But life goes on. And now we are transitioning from a whirlwind summer into a just as packed fall. Last weekend, I celebrated my longtime friend's wedding as a bridesmaid. This weekend is the homecoming celebration for the town I work in and I am preparing the library for the event. I also have to prepare my float for the parade. Only in a small town does a librarian get to drive an American flag-bedecked four-wheeler through the homecoming parade.
It is now harvest season and Joey is back to long hours in the field. Most nights he works until 9 or 10 pm but last night I brought him dinner and rode in the tractor with him until 10:30. I rode with him a couple times last fall, keeping him company, but it wasn't until last night that I remembered that we had sat in a similar tractor seven years before, dreaming of what our future would be. John Deere tractors are built in Moline, Illinois, right down the street from the Augustana College campus, my alma mater.
On one of the very first weekends that Joey came to visit me at school freshman year, we visited the John Deere museum where the newest tractors and combines are on display. You can climb up inside and sit in the cabs and marvel at how far the little green tractor has grown over the years. Last night, I remembered sitting in the cab of a brand new combine with an unfathomable price tag, on the little fold-down seat next to Joey. He had just started his degree in agriculture and the only tractors he'd ever driven were from the 1940's. Somehow I completely forgot about sitting in the little seat imagining what our future would hold until last night when I was in that seat again. We never imagined that we would move to a small town 25 minutes from Joey's university, or that we would raise sheep and chickens, or that just a few years later Joey would drive those big tractors, then sell them for half a year, and then be back again in his favorite place, behind the wheel of the John Deere.
You never know where you'll end up in life. I never dreamed I'd be a small town library director when I was painting in the art building at Augustana. I'm so happy we landed where we are. And that we landed here together.
Our sunflowers have bloomed! Just in time for the backyard baby shower I'm throwing for a friend this weekend!