Over the Easter weekend, my middle sister, Courtney, became engaged to her boyfriend, Riley. They are planning a May 2014 wedding. Already, us girls are engulfed in all of the fun details -- dresses, flowers, reception hall, etc. I’m excited to finally get a brother, and I know my husband, Tyler, and my dad are eager to have another guy to help even out the numbers on the family operation.
Seeing my baby sister find happiness reminds me that only a few years ago, I was in her shoes. And, while she is currently in that newly engaged bliss, I’m all too happy to fill her in on all the little things that come with gaining a husband.
From careful observation of my own husband, my father and my grandpas, as well as my friends’ husbands, I can tell Courtney that she can plan on getting coveralls and boots for at least one holiday or birthday during her marriage. Chances are that her husband-to-be, like so many others I know, will be able to recite the lineage of any cow in his pasture, but he may forget important dates like anniversaries or birthdays. And, while every night of the week won’t be like a romance novel, I bet they find ways to enjoy each other’s company. Whether it's checking cows or fixing fence, a couple that works and plays together, stays together.
I was reminded of some of these little things recently when my husband asked me to go for a ride in the pickup. It had been a long day of writing and blogging, and I was ready to do something fun outside with my husband. I quickly threw on my work clothes and boots, and we headed outside and hopped in the truck. I took the passenger seat and let Tyler do the driving.
I was chattering away and not paying too much attention to what we were doing and where we were going, until Tyler slowed to a stop in front of a gate. He sat waiting patiently while I finished my story. There was a pause, and I wondered what Tyler was waiting for.
“Umm, aren’t you going to get that gate?” he asked.
Shotgun duty – of course. I don’t know if your family works like mine, but whoever sits shotgun is in charge of opening and closing gates. How could I forget? Chivalry isn’t dead in my marriage, but those are the rules!
“Is this why you brought me along?” I asked him.
With a chuckle, he reassured me that, no, of course he loves my company, but would I please get the gate?
If I could give advice to Courtney and Riley on their upcoming marriage, it would be this -- whether it’s work or play, always enjoy each others’ company. It’s the give and take while working together that makes a ranch marriage successful. Even if he forgets an anniversary or she burns supper, just laugh and enjoy the ride. Oh, and take turns opening the gate once in awhile.
What’s your best advice for working alongside your partner on the farm or ranch? What makes a happy marriage? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.