I will never marry a farmer

You can only imagine the teenage sass and emphasis I used when I said those words.  I was seventeen in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church talking to my mother during preparations for my oldest sister’s wedding.  I don’t remember exactly what prompted those words.  Both of my older sisters married farmers and years later my little sister as well.  I grew up a country girl active in 4-H and FFA, but not really a farm girl.  I lived in a small farming town and worked on my brother in law’s family farm enough to know about the life of a farmer’s wife. 

The farm never stops.  There are animals to be feed even if you want to go on vacation (or heaven forbid sleep in Saturday morning).  Don’t plan a spring social event when crops must be planted.  Maybe you’ll go swimming on the 4th of July or maybe you’ll bale hay.  Hope you enjoy beautiful fall foliage from your combine window because that’s probably where you’ll be.  And no matter the date when you MUST be on time the cows WILL get out (they KNOW).  Farmers are very much planted to their farm.  This just wasn’t for me. 

Little did I know that just over a year from then I would meet my future husband.  We didn’t actually transition from friendship to dating until he was almost finished with college.  Enough time for me to be over living in a college town and mellow on my never marrying a farmer stance. 

Now, I could never imagine leaving the farm.  The farm gives me a constant connection to nature.  Watching the cycle of crops change from seeds in the soil to tall corn stalks rattling in the fall breeze or watching the newborn calves transition to lumbering steers, the farm is full of the beauty in each of nature’s seasons. 

Kids take that connection to a whole different level; marveling at a newborn calf or pig, taking their pictures all summer next to the growing corn, falling asleep in the combine’s buddy seat, always something new.  The beauty of the farm is wonderful, but the kids also learn the circle of life very early.  They help us feed and care for premature or sick calves.  They learn about medicine, nutrition and the fragility of life.  While these lessons are not as fun, it is easy to watch these lessons mold my kids into more compassionate and thoughtful humans.  They see the consequences of their actions (good and bad) play out and learn to be intentional in the way they treat animals and people. 

There are still days when the never ending work that seems to be for naught when you’ll catch me with a scowl and an eye roll questioning “Why did I marry a farmer?!”  But in my heart the answer is always, “I wouldn’t have it any other way.” 

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