Ever since my husband and I started talking about marriage, there are elders around me saying, “You must be mentally prepared, it’s NOT easy, being the daughter-in-law of a farming family, you will rise with the sun, you must have strong shoulders, and strong arms too, you must be a jack of all trades.”
At the moment, I, who’d been an office worker for a long time, other than feeling that strong sense of panic coming on, I can only be led by the blind. Not knowing, that after I’d married into a farming family, did I start understanding what “farming” and being “farmers” are all about.
My in-laws followed the scheduling of the sun, their sweat drenched the land, even though, they’re NOT adept with words, but, their darkened face showed of their white teeth when they smiled, they’re straightforward and passionate, without a calculating mind. When I was pregnant, they’d accompanied me silently, after a twelve-hour work day, they’d still bring home a specialty chicken soup for me. Toward themselves, they lived simply, but, they’re very kind and generous toward their neighbors, and would have their neighbors’ hands full with their planted foods, to know, that they’d done well, entertaining their guests, because agricultural products is how they’d showed their appreciations toward the guests who visited them.
There is a HUGE piece of land that they have, and, hiring some hands can surely lessen the strains, but, it couldn’t match up to the elder’s expectations of how things are done, and, even though, this workload is too heavy for elderly over the age of sixty, but, NOBODY could talk some sense into them.
After I’d married into an agricultural family, that, was when I got hands-on experiences in an entirely different field, did I realize, the hardships of the farmers. No matter the produce, and no matter the seasons, they’d done everything step-by-step, planned the schedules carefully, and this happens nonstop yearly. And sometimes, because of a huge rain, a typhoon, the temperatures dropped too much, then, ALL of their hard work had gone. The second harvest last year is exactly like so, all the grapes, because of the low temperatures, they can only sell them cheap, or make them into wine. And, they’d both said plainly, “We’re dependent on the weathers to make a living!”
Growing and selling on their own, they’re NOT adept in business, and there would be picky customers who called to complain, and they can only smile and apologize: what’s weird, was that those picky customers are their steady clientele. My father-in-law scratched his head and said, “Someone who picked at the products are the true buyers.” Seeing how my in-laws took care of their crops like they would their grandchildren, I’d finally understood this kind of heart and persistence of the farmers, and, I’d felt a bit more respect toward them, glad, that my children can grow up under their influence.
And for me, someone who’s married to a family of farmers, who couldn’t do anything to help out, I hope, that my father-in-law’s crops can find fitting customers, and, the customers are eating their healthy products, while my in-laws are planting, working happily in their fruit plantation, keep reproducing the best of the produce products.
And so, from this daughter-in-law’s observations, she’d realized the heart that goes into her in-law’s planting their food, and, she’d gained a LOT more respect for them too.