Hard work. Big Rewards. Bigger blessings. Life on a South Dakota ranch.
What I Didn’t Know
When I was a senior in high school I couldn’t wait to get out of this county. I was moving on, going to someplace bigger and better, would only see our town in my rear view mirror and on an occasional holiday. I had big plans. I had big aspirations. NEVER ONCE did I ever picture myself as a ranch wife. It wasn’t that I didn’t like ranch life. I had grown up in ag country. I had spent many, many hours doing ranch work. I just didn’t think it was what my heart wanted. Silly kid. What the heck did that 18-year-old kid know. Nothing I tell ya…. nothing at all.
Fast forward more than a few years. The things I don’t know now are numerous. I do know, though, that my heart LOVES being a ranch wife. My heart LOVES how I spend the majority of my days. I’m blessed. However, the list of things I realized that I didn’t know as a punk kid grows on a daily basis.
A small list of the things the young me didn’t know:
Who the heck would have guessed that one day I would have bags of frozen cow shit in my freezer waiting to be sent to a lab for analysis. Not that 18-year old kid. Heck, not the 40+-year-old mom.
The 18-yo would never have guessed that the older me would not even flinch at giving a newborn calf mouth-to-mouth. The young me would throw up if I heard someone throwing up, smelled it, or heaven-forbid actually see it. I had a weak gag reflex. The younger me threw up extensively the first time I pulled a dead calf (probably 10 years old). Now, though… I got this.
I never knew that I would need an extra fridge badly, and NOT just for extra beer. That one would be a real shocker to the 18-year-old me. Back then I probably would have used two fridges entirely for beer!
I would have never believed that one day I would actually LOVE mornings and and love watching the sun rising as I was already up for the day, and not just returning home from the night before.
The younger me wouldn’t have imagined that the 4th of July would be spent anywhere but at the lake with a cold beer in hand, s’mores from the camp fire, and a vast circle of family and friends celebrating with me. The more responsible me realizes I actually don’t mind haying on the 4th. It means we were blessed beyond measure to have hay to put up!
The 18-year-old me wouldn’t have ever guessed that my real favorite smells are blooming Russian Olive trees, blooming alfalfa, fresh cut grass, RAIN. The one thing we would have agreed on, though, is that a baby right out of the bathtub is one of the best smells on earth.
The older me is starting to notice a pattern. Maybe the younger me spent a little too much time having fun!
Is there such a thing as having too much fun?!?
Happy Independence Day, JARW friends! In closing, I have to tell you my conversation with the Wild Child this morning.
ME: Good morning, Sweets! My goodness! You are growing like a weed!
HER: I’m not growing like a weed, mom, but do you know who is? Dad! He is growing like a weed! And I’m wondering, why did you marry a weed!