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Farm Girl Prom

Most girls spend weeks anticipating their first prom and preparing all the little details - their hair, makeup, dress, jewelry. The day of the prom they start getting ready early in the morning and spend the day in high anticipation.

Not this girl. I got up, pulled on my barn clothes, and headed out to a corn field with my family and some hired help to pick rocks for the morning. My day was planned though; I had a dress borrowed from my cousin waiting for me in my closet and borrowed jewelry from my Gram laid out. That afternoon I was going to my aunt's salon to get my hair done, with just enough time to jump into my dress before the big event.

So back to the corn field. You get really dirty picking rocks. I mean REALLY dirty. It's kind of fun, but also hard work. You walk around and around the plowed field with someone in the tractor following closely behind. I never got that job since there was always someone older and more capable to run the tractor. Too bad. We'd make jokes, tell stories, and sing silly songs as we picked to make the time go by faster. The dirt was usually very dry and dusty, and dust would fly as we'd chuck rocks into the tractor bucket. Thunk! Thunk! Miss. Thunk!

Dad always said to look for rocks the size of a baby's head or bigger. Sometimes you reach for one and it ends up being an "iceberg," meaning only the tip is sticking out of the ground and dad needs to spend 5 minutes digging it out with the tractor. I was always being teased for looking like I was doing jazz hands, but I was just lifting up my hands to shake dirt out of my gloves almost constantly.

Since rock picking occurred in the peak of springtime, black flies usually found us. Dirt, flies, and hot sun, depending on the kind of spring day it was. But we all knew this about the job, so there was this unspoken resolution with each other to make the best of a task that needed to get done. So we'd go from field to field teasing each other, chucking rocks, and swatting flies.

Before picture - picked rock the morning of prom.

I'll admit, I was kind of glad that this day I had an excuse to not help the whole day with rock picking because I had to get ready for prom. Sometime after lunch I was about to go into the house to shower all the dirt off when my mom had a fun idea to take a before and after picture. So we went across the road to the flowering crab apple tree where she snapped a picture of my dirt-covered self, then I ran off to the house to get cleaned up before getting my hair done.

Hair done, dressed up, and ready-to-go, we went back to the crab apple tree for the "after" picture before I went off to prom with a friend. My sweet dad gave me a corsage to wear. I remember prom being kind of fun, but one of my friends in our group had a deck of Uno cards in her bag and we found ourselves ending the evening playing Uno! Needless to say, I didn't feel the need to go to my senior prom!

After picture - cleaned up and ready for prom.

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