A True Ranchers Wife | TheFencePost.com

A True Ranchers Wife

Gemdelin Jackson

A TRUE RANCHERS WIFE

For the first time in fifteen years my older sister is gone. Not dead, just gone. She has flown to England with her two sons to meet a potential daughter- in- law’s family.

We both arrived to Thermopolis in 1992. My husband and I and our three kids arrived first, hoping to escape the city and to return to our Wyoming roots and her as a young widow with two children of her own, to begin a new life.

I ended up in living in town, while she found an old farmhouse with ten acres north of town. After turning the ten acres into what looked like the gathering for Noah’s Ark, she found herself the proud owner of milk goats. As fate would have it, a lonely single rancher just happened to be in need of goats’ milk and so began the happy relationship.

Had I known he would not only steal my sisters quality time with me, but also move her farther and farther in what they call solitude (it’s what I call the sticks), I would have run him off as I did the ones before him.

What came after their marriage vows, which, of course, was celebrated on my birthday, has been fifteen years of constant companionship. Nowhere in the small town of Thermopolis do you see one without the other.

During calving season, she works the night shift and guards the herds as if it were her daughter giving birth for the first time. He takes the day shift to be able to mend fences, feed, and do whatever it is ranchers do. It is long stretch for me to go without seeing my sister during this time, but I politely refrain from calling and disturbing her much needed sleep.

Year after year the same excuse is heard for spending time with her husband instead of me. We’re moving cows, we’re branding, we’re moving cows, we’re calving, we’re moving cows, we’re moving cows, we’re moving cows. Okay, I may not be a rancher and I have helped with the branding and do see the brand new baby calves everywhere, but something tells me that no one moves cows as much as these two.

Except for the fact that my sisters husband has not only saved my sister from herself; she has been in so many life or death predicaments its hard to pick one, or has saved the ranch animals from her kindness; she once set a horse on fire trying to remove a tick, I would greatly resent the time she spends with him.

My sister is due home from England in ten days and she has promised me her undivided attention when she arrives; unless they have to move cows.