January 10, 2010
As a child, those first experiences in your life are always memorable. You know- your first step, first word, first haircut. Then, once you’re older, the first time you have *** is the biggest first in your life. People fail to take the time to appreciate all of those other, less known, but equally important firsts. Matthew G. was the reason why I experienced some of the most memorable times of my life.

I met Matthew G. in the summer of 2009. He was the nephew of the farmer with whom I lived and worked for during the summer. The two students from my high school who went to this farm in past summers both told me they thought I would get along with Matthew the best. Of course, this made me excited to meet him, but with my luck, the first time I met Matthew was a couple weeks into my stay and for one minute, literally. The next time though was when I got to go over to his house down the road and see his newest baby chicks. You can say that Matthew is the “chicken guy”. Now, I normally don’t get excited about chickens, but these were all black and very tiny.

Matthew is a great guy. A person can learn a lot from him, I know I did. He is very smart and likes to tell you little fun facts about random things. I am just as smart as he. He helped me remind myself of that. Matthew has really bad asthma. For this reason, he does not smoke or chew tobacco, but I don’t think he would even if he didn’t have asthma. He has also learned not to drink. It was refreshing to have met someone who didn’t have any of these habits. I don’t drink or smoke, but many of my peers do. Matthew doesn't have a girlfriend, and unlike most people our age, he knows that he doesn't need one to be complete. Actually, he is happy being single, and I like that attitude. The more I talked to Matthew one on one, the more I saw I could relate to him. It is nice to meet someone involved in situations similar to your own. While he has a hard exterior, he is a nurturing guy when it comes to his chickens. That is also a nice quality to find in someone. Matthew has impacted me through his influence. His energy helped lift my spirits. He taught me how to stand out more and be comfortable with myself, but he also helped me fit in with my new family and friends during summer. He is goal oriented and knows where he wants to go to college and what to major in. I want to be able to have a plan, just like him and still be able to have fun.

Matthew loves to cook and his two specialties are lasagna and zucchini bread. I am not a fan of zucchini, so why would I ever eat zucchini bread? Matthew made me try a piece of his first loaf of the season and I was surprised to say, it tasted delicious. He even made his famous lasagna one night after me begging him for weeks. I take after my father in my I love for lasagna, so of course I needed to taste this amazing recipe of Matthews. The whole family appreciated Matthew making the lasagna for me because they all love it. This wasn’t only a treat for his family. Everyone in town knows that my farm family doesn’t cook, so this was a free meal for me and I did love it. I also got to eat some of the cherry tomatoes from his garden. Over the past few years, I have had the pleasure of eating fresh grown foods, and now supermarket tomatoes just don’t taste the same.

One night not far into the summer, Terri, my farmer, was not going to be able to do the night milking. I still had to work, doing my daily chores, but Matthew and a young man named Andrew, were taking her place milking. At the end of the night, when Matthew was going to take me home, the car wouldn’t start. That night was the first night I learned how to jump start a car and what an adventure it was. We would get the car to start, and it would stall out again. We even had to go to his grandma’s to take her car back to his house. Eventually, the car worked continuously.

I had never been to a drive in theater before this summer. Knowing this, Matthew invited me with his friends to see a double feature of “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” and “The Hangover” at the drive in. Matthew’s two friends kicked both of us out of the car. Even with having to sit outside of the car, in the cold rain, it was a great experience. Matthew and I had a lot of fun laughing and watching the movie, even though we got wet and had trouble hearing parts of the movie. On the brighter side, it was another first for me. I also had the pleasure of attending my first bonfire to which he was nice enough to invite me. What I remember the most about that night was the shaken up can of soda being thrown into the fire. It exploded and flew many feet away, landing somewhere in the field. Matthew found the burned can and kept it as a souvenir.

Thanks to Matthew, I saw my first shooting star that summer. I have been to the "country" before, so I have star gazed. But, I had never gotten a chance to see a shooting star. For some reason, I always seem to miss them. Matthew had been trying to show me one, but the skies had been cloudy for a while. Then one night we were outside the barn talking, looking up at the sky, when I saw the star shoot across it. Matthew asked if I had seen that one, and for once, I did. It was beautiful.

Since the town of Pattersonville is not far from Cobleskill, many people attend the annual Cobleskill Sunshine Fair. Matthew was going to the fair and I convinced him to take Billy and me with him after an afternoon of loading hay into the barn. Attending the fair added another first to my list of firsts. Apparently, Matthew doesn't go to fairs for the rides or games or shopping tents. He goes just to walk around. We did get to look at all the show animals though, meet new people, and I even stole a sip of his slush puppie. Overall, it was an exciting night. I even got to go to my first Park and Ride along the highway. It was after seeing the movie, District 9, on my last night on my farm, that Matthew, Billy, and I went. While going to the Park and Ride might not sound exciting, it was still new to me.

On another night, we watched one of his DVDs, “Dejavu,” which I had never seen before. Since I seemed to fall asleep during the movies I watched with him, he made sure I stayed awake to see the end. It was an entertaining movie, and Matthew came up with some funny jokes relating to it that we recorded on my phone so I can listen to them whenever I need a laugh. I milked with Matthew a couple nights during the summer, went grocery shopping with him a couple times, went swimming, drank chocolate shakes, and watched an after fourth of July fireworks show. While they weren't firsts of mine, they were still moments I will remember.

He did help me have a lot of fun this summer and laugh a lot. A friend recently told me that they believe it is hard to find someone who has impacted your life with whom you were never intimate. Well, Matthew is a great example of this. He and I were never intimate, but I will always remember those firsts from this past summer. I do talk to him every once in a while, but even if we don't always keep in touch, I know that he has impacted my life, and I am lucky to have met him.

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