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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Because nothing is really an accident...

Occasionally I am asked to tell the love story that turned me into an Accidental Farmwife. Well, you might have heard it before, but in honour of Valentine’s Day, here it goes again.
I first met the Farmer over 20 years ago, when he arrived in Kemptville to teach at the college. My mother, who worked as assistant to the director at KCAT, told me about the long-legged cowboy who had arrived on the scene. I saw him a couple of times in passing at college events, and was always impressed by his big, warm smile.
Fast forward several years, and both our respective marriages had ended. He was in the throes of single parenthood and I was coming home from after three years in Asia. About two months after I arrived home, I saw him in the parking lot at the Kemptville Mall. I waved on my way into the store, where I was heading to try on swimsuits.
Two hours later, when I emerged from the store, his truck was still there. My heart did a little flip. I knew he must be waiting for me, and I was so not ready. I quickly got into my car, sliding down into the seat. He suddenly appeared at my door, his lanky height lowering down to a squat beside my window.
“Hey. I know you’re real busy with kids but if you want to get out and talk to an adult some time, I’d like to take you for a coffee.”
I sputtered something about not being ready to date yet after just arriving home, reuniting with my kids, trying to find a job…and suddenly overwhelmed by the weight of all the challenges before me, and the shock of someone asking me out on a date, I started to cry. The Farmer slowly backed away from the crazy woman in the car.
“Ok well if you change your mind, give me a call…”
To this day, if you ask the Farmer, he will tell you that I said no. I did not say no. I said I wasn’t ready, and that’s an entirely different thing.
Over the next two weeks I drove past the Fisher farm a couple times, and spent a few minutes a day staring at the Farmer’s photo on the college website. Finally, on a hot sunny afternoon in June, I picked up the phone and dialed his office extension. He picked up on the first ring.
“Hi. It’s Diana Leeson. I’m ready to go for that coffee now if the offer is still open.”
“Do you do lunch?” he asked. I told him of course I did, and then he said to meet him at the Edgewater Restaurant in ten minutes. I hung up the phone and looked down at myself. I had spent the morning weeding a flowerbed. I was covered in sweat, dirt and pollen. As I headed to the shower, I yelled to my daughter that I needed help picking out something to wear.
About twenty minutes later I arrived fashionably late at our lunch date. For the next hour we laughed and chatted about our children. I felt instantly at ease in his presence so when he asked for a dinner date the following night I said yes. And the kiss he gave me at the end of our lunch didn’t hurt either. It just about melted my kneecaps off.
Those first few months of dating were a whirlwind as we juggled young teenagers, work and farming schedules and I settled into a new home in Kemptville. But the following spring, the Farmer asked me to be his wife. I was totally taken by surprise, and spent a couple hours arguing with him, telling him I wasn’t a very good investment and asking him how we would manage with five daughters between us. He let me rant, then got a yes out of me. We were married a few months later, on the farm.
I don’t know what made him ask me out that day, but I’m glad he did. He jokes that I was one of the only eligible single women in town so when I arrived he thought he better scoop me up before someone else did. He also says, “you can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket.” Well, the joke’s on him. I feel like I’m the winner here.

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