I was talking to a customer the other day, he was a much older gentlemen, and as I have been graced with the gift of gab, we started talking. I found he lived in the same town that I do, just minutes away actually, where he has land. He began telling me about some of the things he is growing, it was not long before gardener stories began flying. I mentioned to him that I decided to grow cotton this year, that I am so happy I did because this plant is really wonderful to watch grow. He looked at me and said, “Honey, what in the world made you plant cotton?” I told him that I like to plant something new each season, I read that this was a beautiful plant to grow, so given the history of the plant, and my love of sewing and fabrics, I had to plant it. Turns out this man is an old Texas cotton farmer! well! from there on out, it was nerdy geeky farm talk which I completely loved.
I was struggling through all the technical terms of growing cotton, he helped me along, added little bits here and there, as he told me stories of growing up on a cotton farm. He told me that when he was growing up in Texas, all the girls, (everyone really) had fingers that were disfigured from picking cotton. He talked about wearing gloves with the finger tips cut off so they could save their hands, but there was no way to save the finger tips, not when picking cotton. He was telling me of things I have only read in books, or seen in the movies, he was a wealth of farming knowledge, and I was completely taken with him. It a great conversation, one I won't soon forget.
He was telling me secrets for growing tomatoes, and okra, then at one point he mentioned a food saver, asked if I had one. I said, “no, I lost that in the divorce” which is true, my husband wanted to keep it, but that's a story for another day. A little later in the conversation he said, “you still divorced?”, “yes” I said, he looked at me and asked, “You wanna get married?”, we both had a good laugh at that!!! It was so fun and refreshing talking to an old farmer, he was completely interesting, someone who has worked hard his entire life, someone who gets it, who actually shared many of the same goals that I do. He told areas of Texas I should drive through to see all the beautiful cotton fields, he shared so much in a short amount of time, but, the thing he left me with was this, “If you love to plant, to work hard, to farm, don't waste that gift. Get some land and make your dreams come true. The younger generation needs to understand hard work, where our food comes from, and the great feeling you get after putting in a hard days work.” Suddenly, I felt validated and not nearly as crazy as some of the people around me make me feel.
With one customer, one conversation I did not feel nuts for wanting to grow things, for wanting to be self sustaining, to homestead. He encouraged me to write down all that I am learning along the way so that it is not lost, so it can be passed on. When he found out I sew as well, he just kinda laughed and said, “honey, you have it all.” Then, as always happens to cut good conversations to short at the shop, the phone rang. With that I bid him a wonderful day, and fabulous weekend, he replied in kind and left the shop. I was elated the rest of the day, telling everyone I had a marriage proposal from a cotton farmer, a dream come true :)!
I could have talked to him all day, in fact, I found myself thinking I should call him for coffee or something to just talk to him a little more and see what else I can gleam from him. I was rejuvenated, and excited to plant more in the yard, learn more, DO more! He did suggest to a new plant to me that will be my “never planted before” crop for next season, the purple hull bean or black eyed pea.
If your not living your dream, ask yourself why, and get a move on~ I know I will