The $22,000 Date Night

The $22,000 Date Night

As the end of the year approaches, I think it is normal for us to look back. To recall memorable events from the year or even from years past. If you are anything like me, some years pass by quickly. If you were to ask me what happened in a random year - I might not be able to quickly recall. However, there are years, months, days, and even moments that will be burned into my mind for a lifetime.

I remember the August morning in 1992 when my parents drove me to the Baltimore airport. I was 18, just graduated from high school, and headed to Tasmania, Australia for an 8-month agriculture exchange which challenged me in ways I could not have imagined.

January 7th, 1997. I remember that morning in great detail. I was 23. I went to work for a few hours in the morning and then returned home to be with Rodney, my 18-year-old brother who was suffering from leukemia. I remember the people who were in the room that morning as he slipped from this world into glory and received his ultimate healing.

Fast forward to Easter morning in 2000 when my girlfriend and I hydroplaned off an Alamba interstate and into a creek. The car was totaled and we walked away without injury - it was just what I needed to get up the courage to ask her to marry me - she said yes:)

As 2023 comes to a close, I am reminded of our $22,000 date night that happened this last fall. You see, our good friend Angie, who owns Grandma Zooks Produce and Bakery in Glenmoore, was planning a ‘Ladies Night’ at her market. She extended an invitation to me! Now, any good milkman with an invite to a ‘Ladies Night’ would be a fool to say, “No”. So I agreed to attend. She invited several other local vendors to attend as well. I took a milk truck and served chocolate all evening. A local winemaker was offering up samples as well and a local beef grower was also in attendance. There was music and a bonfire, I think. Karen, my bride of 22 years, joined me for the evening. With 5 boys at home, date nights for us are few and far between. But that night we carved out a few hours so we could both attend. Those “few hours” turned into an all-night ordeal that still gives me goosebumps when I remember how the evening unfolded.

Partway through the evening, someone walks by with a charcuterie board full of cheeses, meats, and crackers. The meat was skewered with toothpicks…and I took a few pieces. There were some other men in attendance and I was enjoying a conversation with a few of them. As we talked I absent-mindedly rolled my two toothpicks between my fingers. I remember thinking that when our conversation ended, that I would need to find a trash can. Before we finished talking, my wife walked past me, handed me her empty plastic cup, and said she was going to begin cleaning up. As I continued my conversation…I dropped my toothpicks into the cup. I had snapped both toothpicks in half, making a total of 4 pieces.

A few minutes later, my wife again passed me. She took the cup from me and walked over to the milk truck. It was dark by now and our ‘date’ was soon to be over…or so I thought. A minute after she took the cup from me, she began coughing, gagging, and spitting. She was bent over and my first thought was that she had taken a swig of chocolate milk and had some milk go down her windpipe. I was almost right…however, it was not chocolate milk down her windpipe - it was half of a toothpick down her throat!

Helpless is how I felt. I had no idea how to help her. It was nearly 9:00 PM, and most of the guests had left. She was able to breathe and was making a great effort to stay calm. She tried over and over again to ‘cough it up’ with no success. Someone suggested we go to Quick Care, which we thought was probably a good idea. We knew there was one in Elverson, and it was on our way home. So we packed up our chocolate milk and headed in that direction. We found the contact info online with the plan of calling ahead…they were closed for the night.

Long story short. We ended up at the Ephrata Hospital ER. A surgical team was put together, she eventually was taken to the operating room. The toothpick was retrieved., and x-rays were taken to ensure that the toothpick had not punctured her throat. It had not. We were released at 5:00 am and I was supposed to be at work at 6:00. I did make it to work that day…a bit late. Karen’s throat was sore for a few days.

The whole event was a bit traumatic. However, we now look back and laugh and thank the Lord for carrying us through.



In closing…a Blessing for the new year.

Numbers 6:24-26

“The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”





Farm Shares & Fruit Boxes

Order by noon on Friday for delivery the following week.
Next week’s predicted contents list for delivery between
Monday, January 1 - Friday, January 5

Fruit Box

  • Texas Grapefruit
  • Ever Crisp Apples
  • Clementines

Regular Farm Share (Half Bushel Box)*

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash
  • Yellow Onions
  • Parsley
  • Celeriac
  • Carrots
  • The Large Farm Share is not available for the Fall and Winter seasons. It will be back in the Spring.

*All Farm Shares are sourced from Goose Lane Farm in Sinking Spring, PA

NOTE: This is a predicted list…items may change or be substituted.


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