Day Writing: What’s her deal?
Perhaps you work with one, perhaps you’re married to one. Maybe you see her in the grocery store, sporting muddy shoes, dark circles under her eyes and a heaping cart continuously being reorganized by a toddler or two. She may have blown by you on the Interstate in her dusty pickup and trailer, or she might look back when you get the occasional second to glance in a mirror.
And, you may have wondered why she is so scatter brained/frazzled/irritable/down right grumpy. I mean, what is the deal with that woman?
Allow me to explain. She is the ranch mom at springtime. She has sick kids and sick calves. The feed store is out of scour boluses and colostrum. Her house looks like an episode of hoarders, but nothing will move easily because it is stuck down with mud, afterbirth and calf scours…maybe flu-induced kid scours as well.
Her trip to town is not the post-baby goal of, “getting self and baby out of the house,” with a single stop at Target, the mall, or maybe the coffee shop. No, she has 10-plus stops to make in a pre-mapped route she calculated down the minute in order to get home as fast as possible with the necessary items to fix whatever broke that morning. Everything is timed to ensure she is at the stores with bathroom plug-ins at evenly spaced intervals so she can warm up bottles and change diapers.
She has a part or full-time job to provide cash flow she never sees, insurance for the dental appointment she is six months behind on scheduling and/or for her own peace of mind. On top of that job she is also her husband’s hired man, which is a taller than normal order from a week before the first calf arrives until a week after it’s weaned. She chauffers her children and operates a midnight maid service within her own home, just as soon as she finishes the secretary work for the week. She most likely isn’t dumb, regardless of how she may come across from February through the second week in June.
She has a branding meal to plan for somewhere between 20 and 80 people, on a day that will either be 20 or 95 degrees. This year she thought she would be smart and order much of it online so it was delivered to her door. She has lost sleep wondering if someone was truly dumb enough to ship her potato chips and Gatorade together.
Her husband goes entire days muttering to himself. He’s mentally taxed from overthinking the weather, the markets, the cost of diesel fuel and hay, the cow that won’t take her calf, the new rattle in the feed pickup and why the battery in his impact wrench he is packing with him and unconsciously clicking on and off all day keeps going dead. He has had to do all the heifer checks this year, meaning he is up the same amount each night as she is with the baby. No one is very “cheery” in the mornings right now. Except the kids.
Ninety-five percent of her communication is done with little humans or cows, both of whom have a tendency to get right in her face yelling and slobbering. Her laundry pile outweighs you and she’s had eight hours of sleep in the last week. Her husband has chewed her out for something she didn’t do, and she’s yelled at him for forgetting something she later recalled she was actually responsible for. She is still wondering if she needs to get more potato chips for branding.
When she gets ready for bed tonight she will realize her shirt was on backwards.
Here’s another little secret about her, she loves her life, despite how it may look at moments. It’s always “a little hectic” in the spring. But, that crazy woman running all over the place with her unstyled hair and nails; she lives the good life. She has a strong faith and is on a constant direct line with Jesus this time of year as she mutters prayers for man and beast. Her kids spend their days at home with her, where she takes them outside, lets them get dirty, teaches them her faith and countless other life skills, all while watching them become best friends and impressive help. She and her husband are building just the life they imagined, although occasionally they have to remind one another of that fact. Her money-focused city dwelling friends and family would be stunned at her net worth, and the fact that it’s not for sale.
She watches the miracle of life unfold daily, sometimes saving it. She enjoys mud when it’s outside. She’s impressively ingenuitive when fixing water gaps, gathering cattle with the kids and driving a pickup without brakes or four-wheel drive.
When it finally slips into summer, the cow takes the calf and the whole works is out to grass, the mud turns into hay and the kids aren’t cooped up inside every cold day, then she’s going to pause, and breathe a sigh of relief while recalling fondly the season of spring.