My passion is my family, my mountain, my horses. On these “pages” I share the simple life yet magnificent world around me. I care not to, on principle, stir the pot. My home is a guest ranch. There is little room here on these wide mountains for conflict. My life is about giving. Though I suppose it is in one way or another for most of you, for anyone living and leading a complete life.
But without standing up for what we believe in, what is right, and for the truth, we risk losing our world. All of us. Losing what is most precious to us all. At times, we do need to take a stand. Even on the most seemingly simple of issues.
And so, I share with you a letter I wrote to a publisher of a magazine I adore. It is a horse business magazine, run by a man, with the readership primarily women. No problem there, of course, however… over the past year there have been featured articles about “ranching women” and all of them, every last one, were quoted on how they don’t need to, want to, or simply do not cook and clean, but get out there and do the “dirty work.”
Got me thinking, what a surprise… and so I share this letter I wrote to the editor in praise of that “ranching woman” who does the “other dirty job” – the cooking, the cleaning, caring and caretaking, whatever needs to be done and whenever to make the whole ranch work, to keep the ranch and the family together.
Thoughts? Women and men? Ranchers and city folks alike?
…Part of “women’s lib” or whatever it is that allows us to be a modern woman, is choice. And the old fashioned women’s ways should not be discredited or lost. They should still be a choice, though I see fewer and fewer who choose this role for a job. It is as tough a job as they get, a necessity, a solid foundation, and like with the growing lack of respect for “cowboy ethics” in the younger generation, a lost art.
Seems like most of the interviews put down having to stay home and cook and clean and teach the kids and be the doctor and the vet and all the stuff “traditionally” assigned to women. It’s not as glamorous as being out there swinging a rope at brandings. No, it’s a lot harder in many ways, doesn’t stop as the sun goes down, gets very little recognition, but we all know the ranch (and rancher) would fall apart without it. I wonder if it is not more real, too. Are not more of your readers still interested in and practicing these valuable ways, means, and practices? And shouldn’t they still be esteemed and admired? Or are these ways too gone with yesteryear?
Maybe I’m the only one who feels there is a great deal of respect deserving for the woman who has remained in the role of caregiver, cook, etc. – despite the lack of romantic story and pretty picture that might go along with this “job.” In fact, my greatest role models have been women who stuck strong to their ways and were always there doing the hardest job on the ranch… caring for the men, the families, the home, the meals, the garden, the schedule, whatever needed to be done – and then a lot more. It’s a 24-hour job with no pay, no benefits, no fancy title except perhaps Wife or Mom. But it’s a good job, and it deserves a little more reverence, and a reminder to women that it’s a really important place on the ranch. You can always hire another good ranch hand. You can’t hire a good wife or mom.
Some jobs, some people on the ranch, are irreplaceable.