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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

SOLD.....!! "Honey, I bought some rabbits......"

It wasn't exactly the phrase I was expecting to hear on the morning of my anniversary while at the county 4-H livestock auction, but in this romantic #fancyinthecountry life anything can happen.

And so I just responded how I normally do with my farmer husband, who craves the outdoors and his animals, and politely muttered, "Oh you did....?" and then proceeded to politely shake my head and return my focus to the 4-H kids.  

The kids who spend years dreaming of being a 4-H member (okay maybe that was just me) and months preparing their projects which consist of anything from sewing to livestock to baking, small engines, genealogy, electronics and much more. 

On that morning, the day we celebrated one year of marriage, we decided to use our passion and some cash to support the kids who dedicate so much time, effort, love, sweat and tears into their projects. 

When the auction was about to start my husband thoughtfully reminded me not to speak with my hands, as I usually do, because he feared I would bid too much and too high.  So I tried to not even make eye contact with the auctioneer or his ring men and just focus on the people around me. My favorites that day were the old time auctioneer who had been helping the county fair and the kids for many years, and the young onlookers as they learned from each other and rested their heads after a long, hard week.

And so I laid low and when I took a break from sitting in the stands, I came back to 2 rabbits.  The proud little girl who owned the rabbits and showed them came up to shake our hands after we were announced as the winning bidders.  The best part was her fancy style in the sale ring that morning as she  was wearing a sparkly belt and headband (my kind of girl)! 

Sophie loved her rabbits and spent a lot of time with them during her first year of 4-H.  When Brett went to pick them up the following week, she gave him this card.  A thank you card.  How many kids do you know that write thank you cards these days?  Well most 4-H kids do, and I always looked forward to writing mine when I was younger and picking out my new stationary!  

Your 4-H friend.  Yep, this is going on the fridge!  

The 4 Hs stand for "head, heart, hands and health" and as members of 4-H they strive to better themselves and others through their pledge.

"I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country and my world."

I learned this pledge by example from my dad.  I don't remember him reading it to me or making me memorize it.  But as a 10 year 4-H member himself, he lived that pledge every day and was an example to fellow 4-H members and others.    

While I believe my 4-H experience prepared me for life in many ways, it instilled in me to work hard at everything in life and in every moment.  Even if that means you have to wear your normal grown-up clothes to do weekend chores at your best friend's farm because her mom cooked you brunch and you drank her dad's Budweiser.

It also taught me to be an example for those who may follow behind me, just like my dad was an example for me.  This photo was taken several years ago and now these two girls are grown and 4-H members themselves, working hard year-round to prepare for the county fair.  

So we spent our anniversary at the county fair supporting 4-H members and their livestock projects.   
I sat on my hands for fear of bidding and cried in the stands watching 4-Hers sell their animals while my husband talked markets, weather, and equipment with his fellow farmers.  Oh and don't forget about our new purchases....the rabbits, pigs and chickens.

 And I wouldn't have wanted to celebrate our special day any other way.  As former 4-H members ourselves, we pledged our "head, heart, hands and health" long ago and will continue to do so for many years to come.  

Next year, we may be walking away from the auction with more rabbits.  But in the end we will walk away knowing the 4-H program and commitment by its members is still going strong and that our skills still come in handy in our fancy in the country lifestyle today.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness LOVE the card!! And great picture of Tim :)