Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Ring, ring ... cowboy calling
 by Julie Carter

In the aftermath of the bitter cold and heavy snowfall at the ranch, relationship "moments" often result in the proverbial "cussing a blue streak" to hilarity that knows no bounds. 

Locking the classic ranch couple up together for days on end is rarely the picture of marital harmony. 

Frozen water lines, livestock drinkers with a foot of ice to be broken, vehicles that won't start or stay running and drifts filling every road going anywhere to do anything keep moods teetering on the brink of the dark side.

Cabin fever only intensifies the powerful desire to choke the life out of anything moves, breathes or speaks.

The flatbed pickup stuck smack in the middle of the road for two days was a testimony to the situation. Buried in snow as high as the bed of the truck, it begs the question, "Why would anyone just drive off into a drift like that?"

His wife is quite clear about the answer. "Three days in the house with me is why."
One wife took up fiddle lessons during her housebound winter. If he gets on her nerves hanging around the house with irritating suggestions, such as mentioning that the kitchen tile she installed needed realigned, she simply begins practicing her scales on the fiddle with the greatest enthusiasm.

Another cowboy's wife wrote this missive. "We have cabin fever, too. Jack does everything in "overkill" mode. Just like he puts two chains on every gate, he also wraps every pipe within miles in enough insulation to make polar bears sweat. 

However, the drain from the washing machine escaped him. I washed this morning, flooded the utility room. So I put the clean clothes in the dryer and shut the utility room door. It will dry out and be dry for years before he ever goes in there."

A ranch bride reporting in from the frozen outback of the county said her phone stayed busy. Ring, ring ... It was a call from the Boss man. 

"That was the story all day yesterday," she said. " 'Bring a battery, bring a truck, come drive,' or 'Help, I'm stuck again.' Just got another call first thing this morning. What now?"

What she heard on the other end of the phone was, "Help, I am locked in the pump house and, well, the door knob fell off again and I can't get out!"

Without a pause her mind flashed to things she shouldn't say, "He should have fixed that darn door a very long time ago, and maybe put siding on the pump house so the water doesn't freeze up." 

She pondered her options. "Do I go let him out, or not?" 

After two days without water, he had finally gotten everything thawed and his bride was back in the running water business. However, the temperatures were still dropping below zero at dark, so that night at bedtime she ask if he thought they should leave some water dripping, "just in case."

Almost offended, he declared, "Of course not. I have everything where it will not freeze up."
You can guess how that went. By morning his statement proved to be wrong but no one was mentioning it, mostly.

Because she was snowed in at the ranch and out from her job in town, she was not surprised when, one more time, she heard the phone. "Ring, ring ...."

"What?" she answered, knowing where this was headed.

"Oh, you're home," the Boss said to her.

"Hello? I am answering the phone, aren't I?" 

"Oh, well run down the road quick and shut that gate going into the Smith Place. I'm coming up the road with cows and don't want them to dive off through that gate into that pasture. Use the feed truck. It's parked right out front."

She sighed. The feed truck, the one you can't get out of without rolling down the window with great difficulty to get to the outside door handle because the inside one no longer exists. He did say "quick" so she jumped in her car, thinking at the moment it was a best choice. It wasn't.
As she trudged back to the house, leaving her car in the drift where it was stuck, her thoughts wandered to her Mary Kay consultant. "I need to ask her how long that new Masque Hydrant Aux Fruitas will take to renew my frozen complexion."

Ring, ring ....

Julie can be reached for comment at jcarter@tularosa.net or simply by "Ring, ring ..."

2 comments:

One Foot Over said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
One Foot Over said...

I am HOWING here! HOWLING! Laughing tears run down my cheeks! I do remember when! I've experienced that warped world of cabin fever. Alaskan-style. Months turned to years, and suddenly, half my life is gone. Bush Brides take a beating. We live in some unforgiving geography, we backwoods gals. Add in a physical disability, and though that living wears all of us out, the weaker of us go first. But who would give up our adventures? Not this wore-out ol' woman!

Fav'ing you!