Friday, February 22, 2013

Lessons in Ranch Living for City Girls #1

Well, my dear, dear friends (as The Horseman is fond of jokingly calling you), after months, and more lessons than I'm able to count on all of my own fingers and toes (even if I was Ann Boelyn with her unusual number of digits, and I'm not), the dog's fingers and toes and Sasquatch's fingers and toes, the dust is clearing and I am finally ready, willing and able-ish to start my formal "Lessons in Ranch Living for City Girls".  As an aside, Sasquatch apparently divides his time between my backyard here and my old backyard in Oklahoma... There's a "Sasquatch Hunt" here, run by a local bar up the road (Hey Bill!), that basically consists of hordes of drunken people screaming in the woods, looking for some guy in a gorilla suit.  But I digress.  Some of you have been reading my FB postings on the subject of my deer in the headlight experiences with a mixture of amusement and pity, so let's continue the trend, shall we?  I'll expect pity when required/requested and laughter when appropriate, but usually a combination of the two will work...

I have found that I am a work in progress through this whole life changing move across the freaking country to be with a man I really didn't know and who could have been an ax-murdering, bury-women-in-the-back-country or feed-em-to-the-grizz kind of guy.  Thankfully, those tendencies haven't emerged yet, at least not the ax-murder and back country parts, but the night is young.  I have heard talk about feeding hippies to bears, though.   I think most hippies who inadvertently find themselves in these parts come from Missoula or Bozeman, where there are lattes and bookstores and a little nightlife, and the Hi-Line is far from there...   Not sure they know about the camouflage-wearing, bow hunting, Ted Nugent (male or female)  types that emerge from the woods at the scenes of accidents or they might rethink their route.   You take your life into your own hands up here if you have a PETA or Save the Wolves bumper sticker, or even a "7" plate (Flathead County), so they don't venture this far north very often!  Once you make it to East Glacier, 17 miles east of us, you can breathe easy for a bit before traveling on down the road since EG is a very eclectic, welcoming little community and you’ll be OK. Mostly, I'm just thankful I'm not a hippie.  Again with the digression thing...

Anyway, it was a leap of faith for love, or something like it.  Not usually my style since I'm generally a cautious kind of person.  Since said move, I have found that I know a whole lot less than I thought I did about a whole lot of things.  Some days, I know absolutely everything about everything (imagine that I'm 13 years old - THAT kind of know everything) and am every bit as smart as I have The Horseman fooled into thinking I am.  And then some days, I know that the look on my face is sheer horror at what I've chosen to do with my life now that I've grown up.  But sometimes, the look has got to be blissful, goofy, disgusting happiness at that same choice.   Some days, I feel like a canvas of blues and greens, somewhat introspective and serene, awash in light and a Monet from afar.  Other times, Jackson Pollack threw up all over me, and I'm crazed, potentially violent (kidding a little on that one - but not much) and just a big ol' mess.  Or I'm a walking, talking Edvard Munch painting...

Some days, I feel like getting out and conquering the vast, yet somehow well insulated and smallish, world around me, meeting all the neighbors and FOB (Friends of Bill) and ingratiating myself into their well established, orderly lives.  Other days, I want to simply hide away with our big dog, Bayley, who really is the sweetest canine on the face of the planet, and watch bad Lifetime Television for Women movies.  Thankfully, THOSE days are few and far between, which is mostly because I have a healthy outward disdain for LMN, even though, secretly,  I've been known to pass an afternoon in the company of Lisa Hartman-Black or Melissa Gilbert and their respective love lives. But one day, I'll choose a slothful day of bad movies and it'll be just fine, even though I have more things that need doing than I can possibly accomplish in the course of a day.

My sister has said that my life is like a TV movie without the murder, which I find terribly funny.   She's like that - terribly funny when you least expect it.  She got that from my angel of a mother, who is also terribly funny when least expected in addition to being the most kind woman on earth.  I like that there's no murder, yet, since I'm happy with The Horseman and, as I've said, I don't think either of us has active homicidal tendencies. I tend to think that if we can make it through this first oppressive winter, which everyone up here calls "open" and "not bad" (bwahahahaha!!!!), we'll be just fine. We've certainly had our moments, which have tended to come from without and not from within, and I'm sure there will be more, but I think the love that we feel is solid and is deepening with time.  Or he just accepts that I'm weird, loves me anyway, shakes his head and moves on...  Take your pick.  I know I can be a trial and somewhat needy and insecure, but usually not. And he can be a trial and somewhat distant and preoccupied, but usually not.

For me, I think the neediness comes from the lack of girlfriends up here.  I've always had a close group of women friends with whom to laugh and cry and just be silly and I find that I miss that terribly and quite often.   The deep and abiding friendships that have shared history and experience in common - these women "get" me.  And they love me anyway, and I love them.  Not that I haven't met anyone up here who might fill that void, and a couple of names come immediately to mind, but we're just so far from anyone that it's a little difficult.  It's not lunch at Yokozuna or B4C, or dinner at The Brook, or lunch and pseudo-shopping just so we can be together.  Or toes and fingers on the spur of the moment.  It's an all day excursion, involving miles and miles, and prior planning...  Not that I'm whining or that I don't have the prior planning gene, but seriously, I'd have to drive almost to Canada for one and clear to Idaho for another.  One is relatively close for the moment, but is headed to Cali to get on with her life in a few weeks.  And that one feels more like a daughter to me...  Most are long time FOB (he has an amazing number of close, wonderful friendships) and so I can be friends by association, with ready made broken ice, but those friendships that I cultivate all by myself are difficult to be found.  So far.

So this is my blog. I promise a good Lesson in Ranch Living for City Girls for the next go-round, which is rodeo-speak. I've become a rodeo girl and love the Indian Relay Races and Team Roping (The Horseman's specialty) the most - but I digress again.   I'm hoping it'll be a bit of therapy for me and a bit of amusement for you.  Or maybe a bit of therapy for you, too, since you'll be able to say "at least I'm not THAT crazy!".  It'll be a one-sided, self-serving conversation from the most vast and beautiful place on earth, where I am surrounded by the solid proof that there is a God in every direction I look.  And it'll be my place to just vent my feelings from a corner of the world and an unfamiliar life where I sometimes feel very small and insignificant.  Most of you know me well - some better than others.  A lot of you know what it was like for me when I arrived here at Bear Creek Ranch in lovely breathtaking Northwestern Montana, and for a time thereafter.  So most of you know that I don't give up easily even in the face of some pretty challenging stuff and to my own detriment sometimes.  (I wonder if I have the emotional self preservation gene...)  Hopefully, with the bad writing that you'll have to wade through to get to the gist of it all, you'll understand even more why I love where I've landed, who I've land with, and why it's been a soft place to fall. And worth the screaming, flailing, terrifying descent!

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