Thursday, April 26, 2012


When FArmwife was 
Since FarmWife is away at a conference, I figured we could talk about her a bit. She's a half a bubble off plumb, you know.

FarmWife was raised in a barn from age 14 to 18. It was a nice barn, and eventually had running water and electricity. Early on, it didn't. FarmWife's bathtub was in a field, her phone was at a post in the woods (under a bucket, which doubled as a stool for comfort while conversing), and her power came from a gas-powered generator with about 50 minutes in the tank. FarmWife and her mother would haggle and bargain over who had to go fuel up the generator during the last commercial break and risk missing the crucial last five minutes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

FarmWife is descended from staggering geniuses, hardy Scotsmen, and the mentally ill. From the geniuses, she got a fair bit of brainfulness. From the Scotsmen, she got a predisposition against throwing anything away ("waste not, want not!"). From the mentally ill, she got some morbidly fascinating stories. The most fascinating of all are the ones about those relations who were both mentally ill and staggeringly brilliant.

FarmWife is deaf in her left ear and listens ceaselessly to a symphony of tinnitus, the tone and perceived volume of which ranges from the sound of a high-pitched tea kettle to the sound of a high-pitched tea kettle whistling with ten other dissonantly-tuned high-pitched tea kettles in a train station during a violent wind storm blowing off a storm-tossed sea. This happened all of a sudden, on the evening of Dec. 7, 2007. She was driving at night, in the snow, with a goat, and she remembers the surreal strangeness of it—of telling the goat her ear felt full, and of wishing to be home.

FarmWife loves to skip, to whistle, to sing, and to color in coloring books. FarmWife tries to refrain from doing these things in public too terribly often, as she is of an age where unabashed joyfulness is frowned upon. She settles on grinning like an idiot and walking springily.

I won't tell you all of FarmWife's secrets, because we must save something to talk about next time she goes away from me. Those should do for now. Don't tell her I told you!

Fenway Bartholomule

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