This fall was amazing.
Growing up a California city girl where open-toed sandals are practical footwear for all seasons and a cardigan provides adequate insulation from the cold, let’s just say moving to Montana two years ago was a bit of a change. I arrived in this frigid, unforgiving country November of 2008; too late for fall. I proceeded through the winter in a cold but optimistic daze, waiting for the day Spring would arrive. Instead I was met by a winter that lasted till June followed by a fall that was rudely denied when temperatures dropped below zero the first week in October. As I spent the autumn months fending off frozen fingers and toes, I grew a new appreciation for long underwear, insulated muck boots, and the sweet California falls of my past. Manstuff (the light of my life) assured me that Montana experiences some beautiful falls of it’s own, but I had yet to experience this elusive season. I resigned myself to the fact that in order to live this life I had chosen alongside my beautiful cowboy, some sacrifices would have to be made. I anticipated that from October ’til July, my sundresses and sandals would be among the casualties.
This past fall however, proved me all wrong. It was beautiful! The blazing orange and yellows in the trees accented by the deep purples and reds of the willows encompassed such a brilliant palate of colors it took my breath away. I rode, I worked cows, and most importantly, I wore little cotton sundresses to my heart’s content all while soaking up the warm autumn sunshine. It was the gift that kept on giving. Every time it appeared ready to call it quits and I would begin to mentally prepare for the winter that was bound to ensue, the warm weather would return and all would be right with the world once more.
Alas, the cold eventually did come. It’s funny how things work out. That was two weeks ago. Winter is now in full swing here in Montana. The grass has finally gone dormant, the horses have begun to resemble carebears, the cattle are suddenly not quite so independent, and I, despite my self-proclaimed cold intolerance, am still right where I want to be. To my own surprise, I have found that while I mourn the loss of a temperate climate and tank tops in January, it is a small price to pay for the sheer simplicity of living and feeling of purpose this ranch life provides me on a daily basis. I love it here even when I am freezing my tushy off in subzero temperatures. I am one lucky girl.
This blog was written by my good friend “Marmalade Boots” – who is every bit as entertaining as her pen name. MB and her cowboy “Manstuff” live on the other side of the Crazy Mountains on an equally beautiful and chaotic cattle ranch. I love MB’s perspective and experience as a Cali girl gone Cowgirl gone Rancher’s wife. I hope to see more of her guest posts in the future and hopefully a few recipes (she is an amazing cook!). -MC