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I married a dairy farmer when I was 53 years old.

To this day, people still ask me, “Did you ever think you’d end up on a dairy farm?” As if I could imagine something that had never even tiptoed across my mind! Dreaming and imagining aside, here’s a little background to acquaint you with the real-life events that brought me to the farm.

My not-yet-husband Weldon and I met via an on-line dating site. We both lived in North Carolina but, in retrospect, the hundred miles that separated us was nothing compared to the difference in our lifestyles. I had been living the single-again, corporate life in Charlotte for ten years, and Weldon had spent his entire life on the family dairy farm near King.

As we got to know each other by chatting on the phone and corresponding through e-mail, I was careful to ask the important questions: Is your divorce final? (Yes.) Do you live near water? (Yes, there is a creek and a river.) Would you plant raspberries for me? (There are black raspberries growing just a few steps from the front door.) With the essentials out of the way, we began our back-and-forth Saturday-or-Sunday visits. He liked me. I liked him.

Weldon made it clear that he wasn’t looking for a dairy hand and that he in no way expected me to help with the farm chores. It seemed to be a match made in heaven, and, seven months after our initial meeting, we were married and I moved from the city to the country.

It didn’t take long before I was introduced to a world where crap is an every day, sometimes hourly experience. Little by little, I saw that living on a dairy farm was going to require a huge adjustment on my part. I found myself whining (only on the inside, of course) as the daily routines aggravated and irritated me. Feeling more and more overwhelmed, I started wallowing in an oh-woe-is-me attitude.

Life is full of crap, be it real, proverbial, or psychological. We can be glad for the times we slog our way through it without too much of the stench clinging to our clothes, and we can give a shout of joy when we see the cow pie right in front of us and are able to sidestep it. In reading about my struggles and victories, I hope you will recognize a similarity to problems you are facing and find encouragement to win your battles.

God is using life on the farm to make me new and real and thankful. He is using the difficulties in your life to work new and exciting things in you, too. When life gets challenging or down-right discouraging, a change in our perspective can change our attitude, and a change in attitude may be just what is needed to get back to truly enjoying the life we have been given.

Walk with me … but look out for the crap.

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