Valentine’s Day is a non-event in our household.
Between looking after two small kids and running a farm, the only time we have a candlelit dinner is when the power goes off. If I want flowers, I grow them myself.
But it wasn’t always that way. When Hubby was planning our first date, a fellow ‘milk extraction technician’ advised him, “not to start with too high a standard because otherwise there’s no room to improve over the years”. Hubby ignored him and took me to the best restaurant in town. I was most impressed.
After our wonderfully romantic winter wedding and honeymoon (coincidentally when the cows were dry), Hubby offered to take me shoe shopping. I should have been suspicious when I noticed he was still wearing his farm clothes and Akubra. We took the work ute to the trading store where he gifted me a pair of gumboots. No glass slippers for this Cinderella!
While I would have preferred something more stylish, I soon realised how thoughtful he had been. The gumboots became my most worn footwear as I slopped through the mud, following Hubby across paddocks, into the dairy and calving pad and stood by leaky troughs, all in an attempt to have some ‘quality time’ with my workaholic husband.
One of our first nights out as a married couple was on a moonlit summer’s night. The neighbour to our turn-out paddock had called.
“Fancy going for a drive?” Hubby asked me. I nodded enthusiastically. It was a lovely night to go out. I grabbed my trusty gumboots and jumped in the ute.
An hour later, I was seriously questioning my decision. I’d been bitten by mosquitoes, scratched by tangles of blackberry bushes and tripped up by old fencing wires and logs while being yelled at by Hubby. And we still hadn’t caught the missing cow.
Despite an inky black sky full of diamond-like stars and a giant, ivory moon above me, the evening no longer seemed quite so romantic.
These days, there are no more moonlit adventures when the cows get out because someone needs to stay home with the kids. (At least that’s what I tell Hubby!)
I’ve revamped my romance expectations and embraced the reality of dairy farming. A dependable, reliable spouse who shares my life views beats a Casanova holding a bouquet of 12 long-stemmed roses any day. Even if I do have to share him with the cows.
We still have dates. They are just planned differently. Tomorrow we are off to VicRoads to register the fuel trailer then we’ll visit the agronomist. Afterwards, we’ll indulge in a long lunch at our favourite café.
Maybe romance isn’t dead, after all.