I Want to be a Cowgirl (or at least Dress Like One)
This afternoon I was driving the family home from a wonderful weekend with
family. The kids were watching a movie with their headsets on*, Nelson was
surfing the net and I was in a happy state of silence.
I have never really loved driving. Mostly, I like to ride....because I like to sleep. My husband has sent numerous photos of me in the passenger's seat, mouth open, head cocked to the side (and yes, occasionally drooling) to various people. And, why I do not appreciate him embarrassing me (he swears he only sends them to my brothers), I take solace in the fact that I was, indeed, sleeping...in the middle of the day, without any guilt at all.
Nelson, however, abhors driving. He argues the fact that at least he can get things done as a passenger (as if sleeping were an unnecessary occurrence) and that he's a much better navigator than me (evidenced by the fact that as he navigated us today we missed one turn and had to turn around twice - you know I love ya babe!). Over the past few years I have finally given in because: a) I love him, b) driving is often easier than doling out snacks, adjusting headsets and choosing the fastest route and c) I really love him.
I have learned to relish the time. Sometimes we have great conversations, sometimes I sing along to whatever music I choose, sometimes I use the silence for prayer, and sometimes I busy myself by solving all the world’s problems. I’ve learned to love the quiet.
Today’s drive was particularly beautiful. The weather was nice and the sky was a soft blue with fluffy cotton ball clouds scattered throughout it. We drove little back roads so we passed lots of barns, cows, horses, fields and the like. As I drove down a road with trees on either side that made the perfect tunnel, it was as if I transported myself to another life entirely.
Suddenly I was with my little family on one of those farms in the middle of nowhere. There’s something about the slowness of that kind of life that is totally appealing to me. I imagine getting up with the sun to a hot breakfast as fuel for the work ahead. I see myself helping the kids tend the animals. I imagine myself in front of an apron sink watching my husband’s silhouette as the sun lights his work in the field. I can almost smell the meal I would make from the things we grew and raised right there on our land. I know how good we would all sleep at the end of that totally productive day. I love the idea in all its golden simplicity.
Then I think about how I don’t even want a dog or a cat because I can’t stand the idea of someone sitting on my furniture and standing up covered in fur. I remember that I’m not a big fan of bugs or manure. I realize that I would love that life for awhile and then I would probably yearn for human companionship other than my own little family and if we lived out in the middle of nowhere, that would be hard to come by. And, truth be told, as much as I love steak, I would not have the heart to kill ole Bessie to get it.
That is what I was thinking today as I drove in silence enjoying the beauty of the land. And then it occurred to me how I could have my cake and eat it too…so to speak. What I need, I decided, is a pair of boots - not the fashionable flat-heeled riding boots, or the high-heeled slick black ones but a real, honest-to-goodness pair of cowboy boots. These boots would give me the feel and look that I might have if I lived on a ranch somewhere, without the danger of actually needing them to walk through what cows and horses leave behind. Shoot, I might even need a good hat to go with them. I might also be compelled to yell, “Yee haw!”
The longer I drove, the more I felt the need for said boots. Actually, I decided a few months ago that this would be the year, the first one in my entire life, in which I would allow myself to own a pair of cowboy boots. Suddenly, I could see myself in my sweet flowered sundress paired with my boots. I saw myself in jeans and the hat at the boys’ football games.
I was happy with this very useful time I spent driving. I felt a need deep in my spirit (for a simpler life, not the boots of course). Then I found a way to fill that need without rearranging the life God has already picked out for me. Especially considering that I’m married to a man who abhors mowing his own yard. Yes, the boots, I think, will be a fine compromise. And today provided me, finally, with a good excuse to get some.
Ah, the clarity a few hours of silence can bring.
*I'd love to kiss the person who invented this - traveling in silence while the kids are perfectly happy = pure bliss for all. If you want to debate me on this topic bring it on. I don't know why anyone wouldn't want to use this...seriously. A discussion on our reasons and rules for the thing begs its own post but I'm just saying that I have never once regretted it's presence on long car trips.