Ten years ago, on November 9th, I was just a young, single teacher with a nice boyfriend.
Notice I didn't say, a young, single teacher in a great mood.
Because on November 9, 2002, I wasn't.
I had finished up a week of parent-teacher conferences only followed by a day off of school spent with the children I babysat at the Indianapolis Children's Museum.
I was tired, grouchy, in need of a nap, and instead, on November 9th, 2002, I was headed with my boyfriend, sweet, patient Joe Webel, to his parents' house for the weekend to celebrate his grandpa's birthday.
As I packed for the weekend, I received a call from my mom. Joe had visited their house earlier that day as he passed through on business, and Mom, recounting the dinner, said only, "Joe really likes you, Emily."
"As in really likes you, honey. He is so nice."
"Thanks, Mom, I know he likes me, but I have to go."
See? Great mood, huh?
So, anyway, as we traveled to Western Illinois from Eastern Illinois, I remember two things:
Joe was a little twitchy acting.
And I had Chicken Pot Pie for dinner at Cheddar's.
Nice memory, huh?
When we arrived, Joe hustled me into the farm truck, claiming he wanted to take me to a pasture where he had some of his cows to check. As we made our way by truck and then by foot through the hilly terrain, I noticed two more things:
Joe was really dressed nicely to do chores.
And he was sweaty...I had to get this dude in SHAPE...I mean, come on, I'm a marathoner for heaven's sake.
So, upon arrival to the pasture, Joe started to get all mushy, putting his arm around me, and talking about how this is where he pictured us, together, on a farm.
Talk about foreshadowing!
After a few more nice sentiments, I noticed two more things:
Joe was down on one knee.
And, he had the ring I had admired in his HAND!!!!
He was asking ME to marry HIM!!
Holy cow (literally, as they were looking on with great interest.). No wonder why he was sweaty! It wasn't the hills...that boy was NERVOUS!!!!
Obviously, I said yes, as it has been a decade since my sixth graders dubbed this engagement story, "Love In the Pasture" (I have the congratulatory cards to prove it!).
We have been through a lot, mostly good, had a lot of kids, moved a bit, considered careers, changed them, figured out who we are as a couple, parents, true adults.
And in this decade, I have again noticed two things:
Joe is the same person who I said yes to ten years ago: steadfast, calm, driven, loving, and happy.
and, I'm still grouchy some of the time...
no, that's not my second thing, even though it's true.
In ten years I have figured out that the location for the engagement was great foreshadowing for our future, but more specifically, was and is still perfect for who we are.
While my city girl friends laughed at my dodging cow poop to get to this location, and my students thought it was funny that cattle watched as Joe dropped to his knee, I now look at that as just about picture perfect.
Our kids spent a lot of time in the pasture. There's love there...our four loves.
My husband is out there now, tending to his herd. There's love in the pasture for our animals.
Our livelihood is in the pasture, and it all started with that day, ten years ago.
I'm so glad I finally said yes...did I mention that? I was so excited that I. Was. Getting. Married...I forgot to say yes.
Thanks for asking me, Joe...I am so happy to be your wife.
This is part of the 30 Days on a Prairie Farm Series with Holly Spangler, and there are some awesome blogs to check out! Happy Reading!