Posted by: Small House Under a Big Sky Homestead | April 30, 2012

Love, Marriage and Hauling Wood

Today we cut down more flood-killed trees on our 5-acre rural property in Southwestern Michigan. That means cutting, hauling, stacking, raking the branches and a sore back. But if I tell the truth, I have had a few days break from tree work and I have been reading.

I read Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, the love story of Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman fame.  I like her story –  a lot. I like it because it’s about finding true love, marriage motherhood and fidelity – even when you didn’t know you were looking for it. I also like it because it reminds me about my husband Gene and my courtship, our marriage, our move to the country and the new life we built together here.

Our family portrait taken by photographer Mary Decker. This is my Lab “Spirit”

I was 45 and he was 50. We had had one long marriage each (I was married 24 years and Gene was married 21 years.) When we met we were both divorced and neither of us was looking for marriage. But a mutual friend saw something in the two of us that fit together and she insisted that we meet. I resisted, but in the end gave in just to please my friend thinking, ‘I’ll just go to line dancing and meet this guy and then I’ll be done with it.’ Obviously that did not happen.

Gene says it took him one week to know I was the one for him. He says that it took me just three weeks. In truth it took longer – about three months. But even then it was very fast. My oldest son, who was in college at the time, sums it up this way, “Mom, when I came home in October you were on your first date. When I came home at Christmas you were talking about marriage. Even I thought it was bit quick.” He was right. It happened quickly.

You need to know I am not the spontaneous kind of person Gene is (He’s a Taurus). I, a Scorpio on the other hand,  ponder, research, think about, analyze and then maybe move forward, slowly, one step at a time. But this love did not happen that way. It came on fast and furious and we knew from the very beginning that either we walked away totally or we built a serious life together. I’d walked away before, but this time I was so much in love that I simply did not have the will power to walk away.

I like to think that we were a bit older, had been through one marriage and we knew our own minds.  We did talk for hours, sharing,  planning, strategizing and questioning just how we might make a life together work. Or maybe it was a higher power that brought us together.  I’ll never know for sure.

But one thing I do know is that a partnership built on love, even love the second time around, is possible and worth the effort and sacrifice. And it can work. Our four children were grown so all we had to be concerned about was our own needs. We both had good jobs, I owned a home paid for free and clear. We were healthy and of sound mind and bodies. And maybe we were just lucky.

Small House / Big Sky Donna

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