you might say about me. I will mock you privately to my real friends - then delete, block, and unfriend you and I will never think about you again. 

Smell ya, later, haters. Go on and get out of here. And that is all that I got to say about that.


Heavens Door Acres said...

Wow. I am guessing the "story" is just that.. a story to prove a point. Most people who are always picking on others, have faults they are trying to cover up. One thing I do NOT tolerate... is haters and bullies. Good for you! Someone has to stick up for the weak.. even if they do make mistake after mistake. They can't learn otherwise.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, I'm not worried about her, she's good and tough."

(Plus around back there were four huge dogs that were keeping a close eye on the crowd, I'm still not sure hypocrite Harry made it home.)

Chai Chai

buddeshepherd said...

When you refer to yourself in the first person my somewhat bent mind automatically fills in an "M" into your name. So I see OMFG instead of OFG. Sometimes is results in unintentional hilarity.

Wildcard said...

Interesting. I didn't know you were getting any if that stuff from the other place over here.


Teri said...

I don't know the story behind the story and I don't need to. What you posted is awesome. The internet has made it too easy for folks to be mean. If you wouldn't say it in person, you shouldn't say it on the internet.

RayT said...

I don't know the particulars but I can guess ... Well said. ...
Pilgrims Progress meets throw the first stone ... Very well said.

Anonymous said...

This needed to be said

Ohiofarmgirl said...

HDA, it was a "thing" that is/was happening. People are goofs.

Thanks Chai Chai, always so glad to see you. And yeah, the dogs give me courage and confidence. And the scared the crap out of the UPS guy the other day. ;-)

Budd.. I'm adding the "M" just on account of you. That is awesome.

Hi Wildcard, they are gone now. Left in a huff. That is a bad crowd over there. :-/

Thanks Teri, it is easy to be mean online. There's folks behind those usernames - real people.

Thank you RayT, and thanks for coming by.

Thanks Anon, I keep thinking maybe if more folks could say it then we would have a better interweb.

RebeccaH said...

Thank you kindly for a glimpse into my past with folks like that around and the community it showed. My friends were always the ones that others frowned on, we had fun and took each other as it came, I miss them alot. If someone was mean towards you I apologize on their behalf. Would say they don't realize what they do, however, I think otherwise. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! I've never felt so negative or down than after I read that other "thing" that was happening. What is wrong with people? I'm glad you wrote your post, and may we all make mistakes with a little forgiveness in our hearts.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

No worries, Rebecca, they aren't after me and I wouldnt have a hoot if they were. I'm sure they've worked themselves up into a tizzy correcting my spelling and what not. I'm glad that you had such good friends - we all need that. :-)

Folks are just folks, Anon, sometimes there is no explaining it. But you can guard yourself from their negativity and focus on the happy. Why, with Ol' Shep with us who could stand against us? Those folks? Nope. Thanks for your comment and come on by any time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you. You put this situation down in words so wonderfully. You see, the woman in the story, the one being called names is my friend and it's been breaking my heart to read what's been said about her on that other blog. I finally pulled myself away from it because it bothered me so and I realized that trying to talk with those people was like talking to a rock. I can't waste my breath and time. I only hope that when they have a falling down, they're treated a bit better than they seem to treat others. Maybe then their eyes will be opened.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this.
I read about it on the "mean girls" site.
It's easy to pick someone apart on the internet, especially when no noe is allowed to see all the mistakes you've made in your life.
Shep should also remind some people about that old saying about people living in glass houses.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Hey Cat, thanks so much. I heard from her. If you see her in person give her a hug from me. And those goofy folks.. yeah just stay away. Sometimes strength means not fighting - that doesnt mean you agree or take it... it's just not worth your time or effort. If anyone ever teased me about my buckets I'd laugh myself sick and then never think about it again. Goofs.

Hi Anon, thanks for coming by. I'm sure they have a lot to say but I haven't looked. I have to much of my own happy life going on here to be bothered with that level of negativity. Folks are goofy for sure. And Ol' Shep knows... he knows. ;-)

Anonymous said...

.....If I were that woman I would be sad that the reason people come to the blog is not for my farm and work but to rip apart someone elses....

Laura said...

Thank you for standing up and saying "enough."

Red Beard said...

Thanks for writing about this, very well done. And yes, they have probably parsed every word of yours for criticism. In one of their rants, they claim victory in getting one of her sponsors to drop her by "exposing her sins". If she had a lawyer, maybe she could sue for slander and damages, but who can afford a lawyer?

Anonymous said...

Well said!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks Anon..and glad you came by.

Yep, (next) Anon, I was thinking the same thing. I'd want folks to come to my blog to learn about butchering or have a laugh - not to be an mean as they could be.

Laura, I'm glad for your comment - it's nice to have the encouragement.

Red Beard, I hope they are correcting my spelling and grammar... I'm always dangling a participle somewhere and I never know where my verbs are at. ;-) Anyway. Yes you are correct defaming someone's character is a legal offense.

Thanks Anon.. appreciate the support. :-)

Jeane said...

OhioFarmGirl........thank you so much for this post. I will be taking your wise advice and just not going back to the "mean girls"blog to see what they're spewing. I was shocked that it got so far out of hand, but if anyone notices, the majority of these women post anonymously...why are they hiding their identities? Awesome post and thanks again. Jeane

Ohiofarmgirl said...

thanks Jeane.. and yeah. I noticed those girls are all hiding under anonymity. thats ok - it's what that do. focus on the happy, baby, and don't waste one more second thinking about their foolishness. *hugs*

Carol said...

Ohiofarmgirl, you are a girl after my own heart. I love your wit, especially the names. I totally agree, and I have even written on that nasty blog asking them why they "waste' their time coming over if they don't like the blog. I never got a good answer. Thank you for saying what had to be said. Maybe they will see themselves for what they really are, a bunch of haters hiding behind their computer screens.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks Carol, aren't people goofy? I don't get it either. If you don't like it, don't look. For heavens sakes there are so many ways to do things and to live our life. Just do what works for you. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

Elizabeth from the Berkshires said...

I'm late to the party, but I wanted to throw my thanks in here for your words.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks, Elizabeth - and thanks for coming by!

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