not a fairy tale: a love story
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He pulls up with the tractor, grins, and says, “Today is the day you learn how to drive this.”
“But I totally cannot learn to drive that,” I say in protest.
He smiles and pats the seat. And I know I’m going to learn to drive the tractor because he’s going to teach me. He will sit next to me and explain how to drive it as many times as it takes for me to get it.
He will not raise his voice, ever.
He will not tell me I’m stupid, ever.
He will not rush me.
And he will not laugh…unless I do.
How can you be married to someone who works such strange hours?
Who has such an unreliable schedule?
Who works in that profession?
God. I could never do that.
I could never deal with that.
He teaches me how to shoot a handgun and how to use a chainsaw and how to cut up a chicken and how to back up a trailer and oh, God, the patience that man has.
We are both brains and muscle in different ways and we make the farm work, together or not.
But doesn’t it worry you? I mean, his job?
Aren’t you kind of like a single parent, then?
Like…do you even sleep in the same bed?
God. That’s so weird.
I don’t even know how you stay married.
Rendering lard and smoking a turkey and snuggling on the couch.
Cutting wood and stacking wood. Bruises and smashed thumbs and sweating. Then sitting in the living room together and not needing to fill the space with noise because the quiet space isn’t uncomfortable.
Smirking as the kids run through, hell bent on bringing their oddly comfortable chaos to our world. Seeing how much they look like him.
And look like me.
And look like us.
“Can you come to couple’s game night with us?”
“It’s nearly impossible for us to commit to anything as a couple.”
“Okay, we will do it a different day. What are your husband’s days off…”
“It doesn’t really work that way.”
Packaging lard. Brining the bacon, one week left. Planning the garden. Ordering chicks. Fixing fence. Building the raised gardens. Moving hay bales. Watching his face light with an idea of how to do things better. Dad, I can’t figure it out, can you help me?
Doing life. Doing life. Doing life.
“You know the divorce rate for law enforcement is like 70% or something like that?”
“Yeah. I know.”
How can I be married to someone with such a strange, unpredictable schedule? I can’t even comprehend the question. Because, life. This is the life we’ve built together.
The hours matter and the minutes matter and the time matters and it’s all different than how life goes on Out There but it doesn’t matter because we aren’t out there.
We’re right here.
No. He can’t always be here, but when he can, he’s here. We can’t always be together, but when we can be, we are together. We might be cutting through slabs of lard or splitting logs, but we’re together.
I think people have lost sight of what together means.
This is not a fairy tale. This is a love story. And I’ll choose it over a Disney storybook every single time.
** All photography in this post done by the amazing Jamie Cramble at Jamie Cramble Photography.
11 thoughts on “not a fairy tale: a love story”
You two are awesome together…..it takes a special person to do what he does and a great wife and kids to support and stand by him….for me sometimes I forget, having grown up in a law enforcement family that the "oddities" that come with it are not common to others….they were just our normal life. I know it took some adjusting for my husband to deal with my nutty schedule. LOVE TO YOU ALL !!!!!!!
What a totally, utterly, beautiful post! He's a very special person to do what he does as his vocation and you're a very special person to enable him to do it well. That's a very large part of it, you know.
Driving a tractor is a basic life skill; well done to learn!
Love this post. I get the same types of questions being a military spouse! You are awesome, and obviously you two are even more awesome together!!
Great post! We all face questions about something in our marriage deals that look odd to others. What matters is the whole doing life thing – is it awesome or does it suck? Oh, when you're together, it's awesome? Then AS YOU WERE.
Your post takes me back to the times my late husband and I shared. I being farm raised and he a city boy with a country heart. Finding that someone that WANTS…to be together is the key…it doesn’t really matter what the project may be…it is the two hearts beating as one.
This is so great! What a great example for your kids, and the rest of us. It’s all about choosing to love each other each day rather than hoping you’ll feel in love with each other! Good for you guys
Beautifully written Amy. Just beautiful.
Love this. And tell your honey thank you for his service.
Aw, so sweet!
This is the sweetest thing ever.