COLUMN: Life of a rancher’s wife is not typical

COLUMN: Life of a rancher’s wife is not typical

When it comes to being married to a rancher, it’s an interesting life

Shanna Jordan

Life of a Farm Wife

My mother always made it clear to me from a very young age that marriage was about give and take.

In fact, I was told a lot about marriage as a young person preparing to take that very step. “The first year is the hardest. “Marriage takes a lot of work,” – things like that.

Truth be told, it was actually kind of terrifying. The threatening, however, never scared me out of marriage. I knew that marriage was exactly what I wanted but no one ever made an exceptional effort to make it sound appealing other than the occasional, “but it’s so worth it.”

I’m pretty sure for the first year of marriage a least once a month I’d wonder, “isn’t this supposed to be harder?” I continued to wonder that for about another six months until I finally decided that marriage is as hard as you make it. Now, I’m not saying every marriage is the same. Each couple has their own trials and tribulations.

However, for Mr. J and I, it has always been, simply put, just simple. When it comes to marriage compatibility we are both very easy-going people. We are very much go-with-the-flow type personalities, which probably makes marriage seem a little easier for us than it would be for some other people.

That being said, no one ever warned me what it would be like to be married to a rancher. I surely would have appreciated less “marriage is hard work,” and more, “Okay honey, here’s the deal. Never let him leave the house without at least two exacto knives because he is bound to lose one, and always be there to hold the tail if he’s pulling a calf.”

Now that would have actually been some helpful marriage advice. Not to mention that no one ever warned me about the strange things I’d have to take out of jacket pockets before throwing them into the wash. If I were to describe the feeling of clearing a rancher’s pockets for laundry, I’d say its like putting your hand into a dark hole unsure if something is going to come up and bite you.

Yes, it is that terrifying.

I’ve found everything from bullets to multiple screws and nails, not to mention fence staples and even castration rings. Sometimes it wasn’t even worth the risk, and I’d just throw the jacket in and hope for the best.

However, that method has led to a pair of Bluetooth headphones going through the wash several times. They still work though, so if anyone is looking for a really durable set of headphones we know a really great brand.

In all seriousness, I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful it would have been to know these things before I had to learn them the hard way. I would have loved to know that it’s best to just start supper late, rather than try to keep it warm until he comes in from laying straw, or that muckboots are insightfully named to warn you what they will track into your back door because those are the things a soon-to-be ranch wife really needs to know.

So if there are any future ranch wives reading this, just remember marriage is the easy part!