Monday, December 10, 2012

"Business Trip" Blog Post

Here's my IL Farm Families Blog Post from November. While I haven't had time to update my own Farm Notes Blog with fun farm stories, being a monthly blogger on the IFF Blog has given me deadlines, and I've learned that deadlines make me write. 

As an extension to the blog post below, I DID attend a business trip with Grant last weekend in Chicago. It was the IL Farm Bureau Annual Meeting where we stayed at the Palmer House, enjoyed a day of hanging out in the city without kids, and met up with friends. Grant mentioned that it was obviously a conference for farmers with our parking deck in the Chicago loop FULL of pickup trucks and Wranglers (jeans) and cow boots galore in the  Palmer House lobby and along the Magnificent Mile. Anytime he wants to take me to Chicago for a conference where I can shop, eat, and see friends, I'm game!

Illinois Farm Families Blog

Business Trip

Illinois Farm Families - Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Last night, my husband left on a “business trip”. Not the get-in-a-limo-wearing-a-suit type of trip, but a jump-in-his-pickup-truck-with-a-hog-trailer type of trip. My husband is a farmer and also raises and sells show pigs as a hobby. His “business trips” entail packing over night bags full of jeans and collared shirts, not suits and ties, and driving a trailer of pigs to a neighboring or far-off state for a hog show. 
Growing up, my dad and step-dad both left on business trips frequently throughout the year. They would wake up, dress in their suit and tie, and wait for their taxi or limousine to pick them up and take them to the airport before sun-rise. They’d be gone anywhere from just a full day (flying out early in the morning and back late at night), a few days, or even a week. They’d return exhausted carrying their briefcase and suitcase through the door wearing what seemed to be the same suit they left in. We’d greet them at the door with hugs and kisses to welcome them home. No sooner, they’d loosen their tie and get out of their suit and put on something more comfortable. 

Sometimes, I was lucky enough to accompany my dad on his business trips: Florida, San Diego, Hawaii, and Las Vegas were my favorites.  My first father-daughter trip was to Atlantic City when I was 7 years old. I have such special memories of being alone with my dad on that trip. Many years later, imagine my excitement when I was in college and my dad called to ask me if I wanted to join him in Las Vegas and we’d spend a few days hiking in Utah before his conference began.  I was beyond thrilled! Hawaii was pretty awesome too!

My husband has recently offered to take me to far-off lands of Oklahoma and Texas where I’d accompany him at pig shows, but I’ve respectfully declined. However, when we were dating (and I was eager to impress him), I did join him at the Illinois State Fair for two days where I hung out in a very hot hog barn in the middle of summer. I remember wearing cute jeans, a black tank top, and adorable sandals. I learned my lesson quickly as my blank top turned the color of saw dust, my jeans got all dirty from being sideswiped by pigs multiple times on their way to the ring, and my toes need protection from who-knows what on the concrete floor. When my kids are a bit older, we will go along with my husband to pig shows to experience the excitement of raising livestock. Although we won’t be going to Hawaii or Las Vegas anytime soon, the pride that comes from raising pigs from birth can be pretty awesome, and I want my children to experience that too. 

These days, I don’t welcome home a man in a suit and tie, but a husband who is still in his dirty show clothes from the early morning of selling and loading pigs. He too is exhausted from a long day and night of driving and many days away from home. And although he is eager to get out of his “business attire,” I always steal a kiss to welcome him home…even if he smells faintly of pigs.

Kristen Strom
Brimfield, IL

1 comment:

  1. Love this story, Kristen! You're a wonderful writer! AE