I love to write about farming through my eyes. It is probably skewed a bit in my favor, but perspective is reality! Steve complains that I seem to make him “the buffoon” in many blog posts. Hey, didn’t I just write something about perspective? I tease Steve, but the reality is I wouldn’t even be living on this beautiful farm without his vision and persistence.
One evening several years ago while out enjoying a glass of wine, Steve turned to me and said something that changed the course of our lives. He said that even though we have been together for decades, raised five children, been through more ups and downs than can be counted, he had a desire to spend more time together so he could get to know me even better. I don’t think he meant for it to be particularly meaningful, but I found it very powerful. It shot immediately to the #1 spot on the top 10 list of the most beautiful things he has ever said to me. This list is not to be confused with the top 10 most hilarious things he has ever said to me like, “you look so beautiful in the dark”…….Ummmmm, thanks? Or the top 10 naughtiest things he has said to me……no, there will be no example given here.
That night of charm, so many years ago, started a chain reaction of plotting and planning. What should we do and how do we make it happen? Steve and I love being outdoors, we enjoy physical work, and we can work side-by side well. One day Steve threw out the idea of moving to the country to begin farming since we thoroughly enjoyed the bounty of our small backyard garden. Why not start up on a larger scale? Hmmmmmm, let me see: 24/7 of filthy, back-breaking, slim profit margin, risky, out in the middle of no where togetherness. Sounds like a plan!
So here we sit on 30 acres of marital bliss. Yes, there are times when he drives me absolutely crazy. No, he doesn’t always keep his opinion on my methods to himself. Yes, I find his work clothes nasty, especially the tan shirt that he seems to favor. It has so many stains and smells so bad even right out of the dryer that I try to keep a five-foot buffer on the days that he wears it. Yes, he nitpicks about lists and schedules. No, he doesn’t find my detours from said list amusing.
But here’s the thing, I catch him being pretty darn adorable. I watch him laughing and joking with some vendor friends at the farmer’s market. He is relaxed, charming and, in my opinion, hysterical. I catch him out in the barn tenderly caring for our new baby laying chickens. He talks to them in a soft tone as his massive, calloused hands pick them up gently and then he cradles them close to his chest. I spy him hand feeding his favorite laying hen when he doesn’t know I am near. A couple of weeks ago, one of our daughter’s friends came to stay with us for a weekend. I watched them walk out to herd the guinea fowl into their coop at day’s end. I noticed that Steve had given our weekend guest the position of authority by allowing her to carry the feed and act as lead. He made her the boss in a subtle, but beautiful way. And what made it even more special was that it wasn’t something planned, he just did it.
So I suppose Steve was right, but it is also me who has the privilege of getting to know him better. Our children have always referred to him as The Silverback, the boss, the big dude…….but if you watch closely, Farmer Steve is just a really good guy.