Thursday, 17 April 2014

Learning the Truth About Dating a Farmer

This will be Part IV of the "Our Love Story" series that I have been doing.  If you would like to check out the other parts, follow these links:

Brett and I on one of our "dates" on the seeder.

By the time spring rolled around, Brett and I had been dating for eight whole months.  At this point, I pretty much knew this was it, he was the one who I was going to spend the rest of my life with.  But spring as a farmer - or as a farmer's girlfriend (or fiance or wife) - brings about a whole new set of challenges.  It was time for me to experience the insanity of seeding.

Our beautiful Case iH tractor and seeder.

I grew up on a farm.  It started as a grain farm, but when I was about 5 years old my parents seeded their land to alfalfa and started a business making hay bales for cows and horses.  I saw how hard both my mom and dad worked to keep the family farm running.  It was endless amounts of time and labour, day in and day out - as it is on all farms.  I knew all about how hard farmers worked, but I am not sure I truly understood it until I experienced it first hand with Brett.  I truly can't imagine having grown up in a city, to then fall in love with a farmer - what a learning curve that would be.  I at least had some forewarning of what I was getting myself into and I have a lot of respect for women who grew up in the city who then go on to marry farmers.

These words from a famous speech by Paul Harvey had never rang so true for me:

"And who, in planting time and harvest season, will finish his forty-hour week by Tuesday noon, then, paining from 'tractor back', put in another seventy-two hours.  So God made a farmer."

I had gained a new found respect for not only Brett, but both of my parents.  The thing about seeding is, you put in days and weeks of sweat and labour into planting your fields without knowing whether the crop will survive, whether you will get enough rain, whether you will even be able to sell the grain or not.  It takes amazing fortitude, perseverance, and sometimes simply a strong stubborn will to go through that without the guarantee of a payday at the end of it all.

As it turns out, what could have easily torn our relationship apart - thanks to months of only getting to see Brett when I rode shotgun in any number of different pieces of farm equipment, and having him be grumpy from lack of sleep or stress about the weather - was the very thing that made me fall even more in love with him.  They often say that a woman marries her father.  Seeing Brett in action on the farm made me see a little piece of both of my parents in him.  They and he share a love of the land, and a great willingness to go the extra mile to see their family legacy survive - even against all odds.  This was - and is - always something that I held great respect and love for my parents for, and now something that I also respect and love Brett for.

They say when you marry a man, you marry his family.  I'd like to add to that: when you marry a farmer, you also marry his farm.

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