Today more than one of us at The Bullvine was interested in reading about “the jobs where people are most likely to marry each other.”
We all liked the statement that “farmers, fishers, and lawyers are more likely to find true love among their own”. Having said that, I was a student from a construction family when I married a student from a dairying family. And two of my dairy offspring married outside the farm family. The other one married into a vegetable growing dynasty. Nevertheless those of us who chose to “have and to hold” a farmer are always interested in having our choice validated. Will it last? Are farmers good for the long haul? Here’s my answer to the question, “Do you take this farmer?”
A Simple Love Story
More than a few know the story of me falling in love with my dear husband Murray at a very early age. The legend is that at 12 I discovered he lived on the same road as I did, albeit at the other end and a whole county away. I then proceeded to chase him until he caught me. For a while, it looked like higher education was going to win all his affections but just before he ended up with more degrees than a thermometer, I got the chance to marry my favorite farmer. That was a dream come true for Murray and Karen.
Moo-Roo and Kow-ren together forever.
Even though I knew from older and wiser family members that the “girls” in the barn would always be #1 on the list of his affections, I felt up to the task even if I did occasionally rank somewhere between number two and number forty. That positioning lasted until Murray was hired by Holstein Canada to run the Type Classification program. At that point, the list of girls became much larger and spanned several countries. All that analysis. The charts. The computers. The True Type Models. Believe me I learned never to ask, “Does this dress make me look fat?”
The only thing worse than being married to a classifier is aging alongside a former classifier.
A confirmed “boob” man, my husband, never ever looked me in the eye … but these days he’s looking so far down that people think he has fallen asleep standing up. In fact, we both have concerns about failing and falling body parts, and it is showing up in our farm management. When we named the last two genomic heifers “Plummet” and “Nosedive”, we recognized our growing preoccupation with gravity was affecting our marketing.
It’s A Stage We Are Going Through
What isn’t serious in our marriage is the fun ways we have found to adapt to life’s changes. After all, here was a cow loving geneticist married to a story telling carpenter`s daughter who is allergic to the hay, cows, horses and dogs. It was soon evident that there would be many pratfalls taken during my extensive tractor and animal husbandry training. From the calf pan to the ink pen, we both have learned to laugh at ourselves in the barn, in the house, and on the stage. For 32 years, I wrote scripts for local musical comedy productions, and we both acted up in them. Of course back then inspiration was easy to find. It was simply a matter of taking my daily diary and setting it to original tunes such as the,”I Raise Couch Potatoes” waltz or “They Call Them Offspring because they Leak” symphony. These days I’m branching out into Seniors Stand-up Comedy and an exercise video entitled, “Stand up Vacuuming for the Dusting Impaired.”
There is once again excitement in being dairy farm comics.
We are always breaking new ground at Huntsdale, Wellspring, and the Bullvine. Just yesterday I was working on an improv piece entitled, “Looking like a Farmer!” that I thought might work for a skit in a talent show. I asked Murray for enlightenment. Do old farmers wear boxers or briefs? ” His clever reply? “Depends!” I think he is onto something there, as we both are fighting the continuous fashion feud better known as the battle between body and clothes. Speaking personally, there was a time when a bra used to keep everything up where it was perky — now the holdups are slipping out under the wire! Along with every other ailment, following fashion in your later years can make you sick. Murray says he’s spent more than sixty years trying to avoid furniture disease. “You know! That’s when your chest keeps falling into your drawers!”
Even our faces betray us these days.
Have you ever had one of those busy days on the farm, when you had no choice but to sneak a little nap? Unfortunately, although you wake up refreshed, you have one of those deep lines across your face. Inevitably, that’s exactly when the doorbell rings. It’s the veterinarian, “Are you all right Mrs. Hunt?” he asks while staring at this new wrinkle. Of course, I think humor will save face, so I reply, “It’s not mine. I’m wrinkle sitting for my mom. She’s always losing things, so I offered to mind this one while she goes to Bible Study!” This didn’t get far with the vet. I can’t imagine how it would go over with my daughter-in-law at the door. She is a psychiatrist. (Note to self: Never answer her if she asks, “How are you today Mrs. Hunt?”)
Of course, farm wives have to live up to the fabulous cook reputation.
My recipes although not always tasty are earning a reputation for being legendary. For instance, there was the raspberry pie I made for visiting non-farming relatives. No one could get their forks to cut through the piecrust. One gallant cousin tried so hard that his fork went right through the pie and sent the piece flying across the room. Mom’s Rocket Dessert has become a legend that is recounted at every family reunion.
So once again I’m sharing the errors of my daze.
Throughout forty plus years, I not only have stayed in love with my farmer husband but I’ve fallen in love with cows too! Because of course “Cows don’t shed like dogs and cats do…they won’t chase the cat or bark at the neighbors. A cow will not bring you dead mice, or spend all night singing on the fence post!” Here I am talking myself into loving cows, and we just sold the last twenty-one of them last Saturday. Better late than never I always say!!
THE BULLVINE BOTTOM LINE – Laff Starts Here
With everyone focusing on picking the right mate and staying together longer, I think there are many years left in my adventure with animal husbandry. For the two of us, our marriage and our humor has benefitted just like our crops from being homegrown – or is that home groan? We’re putting a “Laugh Local” sign at the end of our lane and, my answer to the question, “Do you take this farmer” is now and always will be: “Yes. I do. Forever.”