Ruckus Girl

Enjoy the Little Things

Charlotte McMullen“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”  — Robert Brault

“Line up girls. I have something for each of you,” he said.

Squeals of excitement he hadn’t anticipated filled the room, and my husband assured his five young daughters, “Now, now. Calm down. They’re really nothing.”

Nothing was an understatement. It was the same phrase he’d mentioned to me prior to leaving. “I’ll be gone for a little more than a week. It’s nothing.”

But somehow nothing felt like a whole heck of a lot. Our family and the farm were my responsibility for the time he’d be gone — away on a hunting trip out west. It was a well-deserved trip no doubt; the man works harder than anyone I’ve ever met. I didn’t mind the extra responsibility. I didn’t want to be alone.

Alone is an exaggeration. There are plenty of family and friends nearby, and we have five children, but somehow they’re not the same as someone you’ve shared a bed with every night for almost 15 years. Yes, it’s true we shared a bed all those years, but at times that’s almost all we shared.

There’s this thing that happens in some marriages, heck, maybe in all marriages, especially when you have children: you begin to overlook the little things. One day blends into the next. Before you realize it, you’re celebrating anniversaries by the decade, not just the year. And it’s happened to us in the blink of an eye.

In the time he was gone, he was missed more than he knew. Sometimes I wondered if he felt the same. Did he think of us often? Or was he too busy searching for a trophy mule deer? This was a question I wasn’t sure I’d ever know the answer to — until he came home.

“Line up girls. I have something for each of you,” he said. He was taken aback by his daughters’ high pitched squeals. He didn’t expect that reception, and he’d forgotten how loud five kids can be. “Now, now. Calm down. They’re really nothing.”

I stood nearby and tears welled up in my eyes. I suspected he was underestimating the significance of the situation much as I had underestimated his feelings for us.

While hiking in the mountains of Colorado, he’d kept a watchful eye. At times, he bypassed them, but glancing back, he’d spot what he wanted and retrace his steps to retrieve them; all while bearing the weight of more than 60 pounds of hunting gear. He gathered the mementos and carried them in his jacket pocket, close to his heart.

Now I watched as he and our five daughters sat together on the living room floor. The kids smiled and giggled as he rummaged through his large, moss green duffel bag. Eventually, he found what he wanted: five small rocks. He looked at each stone, announced whom it was for, and presented it with many details about its discovery. Each girl listened to every word their father said and thanked him for the gift.

Five Little Rocks

As he spoke to our daughters, he occasionally glanced in my direction. There was a shine in his eyes and smirk on his face I hadn’t seen in some time — he was flirting with me. Later that day, as we walked together on the farm, he paused, pulled me to him, and held me tight. “I appreciate you taking care of things while I was gone. You’ve done a great job,” he said. “And I missed you most of all. It’s good to be home.”

On his hunt, far away from his family, my husband’s thoughts had lingered on us. He didn’t get meat for our freezer that year, but he did return home with the little things money cannot buy: stories about the miles of terrain he’d hiked, animals he’d seen, those five little rocks he’d carefully chosen for his children, and a spirit of gratitude. The little things we sometimes neglect to notice, but make a point of finding and keeping close to our heart, are life’s greatest treasures.

Thank you for reading my story!

I invite you to visit my blog. 
Ruckus Girl Blog; on Twitter; and please “Like” my page on Facebook.

Ways Farmers Can Meet Someone They Might Like to Date

Charlotte McMullenAre you a farmer looking for love? Join the crowd! Seriously, socializing is the best way to increase the odds of meeting your perfect match.

But finding the time and energy to socialize is difficult for farmers. Luckily, they are known for being determined. Put that diligent mindset into meeting your mate and you’re sure to find love!

(How to keep love alive is a future blog, but first let’s focus on meeting someone.)

Farmers Date

Here are ways farmers can meet someone they might like to date:

1. Begin by thinking outside the box and get your head on straight.

If you’re serious about meeting someone, start by thinking outside the box – as in the barn or tractor cab you spend most of your time in – and be honest.

Get clear with your intentions and desires.

Farming is a demanding lifestyle, but if your ultimate goal is long-term love, you need to be willing to make the relationship a priority. Realize and accept a lasting and meaningful relationship takes time, compassion, and compromise from both partners.  

Are you hoping to meet that special someone, settle down, and maybe start a family. Or are you looking for someone to be available when you need them to help or for companionship?

If you prefer the latter option, hire a farm hand or buy a dog. You’re not ready to date for love.

On the other hand, if you’re positive you want to date, and not just sign a paycheck or adopt a pet, you’re going to need to meet people. That means leaving the farm and talking.

2. It's all about who you know. Or who your sister or Great-Aunt Betty knows.

Meeting that someone special often happens by accident, but let’s be honest. If you’re waiting for a decent, attractive, eligible person to wander onto your farm looking for directions or a glass of sweet tea, you’ve been listening to too many country love songs.

So what’s a lonely rural dweller supposed to do? It’s time to call in the big guns: your relatives.

Farmers aren’t known as the most vocal people, but you can show you’re interested in dating in subtle ways. When Great-Aunt Betty mentions that her church friend's daughter has moved back to the area, listen! Or when your sister shows you pictures of her (dating age appropriate) friends, look!

If you’re ready to bypass subtle and get really serious, ask a family member if they know anyone.

3. Join the club, but not the bar variety.

If you’re looking for love, skip the bars. Now, there’s always that couple who met in a bar and lived happily ever after. OK, fine. You may meet a nice person in a bar, but for goodness sake, once you decide he/she is someone you’d like to have a long-term relationship with, ditch the bar scene.

Instead, go to a place you enjoy and feel comfortable and safe; solves the problem of what to talk about. Any sort of organized group or activity is a good bet: school, church, a private party, a social club, the movies, or a dance.

Relax and take the time to get to know others. You may not meet the love of your life, but you’re socializing. And, going back to number two, your new friends may have a cute sibling who’s single and loves the country.

If you’ve tried all of these suggestions and still can’t find your Mr. or Ms. Right, you could try an online dating site meant for farmers, ranchers, and other country folk. Because I’m a happily married lady who wishes to remain that way, I haven’t looked into them.

Has anyone tried online dating? Please share your experience in the comments!

Thank you for reading!

I invite you to visit my blog.
Ruckus Girl Blog; on Twitter; and please “Like” my page on Facebook.