Thursday, April 29, 2010

About Us Part I

About Us. Part 1 (in other words, who are you people anyway ?)

(This post written by Jason) Several people have asked for more information about us over the last several weeks and we are happy to oblige.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourselves individually and your history prior to your marriage.

A: Jason was born and raised near Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada on the north shore of Lake Ontario about 50 miles east of Toronto. I graduated from the University of Guelph. I worked in the livestock feed industry for several years after graduation from college. I also moved back home after buying a portion of our multi-generation family farm from my dad’s estate. We quickly grew the farm into a viable business and I (and my then wife) built a home just up the road from my mom. Unexpectedly, my wife left me a couple of years after this, and when I discovered why we were quickly divorced. A few days after she left, she handed me a settlement agreement (basically a bill for being married to her !) which I paid for with the sale of the farm.

Melissa was born in Tennessee and mostly raised in Brentwood which is a suburb of Nashville. She got her first pony when she was five years old and she has had one or more horses ever since. While she was in high school, her parents bought a tract of land near College Grove and they developed it into the beautiful estate you see in all of our pictures. (We have had a very high bar set for us when it comes to being picturesque with our new farm !) Melissa graduated from the University of Memphis with a B.S. in Biology. She originally intended to go to vet school and was accepted, but by then had realized she did not want to be a vet. She worked for a vet while in college and while she remains friends to this day with her former employer she realized she was not going to be able to handle certain emotional aspects of being a vet. After graduating she married and at the same time she also started a recruiting company in Nashville. Over time, she won a sheaf of awards including being named to Nashville’s Top Thirty Under Thirty and received a lot of press for turning this small business into a successful multi-million dollar company. In a situation eerily reminiscent of mine, she and her husband ended up divorcing. Apparently neither of us take well to finding out there are more than two people in a relationship !

Q. How did you and Melissa meet ?

A: Believe it or not, we originally met on a divorce support and recovery website. At the same time, I started brokering hay from Ontario into the mid-south, primarily selling to horse people. The LAST thing on either of our minds at the time was hooking up with someone with the thoughts that it would turn into marriage, but over time that is exactly what happened. Also, the vet/friend/employer of Melissa's mentioned above happened to move to Canada and buy a vet practice near me, and she did a lot of background checking of me for Melissa as well. It was an interesting combination of people and circumstances that brought us together.

Q: And then what happened ?

A: For a whole variety of reasons, we figured it would be easier and more prudent for me to immigrate to the US than for Melissa to move to Canada. As you’ll see, I’m very glad it worked out that way. Melissa was game to try living in the north, so I came to the U.S. on a Trade NAFTA Visa (I am now a U.S. citizen) and took a job as a large herd dairy specialist at Blue Seal Feeds, Brandon VT covering parts of the Champlain Valley and portions of upstate NY. We were married at Orwell, VT in the front yard of our house under the apple trees. To say that Melissa is not built to handle the cold would be a huge understatement. After one northern winter, which I honestly felt was pretty benign, it was evident that unless I wanted to be married to a sick ice-cube, we would be relocating south ! If I didn’t know what I was in for by being married to a horse woman, I quickly learned. We spent exactly twice as much relocating Melissa’s horses to and from central Vermont to Tennessee than we did relocating ourselves !

For anyone who cared to read it that concludes our brief history of Melissa and Jason !

Lily trotting through the pasture

Alex and B-Rad

Big Boys grazing

Levendi and Ivan in the pond

Thomas, Tony and Homer

Leo and Chance
Trigger and Levendi

Thomas, Homer, Elfin, Trigger

Asterik just hanging out

Apollo and Chance


RuckusButt said...

I don't like to ask personal questions, so I generally don't do it, but I found your info interesting so I'm glad someone did!

U of G alumni are awesome (not that I'm biased or anything!). One thing that gave me comfort through grad school was listening to the horses neigh on Saturday mornings (I lived across from Equine sciences). I don't know how many times I walked the path behind the dairy barn (I used to pet the cows! And try to look in their "windows") So much of Hazel's training occurred there and she was actually chased by a cop between the barns. Sorry, I love and miss Guelph!

I think I'm the opposite of Melissa - I wanted to be a vet but assumed I wouldn't be able to handle the emotional side. I didn't learn until "too late" that I actually handle hard and sad animal situations very well.

I love how you found each other! I don't get how you had to pay your ex for cheating!! wtf?? Whatever, you and Melissa are obviously great together so it's all for the best!!

Jason said...


Melissa and I have paid our "Stupid taxes" for life, no doubt ! We BOTH got to sell our respective businesses to pay our former partners a HELL of a lot of money for cheating on us ! :)

U of G Aggies rule, especially OAC 94's ! :) I had an *excellent* time in college as anyone who attended with me would attest !

RuckusButt said...

Lol, I can imagine. I'm just a wanna-be Aggie, unfortunately. Don't hold that against me! Did you ever paint the cannon? Not sure if it was there in 94.

Kate said...

Glad to know more about you - and thanks for the picture of the Lil!

Jason said...

Paint doesn't dry well at four in the morning and at 20 below but that never seemed to stop us from trying. :)

I'm old as dirt but the cannon is older !

RuckusButt said...

lol, too true

Java's Mom said...

I loved this post! What a great story!

Sylvia said...

hey! i grew up in shoreham, went to middlebury HS, a girl i used to work with...her dad was a boss (?) at blue seal in brandon(wayne)for years and my mom lives in orwell. HA! how funny!! my husband and i...along with the kiddos are gettting ready to move back, (after much schooling on my husbands part) to the bennington area. i bet we know a lot of the same people (farmers) in addison and rutland county.

Jason said...

Sylvia; I'm sure we probably do know many of the same farmers all across the Valley !

I had a quick read through a couple of your blog posts...congrats on the new home in Bennington !