Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Feed Store Romance

It was a week before my senior year of college started.  I just came back into town from living on a ranch in Colorado, and I decided to get my old job back working for a feed company.  I had a whole lot of livestock to feed, and the feed store worked around my class schedule, so I figured it would be perfect for me.  I sauntered in through the warehouse, and met with my old manager.  Little did I know that my future husband was high above me, on top of a big feed hopper, looking me over.  I had no idea he was there.  He thought I was a "sorority girl" of some type because I had on some stylish shorts and top. (Whatever.)  He turned to another guy on the feed mixer to get the story on me. 

 Fast forward a few weeks.  I was back to work, doing my usual feed billing paper work, and we had an employee meeting.  I saw him.  He saw me.  He was sweaty, wearing wranglers and a feed company T-shirt.  I was wearing Rockies (they were still cool back then), and a feed store polo shirt.  His hair was buzzed off because he couldn't handle the heat.  He introduced himself to me, and we chatted a little. 

 The next day I walked out into the warehouse and  he used the world's worst pick- up line on me, and I was appalled. I was furious.  I was blushing.  I was...confused.  I didn't know whether to kiss him or slap him.  I did neither.  I just rolled my eyes, gave him a look, and marched back to my office.  The nerve of that guy!  The line was so bad, I can't even repeat it on a blog.  The next day we started talking, and the conversation turned to the subject of golf. He was surprised to find out that I knew how to play, so he invited me to shoot a round with him and his buddies the next afternoon. I kicked his little hiney.  It wasn't even a close game, and it wasn't pretty.  Because he was a glutton for punishment, he invited me out to go bowling with him and some of his friends.  I bowled the game of my life, and beat him again.  I think he was starting to learn a little bit about my competitive nature.  :) I was beginning to enjoy spending time with him.  After our next date, he tried to kiss me and I slammed the screen door in his face.  He was undeterred.  In fact, I think he took it as some sort of challenge because he kept asking me to go on dates with him.  After a while, he started to grow on me.

We were pretty fond of one another, and we started to spend lots of time together.  Every afternoon after my classes, I would come to work and process large feed orders.  After typing them up on the computer and taking care of the money end of things, I'd hand the customer a "pink slip" to take out to the warehouse.  There, my "guy" would load the "pink slip" order into the back of the truck or trailer of the customer.  I secretly smiled when they ordered hay because he would walk from the warehouse, past the window of the store, and go to the hay barn.  I thought he was pretty darn cute, and I'd look forward to watching him from the store as he slung big heavy bales of hay from the stack like it was nothing at all.  He was constantly hot, sweaty, and covered with hay....and I loved it.  He was a hard worker, and I loved to watch him hustle.  There's just something attractive about a man hard at work, with short sleeves, leather gloves, and forearms bulging, as he lifted bales by the strings.  In fact, he would often sling several 50# feed sacks on his shoulders at once.  But his muscles weren't the only things I fell in love with.  He was kind, thoughtful, and always kept me laughing.  There was never a dull moment in our courtship.
One Saturday, we both worked all day.  I was busy in the store, and he was busy managing the warehouse.  He saved the "pink slip" from every customer that came in that day, and instead of throwing them away after filling the orders, he wrote little love notes on each and every one of them.  When I went to leave that night, my windshield was packed with 30 little "pink slip" treasures that I have kept to this day.  It was love. 

On the night before my college graduation, he asked me to go for a walk up Sabino of our favorite places to visit.  I threw on my gym shorts, a tank top, and tennis shoes, and put my hair in a ponytail.  We drove through Taco Bell and grabbed some bean burritos.  After walking up the canyon at sunset, we stopped at a picnic table to eat our dinner. We were eating burritos, and talking about nothing when all of the sudden, he got down on one knee, and said something amazing, and proposed marriage to me.  I was SHOCKED!  I was in my gym clothes.  I was eating Taco Bell.  I said YES of course, but I mean to tell you, he really had the element of surprise working for him.  If he would have had me get dressed up, and took me somewhere nice, I would have suspected something was up, but this......who proposes this way? Over Taco Bell?  By this time it was getting so dark that I couldn't even see my shiny new ring.  I could feel it, but I couldn't get a good look at it.  I made him practically sprint a mile out of the canyon, back to the truck, so I could see my ring in the light, and it was beautiful.  We were married 3 months later in a lovely ceremony in the church I grew up in.  We had 150 guests there to witness our covenant with God, and we had a big ole' reception afterwards with dancing, and a BBQ beef dinner, and cake.  Then we flew off to Maui for our honeymoon, compliments of his parents.  We were young, in love, and broke, but we had so much fun together. 

Ten years later, we're still madly in love and deeply devoted to each other.  Our marriage has produced three beautiful children that give us reasons to celebrate every day.  We continue to grow together as we grow closer to our precious Savior, and I couldn't imagine taking this journey with anyone else.  I treasure the fact that God chose me to be the helpmate to this amazing man.  Ten years flew by in the blink of an eye! We dance barefoot in the kitchen every chance we get, and I still feel giddy as a school girl when he twirls me around that hard wood floor.  I love to bring him a cold glass of Iced Tea when he's out working hard so I can steal a glance at his muscles.  I guess some things never change.  I thought I loved him then, but it was just a smidgeon of the love I feel for him today.


  1. Congratulations on 10 years! When you guys were just barely dating Pete invited me over to his apartment to meet you and have dinner. I still remember him saying, "She's girly and beautiful but her hands are tough, which tells you she's a hard worker." I knew he was hooked! :) --Clare

  2. Hmmm! How fun to reminisce. I remember the first time you introduced us to Pete, it was at the feed store. :) I remember you telling Dad, please don't scare him away, I really like this guy. :) He has learned to hold his own with this families teasing. We sure are glad the Lord picked such a great guy for our sweet girl. :) May the Lord bless you with many many many more anniversaries! Happy No 10. Love Mom

  3. Wow, Nell! You have an amazing way with your words. They brought literal tears to my eyes. I am so overwhelmed with joy for you both. Congratulations to my sweetest and oldest friend!

  4. Thanks gals! I can't believe it's been 10 years already!

    Clare- I still have those ugly rough hands to this day! I'm so glad he's willing to overlook the little flaws. :)

    Shauna- It seems like yesterday we were just a couple of kids sitting in highschool, chomping at the bit to do bigger and better things, and now we're celebrating wedding anniversaries and raising kids of our own. It's surreal isn't it?

  5. LOVE this post! :) Happy Anniversary!!! :) Love you guys!