Monday, October 11, 2010

Patience Is a Virtue

. . . that I do not possess.

Honestly, this is something I really need to work on. I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent, college educated adult, but my patience for events, big ones and small, is lacking. Joe and I dated for nine months, had a nine month engagement, and then waited nine months until we realized we were ready to start a family. I try to run fast, hate waiting in line, try get projects done without procrastination, and want Christmas to come quickly. This can be a good set of character traits (or flaws, whichever way you want to look at it), but as a farmer, I would be terribly disappointed and annoyed most of the time.

I have always known that Joe is more patient than I am. He is the ying to my yang. We are opposites on a lot of things, and patience is one of them. I knew that as just a person in general, having patience made Joe so much more pleasant to be around in places such as Disney Land or while we're stuck in traffic, but as a farmer it is necessary for one to have a lot of patience.

This is why he's the farmer, and I'm the farm wife.

Take harvest for example: this season in itself is an exercise in patience. Each field and its variety has a certain time when it's ready, and if it's not, you must wait, no matter what the weather is, what the neighbors are doing, etc.

Then, once you get rolling, there's the whole waiting in line elevator. This can be minutes or stretch as long as an hour or so. I'm not saying that Joe enjoys waiting, but he is good at entertaining himself, making new friends with the other drivers, and getting to know the staff at the elevator. These are basic exercises in patience.

Then there's the whole marketing side to being a patient farmer. Friday was a great day, as the markets soared. All the farmers around here were excited, as there was still a lot of grain in the field left to sell. However, Joe, being a planner, as well as being patient, has already sold quite a bit of grain ahead of schedule through his relationship with a grain selling advisor. This is generally a good practice, and since the predictions by a lot of experts this spring said to sell early in order to lock in good prices. It seemed as if Joe was doing the right thing.

Then, the fall happened. Slowly but surely, the grain markets have crept up, and on Friday, were limit up (see here for an explanation of this term... as I can't put it into words as well as can!). Anyway, being patient on your ground is necessary, but as far as marketing go, it's like gambling. You can make a great deal more money if you wait for the markets to go up, or you can lose thousands of dollars in a single day. Thankfully, Joe has some insurance, meaning, he has some things in place to allow him the option to sell at a higher level, even when his grain has already been contracted to sell at a certain price, so all is not lost, but his patience has been tested.

My methodical, patient, calm husband is realizing that although patience is a virtue, some times, one just needs to go with one's gut, and roll the dice!! His personality won't ever change, but he is coming to realize that being impatient and impulsive is some times a good thing. I love it when a personality trait I have that is seemingly undesirable is some times right!


  1. Patience is being tested around here as well - sometimes I would like to string the Board Of Trade up by it's toenails!!!!

  2. Besides maybe weather, marketing in this era of volitile prices has got to be one of the most nerve racking parts of farming!