Jennifer Rohrich
 
 
    
 
Planting corn earlier this year. (Jennifer Rohrich)
 
 

 
Mark and Jennifer Rohrich. (Jennifer Rohrich)
 
 

 
The author's husband, Mark Rohrich, checking flax in the field. (Jennifer Rohrich)
 
 

The end of July marks two years since I packed up my life in California, left my entire family and moved to North Dakota, all in the name of love. It took me one visit to my future husband's farm before I decided I wanted to move. I left my heart in North Dakota and had to come back to claim it.

Moving and making my home in North Dakota turned out to be the path that was meant for me, but it also has been quite the learning experience. My two years in North Dakota have held many firsts for me: living more than 90 miles from any big town, experiencing subzero temperatures, driving in the snow, etc. But if there is one thing that stands out as the most challenging "first" in my life, it is marriage to a farmer.

I have written many times about being married to a farmer; this topic is what made my blog go viral and put me on The Huffington Post. So what has marriage to a farmer taught me?

Patience. Farm life is unpredictable. And whether you like it or not, the farm will teach you patience. One minute my husband may be home, and the next he may be off to plant, harvest or spray, even on the weekends. It doesn't matter that I have a meal in the oven or that we have plans.

Trips "to town" usually require some sort of farm business. I can recall many times we've had to stop and look at a tractor or make a detour on our way home to pick up parts. I've had to RSVP "no" to weddings and summer social events that I would have loved to attend. And if we do attend, it is always a last-minute decision --and we can only go because it is raining.

Independence. Since we don't have any children yet, I spend much of my time in the evenings and on weekends alone. When I first moved, this was tough. I was living in a new town and knew no one. I will be brutally honest: I spent several nights crying in the shower during my first harvest. My husband would be home after I was asleep and gone again before I woke up the next morning.

This year I am so busy and involved in our community that it feels like I am never home. I am so thankful for the friendships I have formed in this small town. I am proud of the fact that I have stepped out of my comfort zone to volunteer in our community, even if it means attending events alone. Without finding my independence and making friends, I wouldn't make it through planting or harvest season.

Enjoy the little things. One of my hands-down favorite things to do is to check crops with my husband. Even though I am still learning about the crops we grow, I always love to get out there and watch their progress. Since there are periods of the year when I don't see my husband much, I have learned to enjoy those little things. Whether it is checking crops, riding in the tractor during planting season or taking a meal out to him to enjoy in the field, I appreciate all the time I can get with him.

Several years ago I would have described my ideal date as enjoying exotic food and later sipping martinis at some downtown swanky bar. Now my ideal date night looks like going to our small-town local bar and grilling steaks in the back on a rainy weekend. Or, after a long season of planting or harvest, cozying up on the couch and watching our favorite shows on Netflix.

Laugh. Daily. It doesn't matter how good a farm wife you are or how prepared you are for when that busy season hits, things happen. During the busiest times of the year, your house ends up looking like a tornado hit it, you find random things in your laundry, you get lost trying to find the field your husband is in, or it pours rain while you are trying to finish harvest...the list goes on. Sometimes you've just got to stand back, take a deep breath and laugh.

My life changed drastically the moment I met and fell in love with a farmer from small-town North Dakota. But the truth is, I wouldn't change it for the world. I can't imagine life outside of North Dakota without that farmer of mine, and I certainly can't imagine us doing anything else.



 
California-born Jennifer Rohrich lives with her farmer husband in Ashley, N.D. She writes about family, food and farming at prairiecalifornian.com.