Speaking the same language
Carla Jean’s baby has arrived safely–all 80 pounds of Gelbvieh glory. The cow stork [say what? there is no cow stork? 😉 ] dropped her gently this past weekend on Bob and Margee’s farm just outside of Kansas City.
When he’s not raising champion cattle, Farmer Bob runs an ad agency in Shawnee Mission. Our working relationship spans my entire freelancing career, starting during Denver’s oil and gas boom when he and his brother Don published the region’s leading magazine for the industry. He was a young photographer, piloting his own plane and serving as an ad exec for the publications. From Bob and Don, I learned everything I wanted to know– and then some–about oil and gas rigs, field house fabrication and mud hauling. We made a good team. When Bob moved back to his family’s homestead near the Missouri/Kansas border, I continued writing copy for his new agency.
Why do we keep the relationships we do when distance and time would make letting go logical?
I believe it’s because we’ve somehow come to speak the same language. We’re part of the same tribe. And any extra effort to stay in touch is an investment with great ROI.
It hit me a few years ago that Bob and I speak English in three languages. There is the language of work: prospecting, client demands, budgets and deadlines. There is the language of family: how’s Arlene doing? is Margee’s mom still on her farm? did Kate and Dmitri make it to Texas? (There was also that time, many years ago now, when he told me he thought he was falling in love with this young woman in K.C. Beautiful, successful, genuine–and the only problem he could see was that Ms. Margee had a mouth as smart as mine. I believe I replied, “Good. She’ll need it.”)
The third language is that of the land. Both Bob and I grew up on farms. So when he leaves a message saying, “Sorry I missed our call…the cows got out,” I know he’s had a morning that was far more than cattle outside a fence. When he tells me their beloved border collie Nick has crossed the rainbow bridge, we neither one can speak for a long time. And when I call to ask if the blizzard has hit, he knows I know what deep snow at calving time can mean in terms of those little ones’ survival.
Which brings us to the recent arrival of Carla Jean’s calf. Bob and Margee–American Royal regulars–astutely realized that giving their Gelbviehs names as well as numbers got them a bit more attention in the ring. Naturally, I demanded my own namesake. Now I’ve been invited to name her baby.
What do you think of Lily Kate?