My workday, last Friday was going as usual. Sometimes peaceful, with time to think and reflect on what I choose to think about. And then out of nowhere, I am bombarded from all directions.
I was in the bombardment stage with three different people coming to me with six different problems needing immediate attention. I needed to hurry out in the processing plant to change something on the pack list for a rush order. While I was still out in the plant, the USDA inspector wanted to review the preoperational inspection which he had performed that morning, and one of my vendors (a salesman) stopped in to see me, and one of my new shipping guys had questions on loading a truck.
Of course with all this going on, the phone starts to ring. The first page (a call over the PA system) “Ron, telephone line 2…Ron telephone line 2.” I wasn’t even headed toward the office to answer the phone before the second page sounded. “Ron you have a phone call on line 3, Ron you have phone calls on lines 2 and 3.” While heading to my office, I answer my shipping guy’s question and tell the processing supervisor what changes to make in the production line. And then I hurry into my office, hoping that the calls are conformations from trucking companies that they can pick-up on schedule.
As I sat down at my desk and reached for the phone… I could now see lines 1 through 4 all flashing. “Which lines were mine?” I couldn’t remember, so I took a guess.
“Hello, this is Ron.”
“This is … Harris.” There was an awkward pause, like he expected me to make a response to his name. And even though he stated his first name, I didn’t hear it clearly enough to make it out. Before I did say anything, he spoke again. “Do you know who I am?” Now, I knew that I had heard that voice before, but I hear many familiar voices on the phone. I figured that this guy was another trucking concern trying to win my business. (I hear from about one new cold contact a day in this way.) So my answer reflected what my brain was still thinking at that point. “I know I’ve heard your voice before. Are you with a trucking company?”
I now heard a nervous laugh. “No, I’m dating your daughter.”
I’ve never had such a fast paradigm shift. Instantly, I was no longer at work (Mentally at least.) Now I DID know who I was talking to. Bryan Harris! Jessica had brought him home months earlier to meet us. And just like the rest of my family, I loved this guy. I was very glad he was dating my daughter. I felt comfortable around him, and I had the idea that the feeling was mutual.
So now I was very embarrassed that I hadn’t recognized his voice or even his name. Also, I knew of only one reason he would be calling ME. I had heard rumblings from others and I knew that Bryan and Jessica’s relationship was now serious.
Well, we had a nice little chat. In the chat, Bryan had a question for me and I gave him the answer he was looking for. That phone call was a wonderful respite from my hectic workday. At the end of the conversation, I hung up the phone and just sat back in my chair with a big smile on my face. I was now ignoring everything else that wanted my attention. That was a cool experience. I’ll now have two son-in-laws. And both of them are really great guys. In fact they are perfect for my two oldest daughters. I went about the rest of the day thinking about that phone call. Another wedding… Wonder when it will be? I thought of their future plans. They still have school… and work … they will find a place of their own… and live where?
As they usually do, my thoughts wondered to my progenitors. They too had dreams… found love… got married … started a new life together. We are the products of their dreams. My thoughts now centered on my Grandpa George Haroldsen. He is the one person of all my ancestors that I have the recorded story of him having the same little chat with the dad.
It was 1909. George drove (his horse and buggy) to the south of Ammon, Idaho, where the Adam Smith dry farm was located, to talk to his perspective father-in-law. This is where Adam and his sons spend most of the summer as they cared for their crops. It would have been about a two hour horse and buggy ride to get there from George’s home. He tried to get Adam off by himself to talk, but George later related, “I couldn’t get close enough to the old man to talk without big ears listening.” He was referring to Kate’s brothers who apparently surmised what was afoot. After a bachelor supper at the dry farm (there were no women around), George finally got Adam to sit in the buggy and talk. Adam gave George some daddy-in-law advice, and George drove back to St. Leon (where he lived) that night.
As I think of poor George, who was all scared and nervous to talk to “The old man” as he put it, I can’t help but smile. “The old man” Adam Smith was once young too. He too was once a suitor. He had his awkward moments as well. When he came courting his future wife, Helen Everett, at first she was afraid of him and so she’d go and hide, leaving him only to visit with her mother and father.
I guess one way or another, everyone who gets married has to find their way into the lives of another family. I think that just adds to the magic of love. I am very happy to see my family now growing in this manner. I won’t lose a daughter, but rather gain another son. Congratulations Jessica and Bryan. Your anticipated future is the product of my dreams. And the lives we are living now are the product of our progenitor’s dreams. And the Story goes, on and on.