November 2016
Simple Times

Dating on the Homestead

I started dating when I was the ripe old age of 15, under the careful scrutiny of my parents.

My curfew was 10 p.m. until the week before I got married!


“More Simple Times at Old Field Farm” is Suzy Lowry Geno’s newest book. It has just been published. A collection of many of her award-winning and most popular “Simple Times” columns, the book is available on Amazon in print and Kindle versions or you may contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to order one!

My parents had to know the life history of any boy I dated, his family tree and what church he attended! Actually, many of my first dates were to church functions under their watchful eyes!

Fast forward a lifetime away, to my being widowed at age 60. We had both been married before, but we had shared 34 years of happiness, trials, sadness and life!

He had been dead less than a week when the parade began (and remember I am a chubby, gray-haired homesteader!). Men of every type and description started showing up on the porch of my little store, seated themselves in one of the rocking chairs, and began talking about what all they "could do for" me. ...

Some wore overalls (and I’m usually a sucker for a man in overalls!); some wore neat, dress clothes; and some wore jeans and cowboy hats. They were all ages: from much younger than me to way older than me!

Remember, it had only been a week or two since I lost my husband! Other widows have told me similar stories. And a friend who had lost his wife many years ago told of another man who told him he’d be swarmed by women because "he was upright and he had a job!"

I guess this brick house, 15 acres, and a then-fairly-new car and truck made quite an impression!

I quickly learned how to stop repeat visits. As we rocked on the little store porch, I’d be talking and then simply say, "I just don’t know how I’m going to keep making these nearly $800 farm payments with Roy gone. ..." I’d turn to bat my eyes at them in the likes of Scarlett O’Hara and they’d already be gone!

It was amazing to see how quickly the parade had started, but, talking to others who had lost their spouses, I found it was quite common. One man was even approached at the cemetery while he was burying his wife, by a fellow church lady letting him know she was available for dates!

I’m not sure what gets into some folks! If there are so many lonely folks, why don’t they date one other instead of hurrying to be first in line when someone dies?!

But my story is not done!

Time moved on. One cool Saturday, a longtime acquaintance showed up and sat talking to me in the tiny store. He urged me to go out to eat with him since it was time I had a little fun and relaxation. He stressed he had nothing to do all day and we could ride around, enjoy the scenery and just enjoy the day. My youngest daughter could watch the store for me and we could have fun!

About that time, my daughter came to tell me a load of firewood had arrived and needed to be unloaded on my carport.

Suddenly my friend remembered he had somewhere to go and something to do! The thought of doing some actual WORK evidently was beyond his comprehension (even though I knew he had no health problems or other things that would have hindered him from helping with such a task).

I work really hard here on my homestead! I don’t care much for those who don’t appreciate the same values!


Suzy Lowry Geno lives on a small homestead in Blount County and can be reached through Facebook or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..