AMY KIRK: What ranch couples talk about, reallyIt might be assumed that since ranch couples work side-by-side they have nothing to share with each other at the end of the day. Au contraire!
It might be assumed that since ranch couples work side-by-side they have nothing to share with each other at the end of the day. Au contraire!
Couples who ranch together regularly discuss topics that affect the whole world. Take the weather for example. It’s a big part of our life in our work and more importantly, our mood. My husband and I discuss the weather in detail by taking turns asking what the forecast is for the day or the week ahead.
Our weather discussions typically begin with interrogative statements such as, “What’s the temp out?” or “What’s the temp supposed to be today?”
This leads to comparison of recent daily high and nightly low temperatures. Sometimes friendly wagers are made about the temperature after having spent our day outside; “I’ll bet it’s gotta be at least a 100 degrees out right now” was popular this past summer. We compare our guesses to what the temperature gauge says. This leads to sharing how the temperature and/or weather have affected our energy and motivation for the day.
A frequent chat we have during the winter months after one of us has been to the bathroom during the night is, “How cold is it?” which refers to reading the thermometer when the person goes to the loo.
The rain gauge is another area we hash out regularly: “Did you check the rain gauge?” or “What’s the gauge say?” or “How much rain did we get last night?” The all-important question once the raindrops, or if we’re lucky, rainfall amounts have been noted: “Did you dump the rain gauge?” so next time’s moisture level can be recorded.
Besides weather-related conversations, we also show a genuine interest or concern about each other’s individual work. At least once or twice during the winter months my husband will ask me, “Did you wash my jeans in hot water?” or “Did you dry my jeans in the dryer?” or both and is usually followed by a delayed afterthought of, “My pants are too tight.”
My husband frequently plays a little game about the meals I prepare for our family to spark a conversation by guessing what I’m cooking. He’ll ask, “What do I smell?” Another way he tries to find out is by asking, “What’s burning?” or “What is that?” if he doesn’t recognize the food items in the pan.
I demonstrate the same interest in my husband’s work to-dos. I keep up-to-date on his goings-on by asking him about his plan for the day … repeatedly. I have a bad habit of not listening the first and second time.
Now, when it comes to talking about sex we don’t whisper or talk privately about it. We’re both comfortable discussing openly whether a new calf is a bull or a heifer during calving season.
We frequently exchange work-related problems in the evenings because they affect both of us and oftentimes have to be dealt with jointly. Giving each other updates eliminates surprises for our partner when we split up the work.
Over the years we’ve learned that the foundation to our evening conversations after a long hard day working together is to frequently check the forecast and read the thermometer.
Amy Kirk and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth-generation cow/calf operation near Pringle. She blogs at ranchwifeslant.area voices.com.