Lost and Found

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My next door neighbor finally had enough. He went in search of my father in law and found him at the nursing home in town. My kids’ grandpa is alive and has damage to his hands from frostbite. The story is – he was incredibly drunk, as usual, and drove past his house, into a farm field, got out of his car and started walking further into the field. He fell and luckily was found. He was minutes from death as wind chills that night were 30 below. Today we are having a blizzard and will still not be able to visit Grandpa but he IS FOUND.

I am officially in a relationship. Between the insane schedule of tax preparing and managing/training 17 staff, my candy route and raising two teenagers, I spend every minute with my new guy. We had our first “official” date two weeks after we met. But during those first two weeks we ate together with my kids at least 5 nights a week with him or me cooking dinner or buying pizza, staying up late talking or watching tv.

Our first “official” date was the ultimate REDNECK experience. We started Sunday morning with church. Then we went to the local Farm & Fleet store. This is the place where you can get a bridle for your horse, bovine tranquilizers or get lost in an entire aisle of shotgun shells right next to the canning jars. He picked up some transmission oil while I snagged a hooded sweatshirt and off we went to the Boat and RV show.

Did I mention redneck? My guy’s dress up shoes are cowboy boots and his ‘good’ coat is the clean Carhartts jacket. At church he helps me with my coat, holds my hand and gets choked up while he sings Amazing Grace. After the boat show we head to a family diner and have homemade pot roast. We shop a bit in the ‘big city’ and head back to his farm to feed the cats before we go to my house – just a couple miles down the road- to have another meal with my kids.

We talk about the garden I get to have at his place. He says how many ACRES do I want to plant? He doesn’t have a tiller, he uses the tractor to plow the garden. Just the small tractor he says, because he has 3 tractors. My guy farms his ground plus rents and farms his dad’s ground. He has a full beard because he spends his entire day outside working on machinery. He is a mechanic, electrician and has a certificate showing he is a master canner. Like, canning fresh food from the garden and eating it all winter. Redneck? Ah, yeah.

When I throw his blue heeler a stick, he brings back a log. A serious 4 inch diameter log, for me to throw. He has gotten it from the wood pile. The wood pile that my guy has chopped with a real axe, by hand, so he can burn the wood in his furnace. Yep, his furnace burns wood. No gas, no forced air, no radiators, just wood. If the wood burns out, there is no heat. I am still a little in shock over this. But for my guy and his dog, this is perfectly normal.

Two night ago he brought me an article he found in his machine shop. When he gave it to me he blushed and apologized that one corner had been eaten by mice. He said he didn’t really know why he had saved it, but when he found it he thought of me. The article was titled: You Might Be A Farmer’s Wife If……

I am all smiles. And I have asked for a pink Carhartts jacket for Valentines Day.

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