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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Once Upon A Time: A Redneck Fairytale

   Once upon a time, in a faraway land filled with lush greens, high mountains, and seemingly ever-present liquid sunshine, there lived a girl...

   Looking at her from the outside, there was not too much to see. Twenty-One years in age, she was fairly plain, was very quiet and unassuming, and kept to herself as much as she could; she was almost gangly in proportions, had thick brown hair that never cooperated, and had blue-gray eyes that many people found to be unnerving in their appearance. In this faraway land, the girl lived on a very small farm that she kept going by sheer stubbornness, determination, and because she didn't know what else to do in the large, large world except milk cows and tend chickens. Forever by her side was a young dog that looked more like a fox; rusty red in color, with white fur streaking brilliantly on his face and chest. This duo of girl and canine were inseparable by day and night; working together to keep the animals where they were supposed to be, and together they rambled through the dark and ancient forest that was adjacent to her home. The girl's life was very methodical, and very predictable. Every day she milked her cow and goats, fed her chickens, moved her sheep to new pasture, and took care of whatever other animal was around at the time. The only part of her day that kept her guessing was her journey into the old, old forest. One never knew what might happen in the depths of that silent world, where the moss on stumps grew thick as cushions, or swagged from tree to tree like a Christmas garland; and where the only tracks in the red clay were that of deer, bear, coyote, and bobcat. Hers were the only human steps in this forgotten place... She and her faithful dog came here every day, and as their feet wandered, so did her thoughts... "Was this to be her life forever? Milking cows and trying not to get pecked by mean cornish cross chickens?" She didn't mind so much if it was; she could make it work. But each day, as she mazed through trees that looked like Ents, she had a small, niggling, quiet thought: "What if there's more to life than this? What if... There's one more adventure in store for me?" For as quiet, plain, and unassuming as she was on the outside, her life was a churning turmoil on the inside. She wasn't happy. She felt like she didn't belong anywhere. She could barely even understand herself and what made her tick. She didn't know who she was, or what she liked, or where she fit in. In the end, all she had was her dog to help take her mind off the swirling confusion in her head. And so, she walked the deer trails in that old, old forest each day; forever followed by that thought... "What if there's more to life than this?"

   The thought haunted her. The "what ifs" were like a plague in her mind; stealing her sleep, and distracting her while awake. She had to know. She needed to go to a completely unfamiliar place, and see if her true self came out in the seemingly unstable situation of being surrounded by strangers. It was a big and surprising decision for such a quiet girl who normally hated to go anywhere, and many people scoffed at her. But she couldn't escape the haunting thought, that she was supposed to leave this land of green mountains. She told very few, if any, people why she was really going away. To most she simply said that she was going to "learn more about farming". Which was true in the end, because she figured after this adventure she would settle down somewhere and begin farming again.

  So the girl packed two suitcases, loaded her dog in a kennel, and took that frightening, but very modern, mode of transportation known as an "airplane", and flew over 1,900 miles away from the land of green mountains which she had known for the last 17 years. She landed in a much different place... One of rolling hills, fields of corn, and roads full of lifted pickup trucks. To say that the girl experienced some culture shock would be an understatement. But strangely... She quickly became happy here; and settled into a new routine, with new people.

   Three days after she arrived, something happened that changed the rest of her life. The family she was staying with decided to have a game night, and the wife invited her two neighboring siblings to come over as well. First through the door was the wife's sister; who turned out to be the same age as the girl, and had many of the same interests. Stomping in through the door behind the sister, came her younger brother. A tall, brown haired, blue eyed, smiling 17-year old. The girl was shy and quiet, so she simply smiled briefly at the lad's cheerful greeting, and then retreated into a reserved shell of disposition. Her thoughts that night were of trying to figure a confusing card game out. His thoughts though... Oh his thoughts were different. He was intrigued by this quiet girl, who seemed full of secrets, and could quip movie lines at a moment's notice without batting an eyelash, and could talk about rifles and trucks as easily as she spoke of cows and goats.

  The girl however, was quaintly oblivious to the young lad's immediate interest. Even when he began coming to the house every evening, or took her sledding in the winter snow, or tried to learn more about her personal history, she was oblivious. She saw him as a fun person, and was content to keep him at arm's length. She'd been hurt in the past by others, and felt that she was too confusing and complicated of a case to ever let herself be close to someone again. So while she enjoyed the sledding, the games, the movies, and the talks, she kept her secrets close. She would not allow anyone to hurt her again.

  But he was as patient as he was stubborn, and took his time. Never forcing the girl to share anything, never putting her into a situation that made her feel uncomfortable... He waited. And over a course of weeks, the girl slowly began opening up to this young man. She didn't know why; and she kept waiting for him to suddenly up and leave, scared off by something she said. But he never did leave. Instead he just proved a loyalty that she couldn't understand. Where she was wary and untrusting, he was patient and trustworthy. Where she was insecure and doubting, he was solid, and encouraging. She was prone to panic attacks and nightmares, but he gently helped her through the problems without a trace of disgust that she had such problems. He helped her to find herself, and disentangle all those confusing thoughts. 

Life continued to tiptoe by, with each day falling away with the grace and subtlety of a snowflake. And then one day, the realization dropped on the girl like a bombshell: She liked this person. A LOT. And that realization utterly terrified her. Had she gone too far? Had she let her emotions come out too much? She couldn't handle being hurt again, so she retreated into herself again and tried to shut the young man out of her thoughts, her life. She was unlovable. She knew this. She was a train wreck that couldn't be fixed; she couldn't bring herself to let her new friend wade into the mess and possibly get hurt too. So she went back to who she was: A fearful, insecure, questioning, wandering nobody.

  But the young man refused to let her go and even when she pulled away with her emotions and trust, he just hung on all the harder; still finding her every day and hanging out. It wasn't until late one night, at the end of a party, that her emotional wall of aloofness broke with all the force of a hurricane hitting it. She had tried playing a prank on the young man earlier, and it turned out wrong... The girl felt so horrible and guilty that she discarded all propriety and hugged that  unprepared lad as hard as she could; sniffling back tears and apologizing all the while. And it was all over from there... She let him in; into her thoughts, fears, hopes, and crazy ramblings that no one had ever heard before. She gave him her trust, and just hoped that she wouldn't ever regret that decision.

  Four days after the young man turned eighteen, he asked that farm girl for permission to court her. Stunned, but happy, she wholeheartedly told him, "YES!" 

  They went on their first date the day after that. She drove, since he didn't have his driver's license just yet, and they went to the local theater to watch the first showing of "Frozen". It was in that dark room, watching a Disney movie together, with his arm around her shoulder that they both silently realized the end of their own story: This relationship was going to be forever. Come hell or high water, they wanted to get married some day, and knew they would.

  Months passed, and seasons changed. And as could be predicted, hell and high water did come for this young couple. Hard things happened, arguments came up, stress reared its ugly head more than once. But they made it through each problem, and the relationship became stronger each time. There were more good days than bad though, and this young couple could often be found doing strange activities for fun; such as canoeing in giant puddles, frog hunting, joy riding in their pickup trucks late at night, and watching what could probably be called an "unhealthy" amount of 'Doctor Who' episodes.

   They were both dirt poor, this farm girl and country boy. But they loved each other. Late one night, the boy asked the girl to go on a ride with him down their favorite back road. The girl was confused, since it was indeed very late at night, but agreed anyway after some convincing that she would enjoy this. So they got in his pickup, which she had always adored from the start since it was a big, noisy, diesel Cummins; and away they went... There wasn't another soul out at this hour; only them, and their rumbling truck. After ten or fifteen minutes, the boy pulled over on to what looked like a forgotten dirt road; right next to a bridge, and surrounded by corn fields. He helped her out, and in the dim headlights he knelt down, and asked a question the girl never thought anyone would ask her: "Would she marry him?" The girl didn't even hesitate in her answer as she gave him a resounding "Yes!".  He gave her a beautiful, silver ring, and after awhile they eventually began their way home again...

   They decided on a short engagement, the two of them did... Only six weeks and then they'd be Mr. and Mrs. At the time of writing this story, the farm girl and country boy only have nine days left before their wedding day. And while I am no prophet, I am going to make an educated guess as to how their story ends. It goes like this...


And they lived happily ever after...

9 comments:

Erin said...

I love a story with a happy ending. :) Best wishes to you two as you start this phase of your lives together.

Davi Parker said...

I LOVE this! I love hearing other people's love stories. My husband and I had a short engagement too, he proposed on October 14th 2006, we were married December 9th 2006. Best decision ever! You will live happily ever after. You both (from what I can tell from this story) are determined to make it work, and that is what it takes. I wish you the best! Please post wedding photos in the future. I would love to see them. :)

gz said...

Welcome back- and all the best for the future.
Keep writing...could be useful one day!

Anonymous said...

:wipes tears: I love happy endings!!! <3 :D I'm so happy for him and her!!! :D :D :) ;)

~ Krista M.V. ~

Illinois Lori said...

Beautiful, dearest...so happy for you! Hoping my son will someday have his own happy story. For now, loneliness remains his companion :-( Be blessed, be happy, and congratulations! {{{HUGS}}}

Anonymous said...

Sooo excited for you!! I love happy endings!! Are you two planning on staying in Missouri?

Prairie Kari said...

What a treat to have you back blogging with this great story/update of your life. Who would have ever thought one yr ago when you took off for your big farming intern adventure in Missouri that the yr would end like this?!!

I have updated the 1836 lyrics to the Farmer in the Dell of - the Farmer takes a Wife, the Farmer takes a Wife, heigh-ho the derry-o…. to your version 178 yrs later of the Farmer becomes a Wife, the Farmer becomes a Wife heigh-ho no more dairy-o the Farmer becomes a wife! (Just try to get that customized song out of your head – lol)

Don’t forget your other passions of teaching and writing and keep on blogging with more stories of this girl in the world of Happily Ever After – a far away magical foreign place you don’t hear about all that often. I know with your writing skill you could do it justice and I have renewed my subscription for another yr in the hopes you will! Congratulations and all the best for your big day! ~ Kari

Kristy Johnston-Rea said...

Congrats on your engagement and quickly approaching wedding! The excitement!!! I am glad your Dad and sister are able to be there! If you ever need anything, remember that you have an Aunt and family in Oklahoma.

Kristy Johnston-Rea

Anonymous said...

How exciting, all the best as you start your life together!! Pauline (in Devon UK)