…you better get used to dirt. Lots and lots of dirt. There will be dirt on your floors, tracked in by cowboy boots and blown through invisible cracks in the seals around your windows and doors. Dirt will be caked onto his jeans heaped in the laundry room, and large quantities will be washed down the sink drain before dinner. Sometimes, it will look like someone took a scoop shovel and deposited a pile of dirt just inside your front door. Just sweep it up and move on with your life; the workin’ man can’t help it.
…you can kiss good-bye any previous Fourth of July traditions you observed that involved any type of water sport, a community parade, and/or barbequing at a lake. If you’re gonna marry a cowboy, you can count on going to a rodeo on the Glorious Fourth, and that’s just a fact.
…you must be able to sing along with gusto to Tom Russell’s “Tonight We Ride.” If you don’t know why he stole a stallion and rode away on it, then I recommend you look it up on YouTube, put the CD in your stereo, or download that shizz to iTunes and do a little musical research. That song is politically incorrect, more than a little drunken, and slightly violent. It’s basically the unofficial anthem of the working buckaroo.
…you would do well to remember to tell him occasionally how proud you are of his cowboy abilities. He has devoted his entire working life to pasture loading yearlings by himself, scattering bulls, spotting early signs of sickness in calves, culling how the boss wants, and improving his horsemanship. He may have sacrificed a post-secondary education, opportunities for financial gain and parental approval in order to wear out his saddle and body riding a knot-headed horse all day that he doesn’t even own.
…you will get used to speed burners in the fruit bowl and spurs on top of the entertainment center. The working cowboy has his own section in the tack room and possibly a wall or two in the house to store his gear, and yet pieces will inevitably migrate into the kitchen. Scientists should investigate this.
…you should take time to enjoy the view. You will likely live in a variety of scenic, if remote, locales that most folks aren’t lucky enough to visit even once on vacation. Take a good look at the mountain range, the greening pivot, the sagebrush flat on a cloudy day, the rimrock at sunset. You don’t know how long you’ll be there, so enjoy it while you’re looking at it.
…you will be treated to the musical jingling of spurs hurrying through your kitchen in the morning en route to fill his coffee cup and coming up the walk to your house each evening. Clanging rowels make a lovely sound. They signify “Daddy’s home!” to the little one and “my honey made it home safely back to me!” to Mama.
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