A good blog should have one theme: parenting, travel, homeschooling, running, or living abroad.

But life isn’t that tidy. Rather, themes tend to run together like watercolors on the wrong type of paper.

I can’t write about one aspect of life without revealing the strange bits, because the quirks (even frustrating ones) are what make my life unique and funny and memorable.

I would like to introduce you to a character you know well from my posts: my arch nemesis… 

 

…the manure truck.

Now this particular truck is not all that bad, because it has hoses that funnel the liquid straight to the ground.

Other trucks I’ve seen do not have the intricate hoses. Instead, the manure spews out, as if someone had yoinked a giant cork out of the back.

I’ve also seen manure trucks that mist the fields with their ripe liquid pungency. But those trucks are less efficient, and with the right wind, a lot more dangerous for runners.

Even with your windows rolled up and your air freshener twirling from your full-blast AC vent, merely driving behind one of these trucks will bring tears to your eyes.

If you grew up in farm country, you will tell me this is a classic case of a city girl who is not accustomed to the frische Landluft. 

For the record, this manure comes from pig waste.

And pig manure, as we all know, makes cow patties smell like fresh clean laundry by comparison.

When you are out running and you see one of these trucks in the field, turn around and go the other way. 

It’s not that you will necessarily be sprayed with manure, it is the fact that the stench makes you feel like you should have donned your toxic chemical cleanup suit rather than your running tights.

On the bright side, if you are running parallel to a field where they are manuring, you are guaranteed your best time ever. Manure trucks, for all their flaws, are great motivation for achieving a personal best.

It is the manure trucks that make my training runs interesting. I have to alter, adapt, or change paths because of them, and thus, my runs are never routine.

I sometimes think this would be paradise, if not for the manure trucks.

But in all honesty, it wouldn’t be my beautiful, green, funny Franconia without them.

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