|He was slightly angled in this picture due to having to turn around and make sure he didn't hit someone's mailbox or worse. This was the first time I ever saw him on a tractor July 2007. He made my heart go pitter patter. 💓|
The day I met him on his turf was more than just spending time with him, more than just seeing his farm and where he lived. It was a test, a test to see if I fit into his life, a test to see how I handled a day farming with him. Farming wasn't something he was going to give up so if I couldn't handle it or just plain didn't like it then it was goodbye Erica, don't let the door hit you on the way out! It wasn't like he voiced this out loud or even hinted at it, it was more something I just felt an intuition. We spent most of the day on a tractor in 100 degree heat cutting hay. The heat and I don't go so well together as I'm more of a cold weather person so although I did fairly well and didn't complain once I was so glad when his Parents called asking when Robert was going to bring me to meet them (although highly nervous as well especially since I wouldn't have the chance to change into something nicer) as it meant we were done for the day! YAY!!!!!
Almost every weekend thereafter I drove down to his place (he lived an hour and half away from me) and he showed me the ropes of the farm. He taught me to disc , to rake, to bale and basically how to work hard, harder then I ever worked in my life!💪 He introduced me to his cattle, the donkeys that helped keep coyotes at bay, and the dreaded chicken houses (the only place I refused to help unless he was on his deathbed and couldn't be rolled in with a wheelchair to do the work 😝) which housed 20,000 chickens per house. Tractor Supply became my new best friend as Robert was soon sending me on errands there every chance he got (I didn't mind as it meant I got to ride in an air conditioned car and had the chance to get out of the heat). I seemed to learn something new with every visit to his farm, about him, his farm and us. I lived for those weekends!
|Robert & his Donkeys (My 2nd visit to his farm)|
Dating a farmer was a whole new experience, working from sunup to sundown. I was a City Gal who slept until 10am on the weekends and not up until 9 on weekdays. I stayed up until 1am most nights and lived 10 minutes from the grocery store, my gym, my work and my best friends place. I loved air conditioning as in COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT IT!! I played poker, hung out and took vacations. DUDE, I wouldn't even leave the house without being dressed and having my makeup on which includes going to the mailbox! You'd never catch me leaving the house in my P.J's. My grandma used to tell me never leave the house without putting your best foot forward as first impressions were everything. My heels, my beautiful brown suede and black high heels which went with almost every outfit I owned; my how I lived in those heels! Anything to make me look taller than my 5'2' frame. 😀
So when I say dating a farmer was a whole new experience IT REALLY WAS!!! My weekends became working weekends, slacks traded for jeans, heels traded for boots and tractor wheels. We worked from sunup to sundown. I then went home Sunday evening and started my normal work week all over again. There wasn't a lot of down time however I loved being on the tractor with Robert. I loved just being with him, talking with him, watching him and feeling a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Something about working the land, surveying God's beauty and seeing things grow from all your hard work and a whole lotta prayer was humbling, peaceful and beautiful. I loved how we talked, the conversations we had about everything under the sun. It was a great way to get to know each other, to size each other up and see how well we would work together. For me it became a new way to enjoy my days off from my normal 9-5 job or in my case 11-7pm.
Needless to say I must have passed his test that day because he kept asking me to come back every weekend! Either that or it was for the free labor. 😳
Robert prepared me for being a Farmer's Wife but he never prepared me for running a farm, running a household and raising 2 toddler boys and a 3 month old baby girl by myself! 😱😲 How would I clean out the chicken houses, do controls, run the day to day farm business all the while running a 4 year old of to Pre-K, picking him up, taking care of my 2 year old son and my 3 month old daughter who always seemed to be on the boob?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Was I strong enough, capable enough to do this all on my own?!
To be continued....