My senior year in high school I lived with my paternal grandparents because I really couldn't stand the thought of trying to live out my senior year living with either of my stepparents.
My grandparents owned a small farm, and when I got there, I was expected to do chores and contribute. I got there right after school got out for the summer in May 1994.
Not long after I moved in, it was time to take the cows from the wintering pasture (our farm) up to a pasture that my grandpa and a friend of his rented from the BLM for summer grazing. So we had a load of cows, and my grandpa's friend had a load of cows.
We got up there, and right when we got there, we saw a cow in trouble. She was in labor, but things weren't going well. I didn't know anything about cows, but my grandpa determined that the calf was being born breech (head first). And it was stuck.
Well, I had long arms, so I had the job of pushing the calf back up the birth canal between contractions, turning it, and pulling it back out. That didn't work, so I just pulled it out. The calf had died at this point, but the cow's life was saved, so it wasn't a complete loss.
Just about the time the cow was finished eating the afterbirth (which is a sound I'll never forget), the wife of my grandpa's friend came driving up. (This was in the days before cell phones, btw).
"I was so worried! You said you'd be back in two hours and it's been six hours! I thought you had gotten in a wreck or there was some kind of emergency!"
We explained what happened and she repeated the above refrain about five times while we were telling the story.
So we get in the truck, and as we're driving back, my grandpa says, "Listen, Jeremy. She has always been like that, and it's ridiculous. That shit needs to be stopped early in a marriage, or it will ruin you. This is what you do. Right after you get married, say you're going somewhere. Doesn't matter where. Tell her you'll be gone for an hour. Come back in three. Don't apologize. Don't explain. If she asks, just say, "it took longer than I expected." Do this half a dozen times in the first six months of your marriage, and you won't have to put up with the bullshit you just saw. You're a man, and you don't need to be on a goddamn leash."
I miss you, Grandpa.