Winter nights at the Horst household in the late 80s/90s included story hour. We loved it. Father read the best stories. They always included lots of sound affects and whatever twist to the story he felt like adding (and Mother prompting him to stay with the actual plot…) So I knew that he was the perfect option for my next project- but there was also some trepidation with this idea…
Let me back up- Way back when I asked for ideas for my #30for30 list, Cousin Marj suggested writing a book. I stored that idea away and didn’t really think about it until one Sunday, I got distracted in the middle of church with the perfect book idea. (unfortunate, I know) I was so excited, that I told my parents on the way home from church my entire plan. Well, dear sweet Father got on board and totally changed my plot to incorporate a joke he’d heard years ago. I kinda stored that idea too… But when I had my book almost complete, he rolled in to see how his addition was… And I went back to the drawing board…
Snapfish was running a sale, so I printed 10 whole books. Since I’m not counting on this being a bestseller, I thought I’d better start out small.
And so, I present to you, the abbreviated version of the Adventures of Farmer Stan:
The book opens with Farmer Stan (incidentally did you know my dad’s first name is Stanley same as his Fathers?) and his Good Wife Joy embracing the morning over a cup of coffee.
They whip through the morning chores. Stan milks the cow, while the Good Wife Joy gathers the chicken eggs. She holler “BE CAREFUL” over the noise of his trusty ol tractor as he heads to the back 40 to harvest wheat. That field is pretty steep, and safety is of utmost concern. BUT he has such a busy day ahead, that he forgets…
TO WEAR HIS SEATBELT… and the tractor hits a bump and poor Farmer Stan flies through the air… (at the point, my sister’s assure me that my book should be rated PG-13 and will traumatize children for years) Fortunately, the Good Wife Joy knows what to do and she calls 911 where a friendly operator assures her that help is coming and help Farmer Stan stay calm.
Help does arrive in no time as the ambulance bounces back the farm lane and EMT Bob soon has Farmer Stan out and on the stretcher and headed to the hospital. The Good Wife watches and tries not to worry. They still had so much work to do, and now Stan was hurt! How would they manage?
But then she heard a noise off in the distance- Farmer Frank and Farmer Fred (with credit to the men who’ve blessed us on a number of occasions) come and bring equipment and soon the wheat is all harvested…
The next morning finds the couple back at the breakfast table, Stan nursing a broken leg, rejoicing in God’s goodness through the blessing of good neighbors.
And thus ends my part of the story. note- I did take the privilege of adding a few details to the following- my dad’s contributions to Farmer Stan’s adventures
Several weeks later, Pastor Phil sets out to check on Farmer Stan. He waves at Neighbor Jake as he goes past, sees Brother Bagger combining in the field and shouts encouragement to him… But then he rounds the corner and comes across something that makes him scratch his head.
Farmer Stan’s trusty ol tractor is setting beside a pile of straw with Farmer Stan’s daughter Maggie beside it forking straw in the hot sun.
Pastor Phil goes over to talk to her “You’re working way too hard, you better take a little break and cool down under that shade tree.”
“Can’t” she said, “my daddy wouldn’t like that”
He watched her briefly and then insisted “Look, I have on my good suit, or I’d help you. Why don’t you take a little break while I run home and get my skidloader and I’ll return and have this loaded in no time flat”
“Can’t” she still didn’t pause “my daddy wouldn’t like that”
“But this is ridiculous! You’ve got to quit for a little! You”ll have a heat stroke”
“Can’t” she stated “my daddy wouldn’t like that”
“Look” he plead “I know you’re daddy is a hard worker, but he’s also a reasonable man. Let me go have a chat with him. I know he doesn’t expect you to work THIS hard.”
“Sure”she said, still forking like mad “I know he’d love to chat, he’s under this stack of straw, I’m getting him out as fast as I can!”
When Pastor Phil heard that, he didn’t worry about his suit and soon Farmer Stan was out breathing fresh air…
The Good Wife Joy served the entire gang watermelon as Pastor Phil apologized for jumping to conclusions and Farmer Stan thanked them kindly for rescuing him from his itchy prison.
As the Farmer reflects on that year with all it’s unusual misfortunes, he thanks God for taking care of him, and sending just the right help when he needs it.
The book had it’s maiden voyage with my dear friend Andrea’s adorable and energetic sons. Father read it with all the appropriate sounds and motions. The boys hung on bravely til the end and there were no tears, I’m happy to report to my sisters.
And the Go0d Wife Joy just smiles sweetly.
May you be able to see God’s hand at work in your life, bringing just the right person when you need them. Even if it does totally change the plot of your story (🤔) Good ol Farmer Stan😂
After Story Hour, the boys showed us their puppies… Too much cuteness!
And… Deb’s addition to our family excitement, Mr Kennell ruptured his spleen at an accident at work… So Mother has been enjoying the chance to brush up on her nursing degree. We are glad that he’s recovering so well. And that his bro and family visited from TN… And Nate, good sport that he is, humored me by reading Farmer Stan to his nephews. Mother brought out Farmer Stan’s barn and that was much more exciting than staying to get Stan out from under that straw stack.