Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Would Do It All Over Again


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.

Kat




           

30 comments:

  1. ah, kat .. you look so pretty, and happy.. and i can see what you mean about kenneth's blue eyes.. handsome guy.... so great to hear you don't regret giving up the scholarship... so many people would have.... life is what you make it, that's for sure... nice write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Daphne. Like you I found my soul mate and I wouldn't change a thing.

      Delete
  2. WHAT A GORGEOUS PRECIOUS COUPLE! and isn't it great to rest and smile knowing.....wow....made an on earth in heaven kinda decision!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Brenda. Yes, it is great.

      Delete
  3. A truly wonderful fairy tale romance... you know, if you keep up with these kinds of stories you MIGHT just convince this gal that happily ever afters DO happen.

    P.S. Did you ever get used to the smell? ;-)

    Loved this Kat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do happen k~. You just have to find the right person. They are out there. :D)

      P.S. I'm not sure if you get used to it or just learn to tolerate it!

      Delete
  4. What a great story.Cows are better than college any day. Found your soulmate and thats no bull!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You got that right! Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. Wow, what a story Kat. I am such a different person. I sacrificed my first marriage to finish my degree. But then I didn't have a blue-eyed charmer at my side.

    I envy you a little bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you made what you thought were the right choices for you at the time. That's all any of us can do. There are no guarantees.

      Delete
  6. What a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing. (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome Marianne. It was my pleasure. Thank you so much for stopping by.

      Delete
  7. I really love this story and mostly love that it's true! I sacrificed nothing to be with Mike, but I think he did. I inherited his children for week-end visits, but he inherited mine to raise with me full time. His carefree bachelor days were really over when he married me. I know he would do it all over as would I. I also think our 'empty nest' years have been so much better because this is the alone time we didn't have as newly weds. Everyone has a story, don't they? I'm so glad you shared your's with us.♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Jo. I've always thought of it as my fairytale but I never really thought anyone else would see it that way. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I think you have a very interesting story and don't sell yourself short. Everyone has to make sacrifices when they join their lives with another person's, especially when kids are involved. I feel sure he would think you were worth it!

      Delete
  8. Wow Kat that is a such a lovely story. I am so touched. I gave up my Masters to marry my husband!! I was all accepted and was to leave to the States and I met him in summer and just gave up the idea of going back to the US.
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So you understand why I would do it all over again. Thanks for sharing that.

      Delete
  9. What a choice to make, but lucky you, you didn't turn your back on love. Now I'd love a peek into your first cow milking session!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Luckily, there are no pictures. I have to admit I was a little tentative when it came to getting that close. They are notorious for kicking. At first I did help with little things around the barn but he actually did most of the milking. I did get where I could put the milkers on. If I ever get up the nerve to publicly embarrass myself big time I do have a funny story I will tell on myself.

      Delete
  10. What a lovely story, a beautiful wedding picture, and I personally would take true love any day over college!

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kathy, so would I, wait, I did! :D)

      Delete
  11. Ok, I admit to having a sniffle moment. That was beautifully told, Kat. Thank you for sharing your lovely story (and you hubby certainly does have beautiful eyes judging from the gorgeous wedding photo!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your kind words.

      Delete
  12. My sister-in-law has said several times that she wishes she hadn't gotten married so young.(Right out of high school.) I think it's important to be confident in our decisions, especially ones like who we spend our lives with. I think it speaks volumes about your marriage that you don't regret your choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you. In making a decision that life changing you better be sure there are no lingering doubts in the back of your mind.

      Delete
  13. I have a friend who also married soon after high school and who is still married to the same guy. You and my friend are the rare ones. You have a beautiful love story! Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Darlene. I thank God every day for guiding me to this wonderful man. I do believe it was meant for me to move to KY for the summer that year.

      Delete
  14. How wonderful! When it's right, you know it. So glad you trusted that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you do know. I can honestly say I never once had any doubts.

      Delete

You've read my thoughts, now, please leave me yours. Thank you.