In keeping with the TV show A Farmer wants a Wife, I thought it would be a fantastic and timely opportunity to bring you some love stories from the bush.
Now, pick your jaws up! Yes, I know I have made a huge issue, about NOT writing ‘just’ romance in all of my books and this all probably sounds a bit romantic, but the reality is, it’s hard to love in the bush. As we’ve seen on A Farmer Wants a Wife, it’s not just the blokes, it’s women too.
There is a pretty standard joke in country towns that if you are a single nurse or teacher, you are likely to be snapped up with minutes of arriving in town. This isn’t just a joke, it’s pretty much true. Other occupations bring women to towns, but it’s often hard to find something to bring the blokes in, unless they are a stock agent or agronomist or similar.
Too many young people are leaving our farms because the work is long and hard and it’s apparent with this mass exodus, it effects towns, farms and relationships.
And let’s face it; farming is a bloody lonely occupation if you don’t have someone to share it with, have a beer with and debreif at the end of the day. Especially in tough seasons.
So, how did I meet my farmer?
It’s a pretty funny story really…
I was nineteen when I made the shift across the border from South Australia to Western Australia. I had found it very difficult to get a job in SA – in the early 90’s it was still not really accepted that women could work on farms. The Esperance area was still developing and most of the farmers wives worked on their farms, so it sounded like a good place to get a bit of experience before I headed home to the north of SA to help my grandparents run their station.
Yup, the best laid plans of mice and men…
I was in a clump of reeds filling in rabbit holes when a large plume of smoke appeared. I didn’t take any notice – fires where I came weren’t always fought. If it was in rocky terrain it was easier to let it burn. So here I was, stomping through thick bull rushes, singing loudly to scare the snakes. Hubby-to-be (HTB) came roaring up (he was contract clover harvesting int the next paddock) and asked if the fire was ok. How the hell would I know? I’ve only been working here two weeks!
So I jumped in his ute and we headed back to find my boss. All in all, the fire was fine and HTB dropped me back at my job. I didn’t want to lose my opportunity so I blurted out:
‘I’ve been here two weeks and I haven’t spoken to anyone under forty. Can you take me to the pub on Friday?’ (I have to say here, I actually hadn’t worked out this bloke’s name yet. It was either Antony or Anthony.)
‘Uh, I’m busy.’
Right, well I stuffed that up didn’t I?
He came back the next day and said yes.
We got engaged after nine months and married on a 46 degree in Adelaide. As I arrived at the Church HTB had just hung up the phone from the real estate agent, confirming we had bought the farm we had been negotiating on for the past week. (He was very pleased he managed to halve his debt before he even started!)
The honeymoon entailed us stopping at Head of the Bite (one day after we were married) at day break and watching the sun come up.
When you marry a farmer, you also marry the farm (this has both good and bad points) and to succeed, you have to make sacrifices. Hubby and I lived in an atco hut without power and a loo for the first five years of our married life, but those years cemented our relationship.
Have you got a story about how you met your farmer? Or your husband/wife? I’d love to hear it.