Saturday 13 March 2021

Ranch life is the best life

I've always been curious about other people's lives. When I walk in the dark I love nothing more than peeking into lit windows, getting a glimpse at the occupants and imaging their lives. I make up elaborate stories in my head about their relationships, jobs, dreams, dramas and triumphs. It's so interesting!

Another interesting fact is that I get to slip into a different kind of life every second weekend. For two weekends a month I don't live my beloved ranch life, but a completely different one. Instead of being woken up by birdsong and the cat meowing into my face, I wake up to silence. There's no dogs licking my face to wish me a good morning, no roosters crowing to greet the day, no geese chattering below the window. The only noise is the murmur of the TV in the living room where my house mate watches the morning news. 

No horses are waiting for their morning feed. No ducks are excitedly strutting across the yard, the males preening for the females in the mating dance that has started with spring being in the air. I know I won't be finding a surprise outside like I did the other morning when a chicken came out with two chicks she hatched in the hay barn. 

It's all very orderly, quiet - and boring. Sure, it's a lot less work. I'm only responsible for myself and the hospital when they call, and other than that I can lounge in bed all day if I want. 
But as it turns out, I don't want that. At least not all weekend. It's absolutely delicious to stretch out in bed Friday afternoon after work, after I have unpacked and settled in for the next 65 hours. I treat myself to some chocolate or sour candy and watch hours of Netflix in bed. It's awesome. 

But when I wake up on Saturday morning I'm ready again for some action. And there isn't any. 
I go for several walks on my weekends away. I stroll past the houses with their manageable yards and limited amount of pets and marvel at how different our lives are. 

During the winter everything has been quiet and hunkered down. I've met the odd hardy walkers who do the same rounds I do, and we nod to each other in quiet understanding. I imagine that many of them are gardeners who have been biding their time until spring when they can start working in their yards again. 

That time is almost upon us! It's warming up, the pussy willows are out, and I imagine that we're only a couple of weekends away from hearing the first lawn mowers spring back to life on Saturday mornings. To be honest, I.can't.wait. It's decidedly too sedate for me around here. The best part about watching people mowing their lawns (especially in a hilly area like the one I live in) is that while they will be wrestling with their steep slope mowers, we don't have to worry about lawn maintenance at the ranch. 
Our meadows are being taken care of the old-fashioned way:
Thanks, horses!

I have some plans myself for our garden this year. Rich is our resident gardener because he loves doing it and he's good at it. I want to get more involved though and learn about alternative growing methods as well as tackle a project I've been wanting to do for years: grow my own herb garden! I use lots of spices and herbs in my cooking, and there's something irresistibly wholesome and fairytale-like about going outside to harvest fresh herbs from your own little garden. Besides, basil, chives, mint, rosemary and lavender are supposedly natural bug and mosquito repellents, which is the best win/win ever! 

Being able to step out of your normal life is an immense privilege. There are days when I don't want to do chores, when I'm annoyed at the dirt the dogs drag in the house, or when I think that we are insane for doing so much work voluntarily. 

But when I get to live that seemingly "easy" life with no chores, I quickly realize that I'm missing the noise, chaos and fullness of my ranch life. It's unpredictable, dusty, and never boring! 
Being in the unusual position of taking a step back regularly gives me a fresh appreciation of everything I have, and the unique opportunity to experience how other people live. 

I find it endlessly fascinating to learn about the countless different ways we humans live life. That's why I love stories and books so much, and it's also the reason why I enjoy my job. The people I've met in my years as an x-ray technologist have opened my eyes and mind to all sorts of things: from learning how to manage my money well over many inappropriate jokes to recognizing that the secret to happiness is to live like a senior. 😀

I have no idea how long I will be in this job that keeps me away from the ranch every second weekend. But I will continue to make the best of it, to soak up this different lifestyle and appreciate it for everything it gives me - mostly the appreciation to realize how lucky I am to get to live the life we have created together. 


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