So how did you meet?” It’s an interesting question I love to ask couples because no two stories are ever exactly the same. When I was single, sometimes the conversation would flip back to me and in return, they would ask, “So what are you looking for in a spouse?” I had my secret qualification list but usually replied, “I just need to meet the right farmer.”
As a child, I always dreamed of marrying a farmer but two university degrees and a teaching career led me farther away from grain fields, straw bales and dairy barns. I dedicated my time to teaching and volunteering in the community, hoping someday to meet the man of my dreams. Then during a Sunday afternoon visit, a friend dared me to call a young farmer she had met. It was out of character for me to phone a stranger but I thought I had nothing to lose. I accepted the dare.
There we were on my kitchen floor like two giggling teenage girls. First I carefully wrote my message on paper just in case I reached his answering machine. Then I dialed 411 for operator assistance to obtain his number. That was the easy part. My fingers shook as I nervously punched his number and waited. One ring. Two rings. Ah, his answering machine. I dictated my message introducing myself, stated how I had heard of him and invited him to go for coffee sometime. The day ended with my friend and me laughing at my spontaneous actions.
Two nights later, I was covered in drywall dust as I sanded in my basement. Expecting a return call from a friend, I was shocked to hear a low voice inviting me for supper sometime. It would truly be a blind date as we had never seen each other. And so our courtship began which occasionally included barn checkups, riding along in implements and just being together on the farm. We were married that same year and still chuckle about our first telephone conversation.
So how do you meet a farmer? Sometimes, the best treasures are hidden in coveralls working long hours into the night. They are committed to their work but dream of love and finding time to pursue a relationship. However, if you venture into their world, you’ll find that rural gems still exist. You just need to find them.
So where do country companions meet? Some family, friends and neighbours answered, “We first met”:
While hoeing rows of sugar beets in the same field.
At a summer Bible camp in northern Manitoba.
In a one-room schoolhouse in the village.
When I was a veterinarian assistant and visited his farm to assist with a cow’s surgery.
At an outdoor skating carnival.
The summer Dad hired him as an extra field hand. At our Wednesday evening church choir practice.
When a friend arranged our initial double date.
After his friend showed me a photograph of him.
When he cruised our village’s Main Street where most of the youth gathered.
– Sheila Braun writes from Landmark, Manitoba