Peterson: You know you’re a country woman when…
Last week’s column revealed ranch and farm country “edicts” i.e. rules that apply to those who earn their livelihood by daily coping with the vicissitudes of growing foods and fibers that feed and clothe people.
Today’s column is gender specific. Which is to say, if you’re a long-time rural dweller of the feminine persuasion: a wife, mother, daughter or a starry-eyed woman freshly bonded to a ranch-country man, you’re advised to place the following helpful reminders on your refrigerator door. These bits of country wisdom may help you maintain your cool and possibly your sanity.
TWENTY REMINDERS OF HOW YOU KNOW YOU’RE A COUNTRY WOMAN
» The increasing height and breadth of the manure pile gives you a warm feeling of pride.
» You glance out the window to note your man is marching up the path, a newborn, half-dead calf dangling over his shoulder, and you automatically jump to spread a blanket behind the stove.
» When other women brag about their achievements, you brag about the three sets of triplet lambs this spring.
» When you laugh wildly because town women call on you to serve on assorted projects because “you don’t work.”
» When a town kid comes to visit and you overhear your own offspring explaining the function of the little house out back—the one with the two-holer seat.
» When King-the-Cowdog hits a skunk, sneaks into the house and jumps on the bed.
» When your man sleeps on the couch all during his favorite TV program.
» When you open the refrigerator door and a vaccine bottle drops into the Jello.
» When you put on lipstick and a fresh blouse and your man wants to know where you’re going “all gussied up.”
» When dinner means a ten-course meal served at high noon.
» When everyone you know or ever did know thinks a perfect vacation is a visit to a ranch — yours.
» When the tractor, baler, swather or any piece of machinery breaks down, it becomes your task to go-to-town-for-parts.
» When you must explain to a newcomer the meaning of the word, “prolapsed.”
» When you explain to a visitor from the city that, yes, even though it’s Sunday, the grain and hay fields must still be irrigated.
» When you have a flat tire on the way into town and you change the tire yourself.
» When the pet sow-pig roots open the back door, discovers a full milk bucket and a basket of laundry and blends them together.
» When you accidentally inject yourself while vaccinating a critter and go see the Vet instead of the MD.
» When your hands and arms swell up for a week from picking berries — rosehips, chokecherries, raspberries, buffalo berries, strawberries and, and, and…
» When you swelter in August heat while canning garden produce, making applesauce and jelly, pickling cucumbers and devising a thousand ways to use the unbelievable profusion of zucchini.
» And you really know you’re a ranch or farm woman when your man puts his arm around you as you both lean over the corral fence to watch the fat hogs eat that expensive grain, and he declares “Happy Anniversary, you Old Heifer!”