Or, Love the Second Time Around

I’ve been challenged to write about something besides…well…writing.

And, to write something serious.

“Just once,” a friend advised.  “Prove that you can do it.”

Apparently everything I write (other than my fiction) is lighthearted or whimsical (and while we’re on that topic, why is there no email icon for sarcasm?)

Anyway, I’ve never been one to shirk from a challenge.  Yes, I was the one who jumped off the bridge, who jumped from that top branch, who wore white after Labor Day.

So, I’m going to write about a serious topic — love.

Let me tell you about my boyfriend, Just My Joe.

Just My Joe got his name one evening between bites of shrimp and salad when a friend asked me to describe what I loved about him.

I wasn’t sure, so I shrugged and said, “He’s just my Joe.”

And, like flies on honey, the name stuck.

Just My Joe and I knew we were meant to be together when we discovered three commonalities on our first date at an upscale restaurant in D.C.:

  1. Watches – We wore the male and female versions of the same watch.  Still do.
  2. Ancestry – We both have ancestors that have been in the U.S. since before the Revolutionary War, and that has helped to shape our politics, our religion and our work ethics.
  3. Farms – We both grew up on one; me, a dairy farm in Pennsylvania, and him, a pecan farm in Georgia.  We know a thing or two or twenty about rural life.

But, what really made this man’s heart strings go zing was my knowledge about pigs.

Okay, to be more specific, I know all about castrating pigs.  When Just My Joe learned that I knew how to castrate pigs…well…let’s just say I could see the passion in his eyes.

For you city folks, I’ll explain.  Hmmm, how to put this delicately…Castration involves cutting the scrotum, popping out the…umm, perhaps you should look it up instead.  Let’s just say it involves removing a rather delicate part of the pig.

You see, the problem is that intact male animals are too aggressive and hard to manage.  Yeah, yeah, save the jokes about this applying to men too, this is a serious posting, remember?

Anyway, that whole conversation dazzled him.

What he learned next, however, clinched the deal and prompted him to ask me out on a second date:  As with anyone my age, I remember what I was doing when Kennedy was shot.

Now, no disrespect to that late president, but I was playing with my doll babies when the shooting was announced on the news.  My mother took my hand and we walked outside to―you guessed it―the pigpen, where my dad was castrating pigs.

I’ll never forget that day, and I’ll never forget my first date with Just My Joe.

Now this is the stuff that real love stories are made of.

Explore and grow: 1 John 4:7 ─ “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”


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