Sometimes, I think I missed my true calling as a suburban housewife. I could totally see myself wearing yoga pants and signing for UPS packages while my husband was at work and Disney Junior blared in the background.
Instead, I live on a remote cattle ranch 2 1/2 hours from town and one hour past mail delivery. Amazon Prime and cable cartoons don’t apply to my life. Even though I grew up in the country, sometimes I think I’m not cut out for the unusually large amounts of dirt, wild animal encounters, and solitude that is provided by my life as a cowboy’s wife. I want my children to be clean for longer than the duration of their baths. I want to see a tarantula never, instead of on my bathroom floor. I want to have a friend besides the windmill.
I dream of having real electricity. We live off the grid, so when the power goes out, I must get out of my warm bed – sometimes during a freezing rainstorm – and locate a flashlight, find my husband’s boots, then brace myself for the final step.
“Here, take these and go start the generator,” I whisper as I shake Jim’s shoulder.
“Why? It’s the middle of the night.”
“I might want to make some microwave popcorn.”
“We don’t have a microwave.”
“I might want to watch TV.”
“We don’t have cable.”
“I might want to read a book.”
“Use your flashlight.”
If I lived close enough to other humans to have real electricity, I could probably have a real, live friend, too. I’m tired of meeting for coffee with the family dog and a windmill. The dog always has gas, and the windmill never holds up her end of the conversation.
I want to know what it’s like to buy bananas and have them arrive at my home bright yellow and unbruised. I wonder what it’s like to brake smoothly at the stop sign on the corner rather than shift into four-wheel-drive in order to make it through the cow pasture on my way to town. I yearn to own a house key and lock my car upon each exit. I want to walk outside my house in my nightgown to wave at the garbage man and embarrass my kids, not chase the bulls out of the front yard.
I could definitely envision myself driving a shiny SUV that has never seen a speck of dirt. Maybe a newer model in cobalt blue. In actuality, I do drive an SUV, but it’s a ’95 Jeep Cherokee. The paint job is flawless, but you’ll have to take my word for it, because it’s usually covered with dirt. It has a CD player and power nothing, but driving it makes me feel like Indiana Jones.
Shopping online with free overnight delivery is probably overrated, anyway. Playing in the dirt helps build my kids’ immune systems, and I keep reminding myself that tarantulas are harmless. At least the windmill doesn’t spread gossip (she’s not THAT kind of mill).
Plus, out here I have plenty of room to practice my off-road driving skills. Once I got the feel for four-low and made it through a few monster mud puddles, I realized that I could never hack it as a suburban housewife. Next time I see a giant arachnid in my house, I’ll just channel my inner Indy and crack a bullwhip at it…while screaming for my husband to come kill it, of course.
I like living out in the sticks so much that I even pose for pictures while holding a stick. The only thing missing is an explanation for why I was holding a stick.
Love this post but catch myself wanting to trade places with you
For even a short time… we’ll, minus the spider. Lol!
Your very blessed!
Love you on so many levels. God bless you and yours. I knew Jimmy when we called him Pea wee and have been friends with his mom for decades. She introduced me to my husband of 23 years.
Hi Shelley! Glad to see you on here. Pee Wee is now 6’3″! Glad you and Bev are good friends, they are good people.
There’s a part of me that long for that kind of like but the other side of me can’t even imagine! I live in the world you talked about. You know, the one that has a coffee shop on every corner where I meet my friends. But it’s busy, and crazy and I long for the slower life! I enjoy reading your blog!
Hi, Mimy. Thanks for the kind words! Think of me next time you order a cup of Starbucks. My fave is a grande latte 🙂
Don’t be surprised if you see a low flyover and a care package drops out! You deserve it…….
You’re too sweet, thanks Kelly! haha
Are you near Valle Az I have land there and sometimes camp out on it, I like the rural life we raise horses ap here in Nevada but I sure like Northern Az
Hi Harold, thanks for the feedback! I’m not sure exactly where Valle is, we have only lived here since last December. We are 65 miles northwest of Prescott, if that helps give us some geographical placement. We love Nevada, we lived there for 6 years!
You are futher west then , where were you in Nevada? I came to Northern Nevada for the wild horses and cooler weather , I am a Writer and Cowboy Poet and the wild horses and horse crazy ladies give me plenty of inspiration to write poems and stories. Nice to meet you
We were all over northern Nevada, from Elko County to south of Austin to Jarbidge. My husband had worked there for about 10 years before we met. I bet the crazy horse ladies give you lots of writing material – I know they did for me when I worked for the Nevada Rancher magazine! Nice to meet you as well.