For most of the last month, my wife Beth and I have been in Iowa, working hard as we try to prepare for our prospective move to the farm.
At this point, I should tell you a few things about my wife and Iowa.
Beth is a New Jersey girl and a lover of mountains and skiing. If you are unaware of the fact, Iowa really has neither of these things. Oh, sure, you can always cross country ski, you might say (as I have many times), but in reality - no.
And then there is the fact that there isn’t a lot going on in Iowa at most times. I’ve written about how peaceful it can be on the farm, as has Beth, but there isn’t a lot of distance between peaceful and boring.
Finally, there is the work. Beth recently wrote in her blog post about the farm that she wants to know how it feels to work hard and be tired, truly tired at the end of the day. Just yesterday she told me that she was so tired (and hungry) after working all day on our tiny home that she wanted to cry. I believe she may have reached her goal.
So, at this point, you are probably thinking to yourself that she should be looking for an exit strategy. I sometimes wonder about the same thing.
But in truth, Beth is always looking for a way to make this move happen. Even when I don’t have a plan (or at least not a good one), or don’t communicate, or avoid tasks that scare me, like talking to my dad about letting me start to make decisions on the farm, she is finding a way to help the dream succeed.
She gets up early and works unreasonable hours, she encourages me to keep up on my planning and to find better ways to do so, she works through the heat and the bugs and puts up with the scary storms and is always ready for more after a good night’s sleep.
She finds the best in me and shows it to me when I can’t find it myself. She is a willing follower when I do manage to find my leader hat, but mostly she is always there to support our goal of getting here because we are doing it together...as partners.
The dream to move back to the farm has been mine for 20 years, but Beth has taken it into her heart as her own over the last seven years because she loves me. She loves the farm now, too, but mainly because she sees how much it means to me.
When I remember all this, I know that she will always be there for me. This powerful, intelligent, beautiful woman is my partner and with her beside me, we will succeed.
Happy Birthday, dear sweet Beth!