I arrived at our driveway, after driving through a torrential downpour, to find nothing left of him.
Nothing but his muddy farm clothes.
The minute he'd left the farm, only 2 hours earlier, I'd felt it. Something was amiss.
He didn't like being sent home without me, but that was too bad--when you have a foot healing from minor surgery and the sky begins to open up cats and dogs, you gotta deal with your lady sending you home and out of the wet. He was lucky I'd even let him come out that morning, but we've been under the gun and dancing with the weather trying to put our Summer One field to bed in time to till it under, add amendments and get it ready for the Fall plantings.
We're so relieved this will be the last time we have such a rushed turn-around. By the end of this Fall, we'll have prepared enough acreage we can do proper seasonal crop rotations. Good thing, too. The weather always steps on your feet when you waltz, especially when she's armed.
And so, off McFarmer went. I don't have a healing foot, so I wasn't too concerned about the rain. I stayed to roll up the last three 100-ft plastic fabrics we'd used as mulch for our tomatoes. I also stayed so I could fall in the mud half a dozen times. No one was there to hear me curse the squelchy ground, my puny muscles or the unpredictability of nature. I squashed each black widow I spotted as they scrambled out from their rudely removed home of the last several months. I began to roll the final fabric.
And then lightning. Crash of thunder. More downpour. Way more cats and dogs.
After taking cover for about 20 minutes at our wash station, I finally decided I was eeked out enough by the constant claps and blazes of lightning to head on home myself. It was a hairy 25 minute drive or so, lengthened by a resistance to drive anything but 15 under the speed limit. I'm not a huge fan of driving in a classic Texas gullywasher.
But then I was home. Safe. Close to an opportunity of dryness.
But then I saw my melted partner. Nothing but sleeves. He just hadn't been able to make it. A whole life of emptiness swam through my head, void of any beard hair whatsoever.
I trudged inside, pealing off sopping clothes. I stepped gingerly through the kitchen on my way to the shower, to ponder my loneliness, and who did I see, lounging on the couch?
My McFarmer! It was him!
He looked up at me, smiled sweetly and said,
"Hey! If you're wondering why my clothes are in the driveway, I left them on the ground there so the rain would wash off all the mud. I thought that was probably the best way to get them clean."