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Should you wear your wedding ring around the farm?

I thought diamonds were forever, until I started working on the farm.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

March 11, 2016

3 Min Read

I could feel it. Something was just off. I pulled my ring finger toward my eyes and realized the diamond was missing. At the end of this month, I will not celebrate my 24 years of marriage with my original wedding ring.

My husband and I were working around the farm. We were cleaning the barn, building cabinets in the farmhouse and stretching screen door mesh. I am not sure when or where I lost the diamond, but at that moment my heart sank. I looked at my husband and apologized then started frantically looking on the floor, in my pants pocket and in my jacket--nothing. He motioned to stop. "Honey, it is so small you will never find it." And I cried.


Now a diamond ring does not a marriage make, but this was not any diamond. This diamond was before the days when young girls post their engagement ring choices on Pinterest--yes, my daughter did that--or commercials exclaim, "He went to Jared." No, this was a time when a young man walked into Michael's Jewelry store in the small town of Fremont, Nebraska to pick out his beloved's wedding ring.

At that time, my husband worked for a seed company. I was finishing my senior year at the University of Missouri. We would use a landline telephone to call only occasionally because it was expensive. Cell phones were just being introduced but there was no such thing as texting. Our main method of communication--daily letters in the mailbox. Still, we managed to make our long-distance relationship work.

We talked of marriage once. When he arrived in Columbia, I knew it was to help me celebrate graduation. After the ceremony, it was time to move out of my apartment and back home. We packed my belongings and went to the mall for a quick dinner. As we returned to the apartment, I realized my electricity was already turned off. He parked his maroon Chevy Nova with the headlights aiming toward the front door to provide some light. He came in the door and in the glow of the headlights, got down on one knee and presented me with the ring.

I had never seen the ring. He picked it out especially for me.

Until this moment, that ring outlasted pulling lambs and stacking hay bales. It made it through shoveling snow and manure. It traveled from Missouri to Minnesota and back to Missouri. It saw births and deaths. But no more.

Some have said I should "upgrade" and I laugh. A bigger ring does not a marriage make. In fact, I loved the little one. It told a story of our humble beginning. It was a symbol of our young love at 22. It was to be a symbol of a long, Godly marriage passed on to our children and grandchildren.

While I realize rings and diamonds can be lost anywhere, it did give me pause. Should I have been more careful with this special gift? Should I have treated it as a priceless possession? Should I have taken off my ring to work on the farm?

Honestly, I go back and forth in answering these questions. Many women and men face a safety issue in wearing rings around the farm. There are wires that snag them and gates that smash them. For that reason alone, perhaps taking wedding rings off is a good practice.

However, keeping it on all the time reminded others and me of the love of my husband. Was it worth it? I still don't know. What I realize is that diamonds are not forever--love is.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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