The Cowboy Pastor’s Wife: How To Have A Ranch “Cation”
Here I was clicking along with summer time. Checking waters, calves, or helping check a little fence… if illegals decided to cut it and drive through. You know, everyday ranch life stuff.
I was doing fine, windows rolled down, hot temperature, dust on my face. That was until I looked at my phone and noticed a friend lying on the beach all tan. Her perfectly polished toenails without a flaw, so different them my chipped ones, I had stuffed in my boots. The emerald beach in her background looked so inviting, I was pulling out catclaw and starring at a cows butt.
Something has went terrible wrong I thought. Where’s my vacation? Where’s my drink with the little umbrella? I don’t have cucumbers on my face…more like cow splatter from preg checks. I need to do something quick but how? I don’t have thousands to spent on Cabana boys who bring food and towels. That’s when I needed to come up with a plan, a vacation of my own that would satisfy even the most worn out ranch gal…and that’s when my imagination whittled out the ranch “cation”.
I would start today…I would plan out a way I could stay here at the ranch and still have a little “down” time. That is between feed runs of course. I would gather a few supplies to make it work.
1. A tarp
2. Some duct tape
3. Some canning jars
4. My sombrero or hat…I don’t really own a sombrero
5. Lots of sunscreen
6. The truck radio and the thingy that connects the music on my phone.
7. Some tortillas, meat, something from the garden and something sweet.
8. A giant jar of sun tea
9. A swimsuit…I bought one three years ago, I hope I still have it.
10. Tons of sunscreen. My legs don’t see the sun very often.
These were the main things I didn’t want to forget. My gun was just a given, always take it on a trip.
And off I went. My husband gave me a questioning look as I gathered cardboard boxes and packed. “Going somewhere?” He asked. “Yes, wanna come?” He said, “Yes!”
So off we went. Truck packed with all the essentials for the ranch “cation”. Now we just needed to find the perfect spot. The travel agent, me, booked us a place right under the cottonwoods at the creek. The tarp laid as a protective layer for the picnic blanket. The canning jars were filled with ice and our sun tea was the perfect amber color.
We pulled out tortillas and layered on beef from a steer we had processed last fall and built a tortilla that would make a person proud. Homemade salsa…yet from another jar, made fresh last night when I imagined it all.
We kicked back and took it all in. The sound of the creek was the added kicker. I just had to strip down to the suit under it all. My boots kicked off and sock lines indentions, along with scratches from brush decorated my ghostly legs but I didn’t give it a second thought. My swimsuit retrieved from a box in the closet, now snugger than three years ago made skin overflow in areas I never knew I had. No time for worries now…not about to mess up this ranch “cation” with that! The creek is looking prettier than that emerald beach as I do the delicate job of avoiding thorns and jagged rocks. The most skilled ranchers make it unscathed.
We end our day with sunburnt legs, an empty cookie tin, and a good western novel in our hand. I look down at the picnic blanket, just a quilt tattered from the many ranch “cations” before. I snap a picture of chipped toenails, the creek and the most beautiful Texas sunset I had seen in while. I’d say it was just what we needed for so much less.
No matter what your plans this summer, whether it be a beach vacation or staying at the ranch. Take some time to love where you’re at.
“How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.”
What about the duct tape…how did we use that? Well, everyone knows you shouldn’t leave home without it. Thank you for reading,
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Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment on a proposal for the annual release of pen-raised ring-necked pheasants on suitable state lands.