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Twenty years and counting

From the Farm

April 26, 2013
By Kerry Hoffman , The Journal

The older I get the faster time seems to slip between my wrinkling fingers.

I cannot believe Wednesday marked Steve and my 20th wedding anniversary.

As I look back, I cannot believe how things have changed.

Article Photos

Kerry Hoffman

Sure we all know Steve had a lot more hair and that he likes to blame his challenged follicles on me, but I have gained a few pounds and I like to blame that on him.

Steve and I started our anniversary celebration in exactly the same way we started our wedding day in the barn milking cows, side-by-side. Just like that day, Steve was already out the door and working long before I pushed the barn door open. I pushed the snooze a three extra times Wednesday morning.

Many of my close friends thought I was absolutely crazy to drive out to the farm early in the morning to help Steve with the chores.

What else was I going to do? It was a bit too early to do my hair and fingernails. I would rather work a bit than stare the lilac-colored walls with nothing to do.

Steve didn't expect me to show up that morning and was pleasantly surprised when I walked in to greet him.

We managed to put on quite a shindig that day. The weather was cold and rainy, but we all had boat loads of fun. Thankfully, at two in the morning I caught my uncles and cousins putting our car on blocks, so we didn't have to worry about getting home.

We spent seven glorious days running around in Florida.

Our first home was Steve's bachelor pad, which was a very cozy, two-bedroom trailer across the driveway from Steve's parents. He had a nice vinyl rocking chair, kitchen windows that were no higher than my neck so I had to bend over to look out and a bathroom with a squishy floor.

But it served its purpose for the first two years of our marriage.

It was our home.

I kind of miss that orange shag carpet and having a water heater in my bedroom closet. I could scrub the bathroom, wash dishes and vacuum all before noon, and I didn't get in from chores until 9 a.m. Now it takes me all day to give the house a rub down.

We had our first son while we lived in the cracker box. Joe used to cruise down the shag carpeted hallway in his walker bouncing from wall to wall. (Now that he's 19, I hope he's not bouncing from wall to wall in any hallway.)

Russell came two years and one month after Joe. By then we were living in the multi-level farm home. Russell didn't manage to bounce off walls in hallways; he managed to bounce off walls going into the basement in his walker.

He's never been the same.

Back in 1993, we owned 40 milking cows, and paid cash for a corn chopper. Today we own 130 milking cows and take out big loans to pay for equipment.

Again, I miss milking in that barn. I don't miss that first corn chopper a person had to be ambidextrous to drive the tractor and control the header on the chopper with a joystick, at the same time.

It was always warm in that barn before we retrofitted it with our milking parlor. We had a great stereo system that allowed me to try to teach you how to polka to no avail.

Now we just "groove."

It's easier on the joints.

I don't know if you'll believe me or not, but back on our wedding day, Steve actually had hair.

Yes, it's true.

He claims I am the diagnosis behind his lacking follicle system.

I tell him he can go find any cure he wants.

Seriously though, Steve and I make a good team. He's a good man. He works harder than any other human being I know. It can be a bit maddening at times, but work makes him happy.

I consider myself the lucky one. He has taught me how to work, play and not be so crabby all the time.

I have to trust him. Look at how far he has brought us.

 
 

 

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