I (Shannon) have been feeling particularly nostalgic this past week. We both have…but I’m more the ‘remember-er’ in this relationship. I’ve always been that way. My mind has a funny way of holding onto significant dates and bringing back the associated memories each year as the calendar rolls around. What was it this time? Well, it was 20 years ago this past weekend that Robert and I went out on our very first date. It seems nearly impossible, but it IS true! Perhaps I should have read a few advice columns or articles like this one… but having come from a farming family myself, I had no false expectations of what dating a farmer would be like! It was pretty average, as far as dates go… just out for dinner…no skydiving or anything crazy like that, but it was memorable…for a few reasons:
- The first impression – Not that I’m all about the ‘things’, but he showed up at my house in a sporty black Mustang. A pleasant surprise, considering that I had been expecting a smelly farm truck, or ‘Dad’s car’!
- An impromptu passenger – We were not 2 minutes down the road before we spotted a neighbour in need of assistance. Seems this poor fellow, in the midst of his spring field work had blown a hydraulic hose – right in the middle of the road. Of course we picked him up and gave him a lift home. There was no other option – we both agreed on that. (I must admit, I was a little fearful that the ‘farm-rumor-network’ might have had us engaged before the end of our first date, but I need not have worried. He later told us that he had not breathed a word to anyone. Thanks Ron!)
- If at first you don’t succeed… – It was a bit of a struggle to find a spot to eat. On a weeknight… in Perth… after 8PM… the options were limited. Following two unsuccessful attempts, we landed at Pizza Hut. Robert, with his easy-going attitude (on the outside at least!), just laughed it off and told me, ‘Well, I’m nothing if not persistent!’
It turned out to be a great evening and…as they say…’The rest is history!’ It’s not all been easy! There have been ups and downs…some years more ‘downs’ than ‘ups’ – to be perfectly honest. That’s marriage. It takes work…and it’s worth it! Maybe that’s the reason that April 29th is just as special as our wedding anniversary…because it was truly the VERY beginning of this crazy, wonderful story. A story not only of two people falling in love and making a life together… …but of two farm kids with a passion for what we do… …building on the legacy of the generations before us… ….making a contribution along the way (hopefully!)… …and leaving that legacy to carry on with the generations to come – should they choose that route.
A few things HAVE changed since this photo was taken all of those years ago; more gray hairs, the odd wrinkle, a few more pounds…or some middle-aged spread perhaps!?! (On the bright side…we seldom ‘smell like a cow’ anymore!) Many things HAVE NOT changed. We’re still enjoying the adventure. We wake up in the mornings thankful for the opportunity to get up and spend our day doing what we love to do. We’re looking forward to the next 20 years with just as much optimism as we had then. However you fit in, and whenever you joined it, we thank you for being a part of our story!