Granted, my original stint was only for a summer, but that definitely counts.
During my senior year of high school, I visited with Gary Truitt, a long-time farm broadcaster who had just started a new company called Hoosier Ag Today. I had been interested in radio for a little while and used the news source while studying for FFA competitions. I asked Gary if I could job shadow him, and he said he’d need to make sure I could visit when he went out and about to interview people.
Walking through last week’s white fluff several inches deep (a foot deep in some places) to reach a feed trough, it occurred to me that I did not quite feel attached to my feet. It seemed they had a mind of their own, though luckily, they had a mind to stick with me and go where I was going.
At the time, I thought, “Out-of-body experience.” That isn’t quite the right description. It’s more of a detachment.
I found I didn’t mind it. I’m familiar with the feeling; it happens all the time. With vestibular migraine, my ear doesn’t quite connect to my brain in the right way. There’s also a nerve that connects from ear to knee. Thanks to my ear and that nerve, when I experience a trigger like sudden bright light or a moving crowd, my knees can buckle or my feet land akilter while walking.
So when I experienced that in the snow, it was a lot more fun than if I had had a migraine.
I wrote this Facebook post at 10:35 a.m. the day that Jeff and I met:
Tonight: Panel discussion on ag opportunities like agritourism, farm diversity, local food, and more. Writing up some notes this morning. Come join us from 6-8 at the Extension office.
Then I continued typing up my notes and printed them out. I tucked them into my backpack and drove to the Extension office, settled into my seat, talking with my fellow panelists. The event began, and one of the Extension educators present asked us all to introduce ourselves.
And I say “has been” and not “was” because there are still two weeks left: two weeks in which to celebrate the holidays with family, take some time to reflect and relish in candlelight, to soak in the sweet pine smells, to enjoy music filled with hope and joy in Christ’s coming.
Yet, I am constantly being told by media and others around me that we should say, “Good riddance, 2020,” or “There was nothing good about 2020,” or “This was the worst year ever.”
A week after I returned home from New Zealand, a high school friend, L, and I drove around the county to see the annual Covered Bridge Festival and visit bridges we didn’t often see. We took our photos in front of nine of the 31 structures.
Of course we stopped by West Union.
Who knew that two and a half years later, we’d be standing on the same bridge as bride and bridesmaid.
I dropped a mic a couple of blog posts ago when I announced at the end that I was marrying the guy in the picture. Haven’t said much since then. So here is our story, as written for our wedding website:
Jeff and Elise met for the first time in July 2018 at a local Purdue Extension meeting on agritourism. Elise was part of the speaker panel and talked about New Zealand. Jeff was looking for ideas for the Christmas tree farm on which he was working. The two bumped into each other a couple of weeks later at the county fair. Then, in October, before the melodrama at the local theater began, they ran into each other at the concession stand. He was buying a drink and attempted to strike up a conversation about her tour guiding experiences during the Covered Bridge Festival, but she had to tell the workers that her mother had spilled her Coke and it had surged all the way from the back row to the front row and ice was everywhere and could someone please bring a mop?
A few days before Thanksgiving, Elise’s brother asked her if she wanted to use his extra artificial Christmas tree. However, she had resolved to always have a real Christmas tree and declined the offer. After Thanksgiving, she drove to the local Christmas tree farm to scout out the possibilities.
She picked out the perfect Charlie Brown tree, a tiny Eastern White Pine. Jeff handed her the saw to cut it down, and she proudly carried it away.
When she loaded it in her dad’s diesel F-350 truck, she heard someone yell, “Is that truck big enough for that tree?”
She turned around to see Jeff with an amused smile. He had just insulted her tree.
But he was carrying a Christmas tree on his shoulder.