Ranching While Living Apart

So we are closing in on that wonderful time when Carolyn will graduate and we’ll finally be able to live in the same house! In the same town! In the same state! Needless to say, we’re both pretty excited about that. Excited like a twelve year old in a room full of puppies.

A room full of corgi puppies

Seriously, who wouldn’t love hanging out in a room full of puppies?

So with this season of our marriage drawing to a close, I took a little time to reflect on how things went when we were apart. In particular, how in the heck did we manage to schedule in all the things we did; like events we attended together, weddings we went to together, and most amazingly, all the work we did with the livestock together? I mean, think about it. We never saw each other during the week, which left the weekends to be together. I was on call for 1/2 of those, so that meant only 1/2 the weekends we could actually meet up to get things done! Still, we built fence, worked calves, preg checked cows, and managed pasture for both of our families. That’s a ton of stuff.

Kids having fun in their free time. Whatever that is.

1st reason why–we decided that “free time” was a myth and never had any.

A key was planning ahead. As a matter of fact, we had every weekend planned for the fall of 2014 by the end of August. A perfect example of this planning is evident in last weekend, the 2nd weekend in March. The conversation on Valentine’s Day we had to plan it went like this.

Jake: We really need to get that calving pen in before the heifers start dropping calves. Otherwise Dad will have to try and pull calves in the round pen again, and quite frankly that was about as handy as a bent screwdriver.

Carolyn: Okay, I have the weekend of the 28th off, but I’d really like to go home to see my folks.

Jake: Yep, we need to do that. Can we stop by and pick up a head gate on the way up there? It can just hang out in the pickup while we are there.

Carolyn: Sure. Then I have the week off after that, so we can put it in.

Jake: Crap, no, we can’t put it in then because we have to re-finish our wood floors and that’s the only chance we have to do it before you move after graduation. What about the weekend of March 14th?

Carolyn: That might work. I’m down at Clay Center, Nebraska, the week before that, so I could meet up with you at your folk’s house before I head back to Ames for my next rotation.

Jake: That’ll work. I’ll take Friday off work and get started putting it in before you get there.

Carolyn: Remember then next weekend you have off you need to take me to the airport for Oregon preceptorship.

And so on and so forth we went through the weekends, until they were all planned through graduation. In February! So now that we are only five weeks away from Carolyn being done, I’m not only excited to have my Carolyn home, but have a little more leeway in planning.


Photo credits: http://www.juxtapost.com/site/permlink/d53224b0-a66c-11e1-8b3b-99afce29a9b6/post/room_full_of_corgi39s_d/