Thursday, June 23, 2011

Teetering on the Edge of an Empty Nest and Learning the Ropes

This is a pretty big place. DH has 200 sections (128,000 acres)  to tend to and for the most part, we've had one other man working here. My FIL helped out for a few years part time, and the kids have been part of the ranching crew since they were pretty small. A few years ago we put in a new redi-built house at the other camp, about 5 miles from headquarters and the past 2 years we've had a nice family living there. However, they have moved on and we're in the process of praying for the right help to appear. In the meantime, poor DH is stuck with me. Honestly, the poor man does not deserve this. However, he's a good sport and truth be told, we're kind of enjoying this together time. Through the years, I've fixed my share of water gaps, pulled my quota of windmill sucker rod, tended to more than enough pump jacks, and broken more ice in drinking tubs than I could count. Think I'm complaining? Not a chance! Even when I was on the ground holding the backside of a cow until hubby could get her tended to after she prolapsed, or when we were painting a cattle guard in 120° heat, I was thankful (albeit a bit peaked around the edges) for this amazing life that God has blessed me with. Even after 24 years, I often find myself shaking my head that the good Lord has given me this incredible gift.

I remember an incident that took place back...way back... in the day when I was in the 7th grade. I remember it like it was yesterday and I am still in contact with this friend with whom I had this conversation. We were standing under the breezeway, waiting for 2nd period to start and wondering what our futures would hold instead of concentrating on the fact that I really had not learned how to conjugate those Spanish verbs properly and thus, may never advance to the 8th grade, much less need to worry about what my life would consist of 20 years down the road. Back then, we were all about priorities you know. I was a city girl who felt like a fish out of water and longed desperately for a dirt road away from everything. My friend, Sharon (one of these days I am coming to the NE to visit you!), said, "You are going to grow up and marry a cowboy and live on a big ranch one day just you wait and see". Now, just to set the record straight. I did not, do not, nor will I ever believe in predictions, but little did I know, that God was listening and "He knows the desires of your heart". I laughed it off and thankfully went on to pull a B in that Spanish class, but I never forgot that moment. We both laugh about it now and it makes me realize that the good Lord was molding me and my life long before I came to sit at His feet and that's an awesome feeling! So you can bet that I am praising Him every cotton pickin' day!

DH and I are on the verge of the dreaded 'empty nest'. I know that some people don't dread it, but through the years, when the subject was brought up by anyone, I would come close to hyperventilating and breaking out in hives. I now see that my reaction was only due to the fact that it wasn't time. Timing is everything and God's timing is perfect so I'm good. Now, that's not to say that you won't find me bawling my eyes out when I walk into either of their rooms, or pulled over on the side of the road wailing because I heard, "You're Gonna Miss This" by Trace Adkins. I already do that last one and DD has been telling me lately that I am awfully weepy. But, I'll be fine. We'll be fine.

So, now that I've gone off on that rabbit trail, I'll get back to my original thought. I'm in training. Kind of. There are miles and miles of water to check and acres and acres of pasture to traverse, and hundreds and hundreds of cattle to keep an eye one, and thousands and thousands of fence posts to keep up.

I'm starting small. I can't even begin to wrap my head around this antiquated water system. So for the time being, I'm the opener of gates as we bounce across the pasture and I take mental notes of the fact that Red Tip Pens are in Armstrong pasture and not in Red Tip Pasture and that when I turn the valve at the highway this way, it sends water north and when I turn it that way, it sends it along the highway line. I need a handy, dandy notebook because my little old, brain is used to homeschooling and keeping people feed. But this is a new season and I am going to take it by the horns and hang on. Hopefully I won't be flung too far. Who says that the children are the only ones who have to learn how to fly?

8 comments:

Saska said...

Oh Karin...I'm right there with you bawling my eyes out! My oldest has been gone for almost 10 years and I still cry when I tell them goodbye..and they only live an hour away!
We're mamas...we're entitled to be weepy.

Rachel said...

You can do it! I love all the interaction I get in our way of life, the knowing and doing. It's a blessing!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!! :)
Yes, we are in the Marfa area. Love this country and the people!!

Cow Pies & Mud Pies said...

I know you can learn all that "need to know" information. Just remember, your DH would feel like a fish out of water if he walked into the kitchen and you gave him some of that kitchen lingo! LOL Or maybe not...my hubby would. Anyway...you will be great...I look forward to and dread the days my boys are gone...I get teary thinking about it.
I love helping my hubby...My dad always let us girls help and learn along the way and I'm forever gratefu--I can still remember how to do some of those things, even though it's not a daily practice!
Throw in the camera...you may want to scrapbook some of your new adventures!

Staci said...

When my kids left home, I bawled and bawled. When my daughter got married, I swear I cried for weeks. She and her new husband left from church on a Sunday morning. She and I were crying so hard, we actually had to leave the service so we didn't disturb everyone.
The first night my son was gone, I found myself unable to go to sleep and very alert to every noise. I finally realized I was listening for him to come home! Just like it was any other night that he was at a friends house! Had to get up and go downstairs so I wouldn't wake up my husband crying.
Okay--I read your post with great interest, even though a good 1/3 of it was a foreign language. . .
I'm glad you feel so content with the life you have chosen. It must be a great blessing.

BK said...

Ah! I would stay for the summer and help y'all if I wasn't already pulling all my lil ol weight on this piece of dust here...

NaomiG said...

Aw! I can't imagine that yet--because it's not time for me, of course. Pretty sure that's gonna be a sad, sad day around here though. The future me feels your pain deeply. :-)

You have a ton of fun being a hardworking cowgirl!!!!! Can't wait to hear about your adventures. It's a wonderful thing to know that God designs our futures to suit us and our needs perfectly.

rosie said...

I loved your post! I can't get my head around how big your acreage is, sounds similar to our stations.. You know Karin, girls can do anything they want to! You may find that you become indispensable to your husband!! I never suffered from empty nest syndrome the first time they left home, but I sure missed them the second time they left! ( see, they come back!!!!)

The Cozy Quilter said...

I have had a bad case of ENS (empty nest syndrome) for a couple of years now. Thank goodness for my quilting and Skype! We also text a lot to keep in touch. I know we bring them up to be independent and mature adults but is
It is very hard to back off the mother role sometimes. We have younger nieces so when we need some kid time, we just have them over for the weekend! They should be here any minute now for a two night sleepover! Have a good weekend!

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