The farmer’s anniversary list

Backroad Ramblings

I was talking to a young married lady recently and she proudly informed me that she and her husband were about to celebrate their six-month anniversary. She couldn’t wait to mark a year of wedded bliss, so she could do a traditional anniversary gift. However, the traditional gift for a year of marriage is paper. It’s kind of hard to imagine a touching anniversary gift for a rancher that is made out of paper, especially since a card doesn’t count. 

But this got me to thinking about anniversaries. Everybody knows that the 25th is silver and the 50th is gold, but what about all the other years? What represents year number seven or 19 or 43? So I looked it up. 

The first 10 years of “Traditional Anniversary Gifts” go like this:

First year, paper; second, cotton; third, leather; fourth, fruit or flowers; fifth, wood; sixth -Candy; seventh, wool; eighth, bronze; ninth, pottery; 10th, tin. 

It goes on like this, the gifts getting nicer each year, until you reach the 60th, which is the diamond anniversary. This is where the “traditional gifts” stopped. I suppose if a couple makes it past 60 years of marriage, they would simply get a lifetime achievement award every year.

At any rate, as I looked over the gifts that represented the various years, I thought about how people in agriculture do things a little differently. If we were to invent a “Farmer’s Anniversary List”, it might go something like this:

First year: Wire. Many people spend their first anniversary fixing fence.

Second year: Wheat. It is so romantic to ride together in the combine.

Third year: Leather. A new bridle is a lovely anniversary gift for a cowboy or cowgirl.

Fourth year: Rubber. On your way to dinner, you can treat each other to a set of new tires on the pickup.

Fifth year: Wood. Chopping wood is a great activity for the loving couple of five years.

 Sixth year: Glass. One of the most thoughtful gifts ever is to replace that busted windshield.

Seventh year: Wool: This is usually the year a couple decides to get into sheep. Sometimes it lasts, sometimes it doesn’t (the sheep business that is).

Eighth year: Steel: A great anniversary trip is to go look at a new piece of farm equipment or a bull.

Ninth year: Fruit or Flowers: The wise wife of nine years bakes him a fruit pie. The wise husband of nine years brings home flowers. This makes everybody happy before they go out to do chores. 

• 10th year: Tin. One of the most romantic things to do on your 10th anniversary is to get caught in a building with a tin roof during a rainstorm. You can’t hear anything, but then you don’t need to. 

That covers the first 10 years, but for older couples, things get even better. The 25th is always going to be silver, but on the 30th, instead of the traditional Pearls, a pearl-colored pickup. The 40th, instead of Rubies, could be an addition to the house, now that the kids are all gone. The 45th, instead of Sapphires, would be a trip to wherever you want as long as it’s not Kansas. The 50th is always going to be gold, but anything past 50 should get a lifetime achievement award every year and the respect and admiration of everybody around you. But it might also be nice to go to dinner.