GBE2 Week #39 Prompt - "Do-Over"
Happy Valentine's Day to all my friends in Blogland! In honor of the holiday and by special request I have decided to write a love story that fits in very well with this week's GBE2 prompt, Do-Over. This is a true story so any resemblance to real characters is completely intentional.
Recently in response to an award that had graciously been bestowed upon me by Jo over at My Wandering Mind, I made the following statement about myself:
6. I had a full academic scholarship to college that I gave up because I fell in love with the earlier
mentioned dairy farmer and couldn't bear to leave him for 4 years. I would do it all over again.
To my surprise, this statement seemed to catch everyone's attention and many left comments wanting to know more; so following is my true love story.
It was the summer of 1971 and I had just graduated from our small high school, only 26 in my graduating class. I graduated Valedictorian and had been awarded a full academic scholarship to Franklin College, a small Baptist College near Indianapolis, IN. where I was to attend in the fall. Like most teenagers, I couldn't wait to get out of our small town so the very next day after graduation I moved to Kentucky to live with my sister and her family for the summer.
First thing on my to-do list was find a summer job, which I found at the local Stuckey's out by the interstate. I had worked at restaurants every since I was old enough so working behind the snack bar there was a breeze.
At that time, my sister's family lived in a trailer at the Country Club, sort of as night watchmen. The addition of another person in the trailer made for cramped living quarters but my sister and brother-in-law were so wonderful. They took me in as if it were no big deal and I'll always love them for it. Anyway, living at the country club was a great way to meet people. I met several nice people my age who played tennis or came to the swimming pool. Since I had never played tennis in my life, I spent a lot of time watching the others. Eventually, I gave in a bought a tennis racket.
Both Kenneth and his brother, Steve played tennis and their dad played golf. Their mom came out a lot and either rode on the golf cart with Fred or sat and watched the boys play tennis. Believe it or not I actually got to know her before I did Kenneth.
At that time, my brother-in-law drove a milk truck that delivered the local farmers milk to the dairy processing plant in Louisville. Since Kenneth's family milked cows and Gayle picked up their milk they were friends. Kenneth often stopped by to talk to Gayle if we were outside when he came to play tennis.
If you've ever lived in a rural area you know that the big entertainment that draws everyone in the county is a tractor pull. At least that was certainly the case here. Everyone who was anyone was there. Not having a clue what a tractor pull was, I went along with my family to see who I could see. Once there I was amazed at the crowd and actually found it interesting watching these big tractors try to pull a moving box of weights further than the others. I had never seen anything like it. I grew up in a small town, but I lived in town. We weren't really what I would consider a rural area; there were some farms but it wasn't the main economic source. I had never heard of a tractor pull.
Anyway, I was having a good time and had run into several people I had come to know. When it got dark I happened to run into Kenneth's mom sitting with a friend of hers in their pick-up truck watching the tractor pull. They invited me to sit with them. I jumped at the chance, hoping Kenneth might come around. Sure enough, not long after I got in, here he came. Just as we started talking my sister walked up and said they were ready to go home. Not now, I thought to myself, but said nothing. Before I had a chance to say anything Kenneth spoke up and said, "You can go ahead, I'll bring her home." Needless to say, my heart did a cartwheel!
I can't say that it was love at first sight because we had seen each other before...but I might have to say it was love at first date. That wonderful night that changed my life forever happened late in June and I don't think we missed a day seeing each other until we married a year later. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
We had a wonderful summer dating and I dreaded the approaching fall. He had the most beautiful blue eyes I had ever seen and I fell more in love with him every time I looked into them. We hadn't really talked about what was going to happen beyond the summer until one night when we couldn't put it off any longer. I knew I didn't want to leave him, it was so far and long distance romances were so hard. I was sure he felt the same way but we had to discuss it openly and honestly. Giving up a scholarship was a big decision and not one to be made lightly. He had me at, "I am sure I don't want you to go because one day I want our last names to be the same". To this 18 year old it was the most romantic proposal I could imagine.
Instead of going away to college I found a job at a bank, bought my first car to drive to work and stayed with my sister's family until the following June when we married. Kenneth took me to the farm several times and introduced me to my first real cow. I had been to the zoo but cows aren't usually found in the zoo and besides, you don't really get up close and personal with zoo animals. But hey, when you're young and in love you think you can do anything and even a huge cow looked like a teddy bear, and I could get used to the smell, right? I could be a farmer's wife..no problem.
That summer was like living my own personal fairytale. Kenneth presented me with my engagement ring on Christmas Eve that year (but that's a story for another blog). We were married on June 25, 1972 and will celebrate our 40th anniversary this year. The fall after we were married I received a phone call from Franklin College telling me that my scholarship was still open if I would like to change my mind. I thanked them and explained that I was happily married and would not be accepting their generous offer. I've been asked over the years if I ever regretted my decision and my answer to that is always the same. That is one decision in my life that if given the chance to do it over I would do it just the same all over again.
Until next time...that's my view.