The ranchers wife
This past month has been particularly exciting in our household. We welcomed our first daughter on the 24th of June and then proceeded to go on a wild week long welcome home tour that included a ride in a jet, a helicopter, and two ambulances, along with a stay in three different hospitals. Baby girl is doing fine now, our 3-year-old boy is proud as can be of his new sister, dad has enough gray hair to last a lifetime, and mama proved once again she can be the toughest member of this household.
Throughout this whole process I was reminded of how blessed I am by the woman I call my wife, and I am sure that many of you readers out there would agree that we ranchers and farmers are married to a rare breed of woman. Those crazy feminists that lead marches on the capitol wearing hardly any clothing, and using language that would make most sailors blush cannot hold a candle to the women who make the homes here in rural America.
God cut the women of the heartland from a special cloth. He made them so that they could be tough as a rattlesnake when they needed to be, but also soft enough to soothe a crying baby at three in the morning. He made them show their love in the things they do, like cook huge meals for a branding or a harvest crew. They’ll patch wranglers long past their prime, keep the ranch books in order, and pinch every dime. The lady of the house will saddle up and go all day long, but it will be Dad’s job to catch a stray mouse in the house.
The rancher’s wife puts up with calves in the kitchen when it’s a blizzard outside, she keeps a garden and cans the harvest to enjoy this winter. She works harder than we realize, and if I’m being truly honest, I don’t think I could do her job even half as well as she does. She’ll take a supper to a neighbor when they’ve had an accident or lost a loved one, and sit and talk for hours when someone needs a shoulder to cry on.
These women out here won’t back down from a fight, and you can bet they will stand for what they think is right. I see the crazies out there on the television and I’m fairly certain if they ever decided to venture out of the big city, there would be an army of these country girls ready to wash their mouths out with soap and correct their behavior with a rolling pin or skillet. By the time the army of ranchers’ wives was through with them, they would be sitting in the front pew at church and know how to say please, thank you, yes sir and ma’am.
When you think about it, we cowboys and farmers can be kinda hard to get along with. We’re not always the cleanest sort, usually our cologne is a mixture of horse sweat, ninety weight gear lube and cow manure. Our wives put up with a lot, from being the gate girl to the official parts runner, they cover all the bases. Often times I think we kind of take them for granted once in a while. I know for a fact that while I may wear the pants in our family, my wife is definitely the one making sure they are patched, pressed and presentable.
Next time you think that you have a rough job, just ask yourself if you would want to trade shoes with your wife for a day. I don’t think I’m man enough to do that. Give your bride a squeeze and be sure to tell her how much you appreciate all she does to make your house a home. Until next time God bless and keep tabs on your side of the barbed wire. ❖
Meinzer is a fourth-generation rancher raised on the southeastern plains of Colorado. He and his family live and ranch in Oshkosh, Neb.