Boots by the Door

Moving cows
When I married my husband, I knew I’d never live in town or drive a beetle car. I’d need four-wheel drive and it’d be easier to see across my field than into my neighbor’s window. I knew there would be dirty boots by the door. On our honeymoon, we bought a sign that reads, “Please remove your spurs before getting into bed.” We anticipated cattle and hard work, but we pictured it with the bliss and naivety with which every newlywed couple enters into marriage.

Enter reality. No matter what time of year it is, there is always a potential for hay slivers in the sheets. I learned how to cook on a budget. I made a lot from scratch. Actually, it’s been sixteen years and I’m still doing that.


Showing the kids how shots work.

The reality is that we all have dreams and ideas of what life will look like. We imagine how it will transpire and it is beautiful!! Everyone is healthy, the work gets done in record time, and nothing ever breaks down or slips past a fence. Dreams are good for creating a hopeful platform as they propel us to keep going. Yet, I certainly never pictured tractors breaking down, bailing hay through the night to beat a storm, or feeding cows while having the flu.

On the flipside, I also didn’t imagine that ranching would rope me in and dally itself right to my identity. I had been raised in town. Please don’t stop reading. City girls can go country!
I met my husband in college at a country dance that someone coaxed me into attending. I gave him my number and didn’t think I’d hear from him, but I did and we started dating.
He took me riding, moving cows, and showed me everything I never thought I’d know about ranching. He didn’t get embarrassed of my lack of knowledge or ability, but kept encouraging me to try. It wasn’t until later that I realized this was in his favor, as now all my training came from “his” way of doing things.


Our girls heading out to help move cows.

So I married him and he carried me off to our first little trailer home.
Older than most of the dirt that held it together, it felt like a mansion.

Then something unexpected happened. Instead of me working for years alongside my man to get ready for a place of our own…we had a baby. Ahhh. Yes, it was wonderful. She is wonderful. But it is hard to ride pregnant, especially while still a beginning rider. Then we had another baby and another. Motherhood is the most amazing thing that could ever happen to a person, but also a fair amount of work. We didn’t have family around, so it was up to us to bring these babies everywhere we went. Our oldest daughter spent much of her first birthday in her daddy’s saddle, on his lap, while working cows. (That was a good horse.) I’ve ended up growing up in ranching along with my kids.

True, I never really knew what I was getting into, but I wouldn’t change it. Well, not most days. Guess what? Those dirty boots by the door? They aren’t going anywhere. They are mine.


Marci is a city girl gone country. She married her cowboy and never looked back. While life may be different than what she first imagined, it’s also better than expected as well. She and her husband are raising their three kids on the ranch, and she has grown used to all the boots by the door.


Categories: Blogging, Idaho Cattlewomen, Ranch kids, Ranch Life