Some days…

Yesterday, I had to get out to go do some farm errands. As usual, I didn’t want to go. The morning greeted me with rain, but it was supposed to move out, so I chose to get a few things done and wait to leave a little later in the morning. It finally got to the point where I had no choice, so I ‘saddled up my pony’ to ride. About a hundred yards down the road, the rain started up again, and although it was light, I still reached to turn my wipers on. And nothing happened. I tried a couple of times, and still, no wipers. So I turned around. I got back to the gate, stopped and called the Country Boy.

“Open the hood and hit the black box where the circuit board is.”

I tried, but I just couldn’t tap it hard enough, so I got my umbrella out and used the handle to tap. The wipers came on. Now, usually, when I do this, they work just fine for a month or two. The County Boy had just changed the circuit panel out a few weeks ago, so I just figured it was a loose wire or something. I headed back out, with Minden as my destination. About 35 miles or so North.

The rain quit about five miles from home, so I naturally turned the wipers off. As I continued to drive, a light mist clouded my windshield – I could still see, but I wanted to be safe, so I hit the intermittent button. Nothing happened. I fiddled with the knob a bit, gently twisting and turning, but still nothing. Okay. By the time I hit Ringgold, the sun had come out and needing them was no longer a problem.

At the outskirts of Ringgold, traveling at 55 mph toward my destination, my wipers decided to work. I reached down to turn them off, only to find that the knob was in the off position. I fiddled again, but they still swiped across my windshield with that annoying screech. Yuck!

I was too far along the road to turn back, and I really needed to get these things done. So I just sucked it up and kept driving. I began to sing at the top of my lungs to try and drown out the squeak. It’s a good thing I didn’t have passengers, because with my singing voice they would have been bailing out – taking their chances with road rash and a ditch crash just to escape.

And then all of a sudden, they stopped. I breathed a sigh of relief. My mind had just started drifting to the newspaper columns I write and possible photographs to match, when my windshield wipers hit a one-two beat, then quit. I waited to see if they would do it again, and just about the time I decided they wouldn’t, they went for the beat of three. Rats. I was out of songs.

By the time I hit the outskirts of Sibley, they began a full-on swing. Through Sibley and out the other side, bright sun shining all around, my wipers went to town. Instead of allowing the frustration to build, I decided to laugh instead. And laugh I did, all the way to Minden and Tractor Supply. A quick run through the store, and I got back to my car. I was hoping that, with the car being turned off and sitting for a bit, they would decide to settle down for the rest of the ride. No such luck.

A couple more stops, and I could just imagine what everyone was thinking about the crazy lady with her windshield wipers going full blast. No matter. At this point, all I wanted to do was get home. By the time I hit the two lane headed out of Minden, I was about certifiable. Laughter was all fun and good, but it had started to become a bit maniacal, and more than a bit scary. As I hit the North end of Sibley, they decided they had had enough fun, and stopped. But they didn’t go all the way down, as in a really stopped position. It was as if they were poised, waiting for me to get comfortable again.

I hate to say it, but I played their game. Five miles outside of Ringgold, I had just relaxed enough to enjoy the scenery, when they started up again. First, a couple of beats, then a few more. Stop. More beats. Stop. And two miles outside of Ringgold, they went full blast, and didn’t stop until I reached the gate. Where they stopped, and settled into the ‘really finished and completely stopped’ position.

Needless to say, my car stayed parked the rest of the day. I have to admit to looking out the window a couple of times, to see if the demon in the wipers decided to have a little more fun. Truthfully, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see them working with the key off.

Life is full of crazy things, and the best way to deal with them is to just laugh, or sing. To lose your cool means you have lost your grip on the situation, and losing that grip, however tentative at best, means you have lost completely. So, the next time you are driving down the road and see some crazy lady wither windshield wipers going full blast on a beautiful, sunshiny day, do me a favor. Don’t think anything about it.  Just wave. I promise I’ll wave back.


Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.


  1. It was fun reading about you and the wipers “going back and forth” at each other!

    1. Author

      All in a day’s work for a farmer, Gary. You never know what you’ll be up against!

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