As much as we've enjoyed our recent travels to visit with our children and grandchildren, my husband and I are happy to be back home for a spell--because Dorothy was right: there's no place like home. We love our house. It's a big, white clapboard (make that white vinyl now) Colonial on a quiet, wooded cul-de-sac street. If we had a lake out back, it would be altogether perfect--but you can't have everything, and believe me, we know how fortunate we are.
My husband and I probably won't be moving anytime soon; but we have both always thought that living on a ranch would be the coolest thing. We know absolutely nothing about running a ranch, mind you, but we'd sure like to live on one. I've been hooked on Ree Drummond's Pioneer Woman blog for awhile, and seeing all the pictures she posts of her husband and kids riding around on horseback, building fences together, rounding up cattle and such, makes me want to pack up and head west. We were just out visiting our youngest son at Notre Dame, and his roommate (who hails from Montana) told us that his grandfather has a ranch. How awesome is that? We want one! We want a ranch.
Friends of ours, a couple who used to live in our town and sent their children to the same Catholic high school our boys attended, had always dreamed of ranch life, too. The four of us used to joke about it together. But then about five years ago, when our friends turned 50, they actually did it: they moved out to the country and bought a little farm house on a parcel of land that already had a small barn (with a couple of horse stalls in it), they got a horse and some goats, some chickens and roosters...and they were off. They were livin' the dream. They used to live on a cul-de-sac street in town, too; and now they live on a miniature ranch in rural New Hampshire. They are mucking out stalls, waking up at dawn on bitter winter mornings to break the ice on the water troughs so their animals can drink, and adding constantly to their menagerie. Like all farmers and ranchers, they are now somewhat tied to their land. We rarely see them anymore.
Hmmm...if my husband and I decided to do what they did, who would take care of the animals when we took off on our frequent trips to visit family? (And really, who would muck out those stalls? We might have to do rock, paper, scissors to figure that one out.)
Unfortunately, my beloved cowpoke doesn't look particularly happy in this photo; then again, we had just found out that we were going to have to kill five hours at the airport. But isn't this a cool picture? If I knew how to use photo shop, I'd put my husband's image on a different background, so it would look like there was a big field behind him, and maybe throw in some horses and cattle. I mean, the sterile tiled walls of the airport don't exactly scream "Home, home on the range." Perhaps I'd airbrush the reading glasses out, too, because I don't think he'd be able to hang onto them for very long on a galloping horse. With those small changes, he'd totally look the part, wouldn't he?
But you know what? There's nothing wrong with living on a quiet cul-de-sac street in a small New England town...and having the luxury of being able to travel whenever you want to without worrying about who's going to feed your horse. So I don't think there's any way that we'll be following our friends out to the country!