Since we had industriously combined our households into our new home during the three weeks before the wedding, R&R was high on the priority list. Although theater holds center stage in Stratford (deservedly so -- go if you possibly can), the days were filled with relaxing and meandering. Stratford is in the middle of fruitful Ontario farm country, and it so happened that the Ontario Pork Congress (yes, you read that right) was taking place at the local fairgrounds. Well, we didn't have anything else to do that morning, and the thought of a country fair sort of thing was intriguing, so we made our way over there.
There were no piggies in evidence, however. This industry gathering for pig farmers meant business. Huge shiny tractors lounged around the parking lot. Inside the steel buildings, neat fellas in polo shirts and khakis promoted farm equipment, herd management software, genetic laboratories (these aren't your grandpa's pig farms), deordorizing power washers, and everything the industrious swineherd might need to maximize his market day profit. We were a bit nonplussed, but we were in a mood to enjoy whatever life brought, and the barbecue tent smelled pretty good. And both of us are curious about new things.
As we wandered the arena, we fell into conversation with Art, a representative of the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. He was taken aback, to say the least, that (1) we were not pig farmers, (2) not from Ontario, and (3) we had wandered over from the Shakespeare Festival where we were spending our honeymoon. Since an industry gathering isn't the best place to find Christian fellowship walking by, he was probably genuinely glad to chat with us for a while about his organization, his family's roots in farming, and his hopes (however remote) that one of his children might take over the farm someday.
One of his daughters gave us a small New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs. I haven't had one of those since my college days. They're very handy to keep in a purse, so I accepted with thanks. As we strolled away, Henry began paging through it and found a favorite passage. He began to read it aloud, as he does so well. It was delightful, but one of the more improbable romantic moments one might hope to encounter during one's honeymoon.
* * * * * * * * *And that's how to came about, boys and girls, that Roz's dear husband ardently declaimed to her Proverbs 31's praise of the excellent wife in the middle of the Ontario Pork Congress.