Monday, September 6, 2010


It's been a LONG time since I've been able to use and show off some of the skills I have that fall outside of a stereotypical woman's skill set. Basically since I've been living in the city, I've been spoiled. I've gotten soft. No early morning barn chores to do, no after school hay forking, grass cutting, fence painting, shed cleaning, snow combatting, no real inconveniences at all. While my heart has always ached for the Country living I left behind, the rest of me has settled quite comfortably into cushy city living.
Today, though, I was given an opportunity to dust off some knowledge once given to me by my father. Knowledge that I once used more than I ever wanted too.
Back when I used to drive shitty old trucks and cheap cars I got pretty good at "boosting" or "jump starting" vehicals as my batteries were notorious for being dead all the time! To give me independence and to keep me from bugging him all the time, Dad gave me my own booster cables and lessons on how to use them. Reinforcing the very important, never to be forgotten rule, when it came to connecting the cables to the battery, "boys to boys, girls to girls or you get sparks," several times. I sure cussed my old truck and it's dead battery, but every time I was able to jump start it myself, I felt a huge sense of pride and power!
Today, I went to school, on the last day of my long weekend, to get some planning done before the craziness of September really gets rolling. I was the first one in the building, but after about an hour or so 2 other teachers showed up. They appeared at my classroom door looking upset. "Jeanne," they asked, "your a country girl arn't ya? Do you happen to know how to boost a car battery?" A smile spread across my face as I jumped up from my desk, "ofcorse I do!" One of the girls had booster cables in her hand, her own, though she had no idea how to use them. The three of us headed out to where the dead car was parked. I moved my vehical to be closer and we opened the hoods. Finding the hood release proved to be the most challenging part of the ordeal, as I had Marty's van. He was using mine to haul dead trees to the dump. Anyway, the girls started reading the faded instructions on the cables outloud, while I confidently, without listening, attached three of the four clips to the batteries. The girls squealed and jumped out of the way when I hooked up the last cable. I think they thought there'd be sparks. I jumped in the Van, fired it up and the owner of the dead car, did the same. Before long her car was purring like a kitten and she was grinning like crazy. We let the car run for a while high-fiving each other while we waited. It felt good to be celebrating our capabilities as 21st century women together, it felt particularily good for me. I have not felt that powerful, independent feeling for a very long time! Thanks, Dad, for giving me the skills to take care of myself in those situations, and thanks, girls, for reminding me of a long forgotten gift!


Country Girl said...

Jeanne, you rock!!!

MaryM said...

You sure do rock, Jen! Often times I really hanker to back up a horse trailer into a tight spot or take the tractor out for a spin. Country life is the way to go!