Life lessons from old farmer adages

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 3, 2005

I’ve always had a special place in my heart for farmers. My daddy was one, and his daddy before him. The sight of an older gentleman wearing a pair of well-worn Liberty overalls and sturdy work boots always puts a smile on my face and brings a pang to my heart.

Toss in a John Deere tractor

– especially if it’s a diesel one – and a feed cap, and you’ve completely won me over.

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So when I saw my friend Joanne Schrantz had forwarded to me &uot;An Old Farmer’s Advice&uot; my eyes lit up. My dad had his own favored words of wisdom: &uot;A little laughter in life&uot;; &uot;Don’t trust a man who’s afraid to give a firm handshake or look you in the eye&uot; and &uot;Always leave early ’cause you don’t ever know when trouble might come&uot; were some of them.

I think my dad would have approved of these pithy sayings and maybe even adopted some of them as his own. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did…and thanks, Joanne.

n Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

n Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance.

n Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

n A bumblebee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

n Words that soak into your ears are whispered – not yelled.

n Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.

n Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.

n Do not corner anything you know is meaner than you.

n It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

n You cannot unsay a cruel word.

n Every path has a few puddles.

n When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

n The best sermons are lived, not preached.

n Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.

n Don’t judge folks by their relatives.

n Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

n Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.

n Don’t interfere with something that ain’t botherin’ you none.

n Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

n If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

n Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

n The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with watches you from the mirror every mornin’.

n Always drink upstream from the herd.

n Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

n Lettin’ the cat out of the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.

n If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ someone else’s dog around.

n Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Angie Long is the lifestyles reporter for the Greenville Advocate

and can be reached at 383-9302, ext. 132 or via email at