October 22 was a warm day for Tatum Van Horn and Matthew Horne to experience Avila Valley Barn for the first time. Matthew met Tatum by the large stack of large pumpkins, hugging and in sync saying, “I would have never guessed it was you!” As the couple walked through the crowd of people, the smell of grilled corn, pies and pumpkins filled the surrounding air, a very different scene from the usual PRHS campus.
With many fun options, including a maze made of bailed hay, a relaxed ride to a pumpkin patch and
animals to feed crisp vegetables to.The couple started their adventure in the hay maze. Due to the recent downpour of rain, the hay had tarps blanketing over top, a cozy maze in the dark. Three minutes later, they emerged from the puzzle already engaged in conversations.
With a little wait time in the line to get onto the tractor, they had more time to get to know each other. A major topic was the volunteer work both have done as missionaries in Mexico through their church. Both are so passionate to helping others. Matthew volunteers at Loaves and Fishes and has gone to Honduras for a week to build a parsonage,which is a house for the pastor. Throughout his life he’s volunteered over 50 hours of his time to organizations. But Matthew doesn’t want to stop after high school, one of his largest goals is to be wealthy enough to donate enough to build facilities for learning and shelter.
Tatum has gone to Mexico to teach four times, twice in spring and twice in summer and Nicaragua for a week for her church. From car washes to multiple enchilada dinners, handing out flyers for businesses, and rummage sales Tatum has had a major presence in the Christian community. Two years she read to elementary school children through a program called Book Buddies. All of her junior year, she volunteered at Twin Cities Hospital, including over Thanksgiving and winter breaks. Not only does she volunteer to read or care for people, she helped at the Harvest Marathon for three years.
The tractor filled with straw seats carted twenty others a few hundred yards to a patch of pumpkins to choose to take home.Van Horn and Horne picked up the pumpkins, seeing how heavy they could be,what they looked like and flexing muscles at each other. They both pointed out their perfect pumpkin: a round, pretty orange hue without scars across the skin with a curled stem.
For lunch, the duo sat on the patio overlooking the pony rides, hayrides,and the hay maze while a band played original music in the background about growing up in Bakersfield. Both enjoyed a grilled cheese sandwich, shared pickle flavored chips, and laughs. Matthew was not sure about the pickle flavor at first, scrunching his face making Tatum smile. After eating, the pair fed the goats, sheep and a cow pieces of lettuce, slices of pumpkin and other vegetables. Van Horn got to experience the cow’s purple tongue wrap around her hand instead of the veggies. Both laughed, but Horne did not want to take his chances with the cow. They moved on to the emus which wanted nothing to do with people. Van Horn suddenly got excited and pointed “baby emus!” Unfortunately they were just doves in a feeding bin. Horne could only be amused as they continued to the feisty miniature ponies. In the yard next to the kicking two feet tall horse, sheep and goats co-existed as they were fed heads of lettuce. Van Horn and Horne joined in the feeding frenzy as a large goat stepped on the wooden gate and reached for the cuisine.
Madison Funke, Blind Date Editor
What did you learn about the other person?
“He’s not a super shy person that everyone says he is and how he wants to help people.”
“She’s really dedicated to others rather than herself”
How do you think you two connected? T: Our volunteer work, “we both have a passion for helping people”
“Sporting events she’s a cheerleader and a football player.”
Anything in common?
T: wanting to help people and faith
“Same faith, moral beliefs, definitely the same love of sports and we are goal oriented people”
Best part of the date?
T: feeding the animals “getting licked by the cow was funny”
“The little hay maze, it was kinda creepy but cool.”
Anything the other person did/said that made an impression on you?
T: knowing what he wanted to do “wanting to be rich to help others”
“She was really relaxed which is fun, laid back, the easiness of talking to her”
Would you do this again? Friends or more? T: Yes either way
M: I would do it again, either way”
Describe this date?
T: it was very fun, it was more than just the the movies date it was in a different environment than just school.
M: “it was fun! It was interesting and a new experience I’ve never been here before, outside the box and creative.”