Five years. Yes, 5 years, 6 moves, 2 children, a lot of lessons, some bills, bills caused by lessons; and a load of laughter. Friday marks our anniversary. The day we said “I do” to more than we could have ever expected. Things have not always been easy. Some days we flat don’t like each other. Our children will be grown and out of the house before we ever agree on parenting styles. But we never argue about money. The only thing more hard headed than you, is me. And the only thing more hard headed than me, is you. But you know what? I wouldn’t trade you for anything!
If had known on that hot August day when we first met in Mr. Bob Young’s poultry science class, the friendship that we would develop… well, let’s just say you would have had a crazy stalker a lot sooner! To be honest (but you already knew this) I thought you were a bit odd. I told my parents there was a “cowboy geek” in my class. I said, I figured if you couldn’t do it from a horse you probably just didn’t care. Back then, that was pretty true. You had a big, (dirty,) black felt hat with a feather in it. You wore dark, tight fitting wrangler blue jeans, higher heeled riding boots, and wrangler pearl snap shirts over a white t-shirt. And you had a mustache! That was your look.
Most people forget we met at college. In fact, that wasn’t really where we got to know each other. No, for that we have good ol’ Kerby and Nimr our bosses from the AgriLife research center. I got my job there first. I liked the work and had heard they were looking for another student worker. Then I heard you had just quit your job at the ranch where you had been working. I told you to apply and you did. Nimr asked me about you; if you would be a good worker. I said yes, and he said my job was on the line if you didn’t work out. (Pretty sure my job was safe for a while. I still had like 6 giant bags of grinding to do…after that, who knows.)
Before long we were working together building fences for a rotation grazing study. I don’t work well with others. I just don’t. But you were different. It wasn’t like working with someone. It was like having an extra set of hands. It’s weird because we are both picky about how things get done; and we are both control freaks. But we just fell into a rhythm so easily. You had “more manners than was good for you” and refused to let me use a t-post driver. That drove me nuts. I’d practically beg to use it…but it also made me feel special that you took care of me that way.
That summer we worked on the *poo* crew (they might have given us a slightly different moniker that I just can’t seem to make myself type.) Work started by 7 am. And at least one of us had to be back again at 7 pm. The work itself was pretty crappy, pun intended. But the company was great. We tracked a lot of fence shorts that summer. Worked a lot of cattle in the heat. It’s funny how much you can learn about a person by working with them like that.
Apparently, I talked about you a lot… like a lot, a lot. Dianna knew you as “this guy at work.” And Regina was the one to finally tell me “you know you like him!” in a very matter of fact every-one-but-you-knows-that sort of way. It was true. I was smitten. I tried not to change how I interacted with you after this new revelation. Turns out, that wasn’t so hard. We were already tight by then. Mr. Young called us running buddies. We secretly competed to see who could do more for Ag Club. It was like “oh, he signed up. I better go too.”
It took a few months for you to catch on though. We met at work on a fabulously spring like day in December. The center was closed for Christmas but we had to feed cattle that day. You talked funny. And you kept spitting out the window. You said something about the Marines after you finished at Kilgore College. The Marines?! What happened to moving to Montana to run a ranch? And Snuff?! You were then one who once got all offended and told someone you wouldn’t dip “in a million years.” I found out later a girl had let you down pretty hard. But for that day I was just confused. I should have been able to enjoy the beautiful weather and some good company, but I couldn’t. I confronted you about the snuff after a couple of weeks. All you said was “Dr. Pepper wasn’t enough anymore.” I got mad. I cried angry tears all the way home. Then I dropped my stuff in my room and ran out to the barn to beat up some hay. (That poor, poor hay.)
Your birthday was coming. I had a plan for your special day. Early in the morning on February 4, 2009 I sent you a text. “Happy big 20 my friend. Love ya.” You just said thanks. Then you avoided me for like 3 days. Then you started following me. February 10th was a Tuesday. I had a lot to do, and was busy with preparations for Ag club auction. You were on my tail. Out to the truck. Back to the old lab. I was giggling with anticipation…and cracking up because Jerome was like Visa that day… he was everywhere you wanted to be. Finally, you blurted out “Wanna meet for lunch tomorrow?” I said sure, and we agreed to meet at the Jalapeno Tree after class. I remember after we sat down the waitress asked if it would be one check or 2, and I panicked. I was so excited to meet that I hadn’t thought ahead and I had no money. Boy was I relieved when you said it would be one check. As we left I gave you a flirty look and asked why the lunch treat. “I just felt like taking someone to the Tree.” To which I replied “well, any time you just feel like doing it again, let me know.” And we have been eating there as often as possible ever since.
I could type for 3 years and not write all of my fondest memories. The thing is: you’re too much. You’re going to spoil me. Great minds think alike – and then there’s us. I love you to the moon and back Brandon Kyle. Five years of marriage, 6 moves, 2 children…. And I am so, so blessed that God Blessed the Broken Road that led me straight to you.