I have always had a career. I have worked since I was 16, before that if you count the lawn mowing I did to pay board on my first horse.
I have never been nor ever wanted to be the traditional stay at home mom. Unless perhaps as Lauren once told her teacher when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, I could be a stay at home mom with no kids and no husband. Sorry, just have always rather been outside doing stuff than inside being domestic. I love my kids and grandkids but let’s go outside!
Adding to this particular little nuance of mine, is the fact that I have not had any children at home but Lauren for the last ten years and it has been almost 18 years since I have had a man around the house.
I picked up my new man friend at the airport on Friday the 20th and he stayed on until the next Saturday night. Wow! I know! I kept expecting to find him packed and gone. Or to catch sight of a taxi pulling out of the driveway, but he stayed. Huh… It wasn’t like he didn’t know this time what to expect.
But I have to say it was a different time for me. Chris, as we are calling him to protect his innocence as long as possible, was fully engaged with me on all the horse chores. From waking up to Maui, the poodle alarm clock, at 4:30 am to falling asleep before 8:00 pm, Chris lived the farm life.
This time he got to clean stalls! He got his first taste (bad analogy) of dumping manure all the way down at the bottom pasture. He installed new feeders and fixed gates. He got beautiful Houston weather and freezing, windy downpours of rain. He walked, he lifted, and walked some more. It was impressive. Like I said, I kept expecting him to leave. He told me he was waiting for me to finish his wash. I think he was kidding.
I have to say that I think Chris took to the farm well. Which is to say that he managed way better out of his normal environment than I did out of mine.
Lauren cooks dinner a couple of times a week (if I am lucky and she is home). I manage a few meals I fix for us or for myself-things she doesn’t like (like Salmon). But in no stretch of the imagination do either of us compile whole meals like my mom used make. You might remember those and even serve them, they come with a main course, a vegetable, a starch and perhaps a dessert. But we don’t. There is never enough time.
Sheets are changed Friday night. Laundry is done on Saturday and whatever cleaning gets done in the house is on an “as-needed” basis, like “the dogs ran in with their muddy feet in and you can no longer see the pattern of the tile” basis.
This last week, with Chris so readily agreeing to do anything and everything that was needed outside, I felt compelled to step up my inside services, you know, like cooking and cleaning. I can honestly say that I cooked more meals and prepared more food in the last week than in the last several years. I made my famous enchiladas-except Lauren got FIRE hot sauce and I had to tone that down a little. I made hamburgers with actual vegetables to go with them. I made my mom’s ham waffles. I managed a fairly good rendition of beef stroganoff. I did my share at Thanksgiving, too. Although, thankfully, Ally and Luke did the majority of the cooking even though it was at my house. Jordyn helped me with pumpkin pies and our special cranberry salad.
Fortunately, I re-introduced Chris to the world of fast food so lunches were not an issue. I did fry up a couple of quasi-omelets along with the waffles for breakfast. I also felt I should keep the bathroom clean, the floors swept (before we lost sight of the tile), and counters disinfected (at least to the point one can manage that with giant Levi the cat wallowing around).
I managed to keep up both his laundry and mine although it has been a long-time since I saw a pair of men’s underwear. Scandalous!
Seriously-how do people do this? I can clean stalls, feed at dead of dawn, handle wild horses, snakes and lots of blood but throw me in the kitchen and laundry room for a week and I am undone! I would have never made it as a farm wife!
I hope all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am grateful for all of you and for so many things! Thanks for riding along!