Cowboys Ain’t Easy to Love – The Early Years

I was 16 and pregnant in that photo……

The Early Years

When I married a cowboy, I had no idea what I was getting myself  into.  Technically I was a city girl, well, as citified as you can get coming from Sweetwater, TX but I dang sure wasn’t no country gal so you can imagine how it might have been to make that adjustment when I married.

It’s hard to enough to adjust to married life in a regular situation but when you’re 16 and pregnant, well that’s even harder.  We were young, *I* was young and I can think of three things that made cowboy life so hard…….1) the moving 2) the lack of money 3) the drinking with all the cowboys, but it’s all three of those things that make me appreciate our life even more today.

It’s only natural that a young man would want to go out drinking with his brothers and friends but it was the ‘leaving the wife at home’ that chapped my hide.  So much so that we fought for a long time over it.  It was perfectly normally for the cowboys to leave their wives at home, head to the ranch bunkhouse to drink and trade but it was new to me.  And unlike some of those other wives….I just wasn’t gonna sit by and not say anything.  He still went out drinking with his brothers but not as much as he would have liked to. While he may not admit to this day, it’s the truth. I gave him hell, enough to make him think twice about it.  I know now that he truly wanted to drink with his brothers while sitting at some barn, trading for cowboy goods much like he does today, not doing anything wrong mind just having a good time with his friends, but I was young and selfish then.  I just didn’t understand but I do now.

Moving. Oh lord the moving–The moving me out in the middle of nowhere.  And  Cowboys can quit a job in a heartbeat.  I still remember when he worked at the feedlot.  I remember the day he came home and said he quit because cowboys don’t paint fences. “They may mend them but they don’t paint them”, he said.  “Real cowboys just don’t do that” was something I had to learn the meaning of real quick.  I didn’t understand it then but I do now.  He wasn’t too good to paint, he was just following he dreams–sticking to his guns of being a real cowboy.   We moved more times than I care to count, each place providing a new ranch living experience and chasing dreams of the cowboy way of life from ranch to ranch. I always knew we’d be okay no matter where we moved ’cause we had each other but it was hard. Hard for me to make friends, hard for the kids to adjust but we got through it and he got it out of his system so that now we’re living comfortable in one place where we’re happy, a place where the kids are happy.  Sometimes he misses the big ranches, dreams about how he wished he had gone to Arizona to work and if ever wanted to do any of that, I’d be right there with him, no questions asked ’cause that’s what real cowboys do..drift and dream.  Pack everything up, throw it in a trailer and see what’s in store on the next horizon….

The poor times.  I’ve said it a million times and it’s pretty well known that cowboys don’t make much money.  Not ranch cowboys anyways and that’s what he was, a tried and true cowboy all the way.  We’ve made less than $750 with two kids, a truck to pay for, and bills to pay but we got through, always.  We might have had to send the two very young kiddos off once due to the lack of groceries or I might have even had to write a hot check to buy those groceries until the next paycheck came but we managed.  We didn’t need much else and while I’d like to have had nice things, they weren’t necessary.  We had food, family, friends, and each other.

Cowboys are rough, a little rowdy and drifters but they’re good guys.  And if you ever fall for one, just remember….Cowboys Ain’t Easy to Love(If you have quicktime, you can listen to it here. Otherwise, check it out on Amazon. It’s an oldie but a good’un.)

If you want to know how we met, you can read the beginning–the story of us.  More to come…..

P.S. If you’re reading through email or reader, come check out my new look. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my blog makeover.

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  1. Yolanda says

    Love the story, please tell more! I read the story on the early years.. too funny!!! I would love to share this story to one of my good friends who LOVES them COWBOYS!!!
    BTW, thanks again for sharing your stories. It gives me a smile, joy, laughter and tears. Love you Lori! Again, keep doing what cha been doing, and you’ll keep getting what cha been getting!!
    Love, Readers, Trust, and Hope to us all, and hopefully to your family as well and then some!!!

  2. says

    It’s nice to know couples make it through the tough times. Despite what the world, family, and even friends tell them. You guys seem really happy and in a good place now. I’m sure it means so much more than it would have if you had not gone through all those troubling times.

    It’s the same with a truck driver! If you want to see your fella on a regular basis-you need to be close to a travel lane (which is tough since they change a lot) or near the hub (which is equally tough since truck drivers quit over principles and dreams like cowboys do…they don’t unload trailers or wait for days to get a load coming back home or because they won’t be talked to like dirt.) My guy’s got the dairyman bug in him too. His family dairied growing up. Sold it all when his mom got cancer and his sister died in a car crash. That’s when he took up truck driving. He moved cattle for the dairy when the family had it. Now he’s gone back to his dairy roots. I had NO IDEA how tough it would be but we seem to make it through the tough times. Most importantly, we have each other and lean on each other more than ever. I’m learning that’s the key in a good marriage. Leaning on each other instead of your friends and family.

    By the way, LOVIN the new design! It’s so western!!!
    .-= Jenn @ FFP´s last blog ..Warning for Wii Users =-.

  3. says

    Oh Lori..I love the new look! It is so YOU!!! And thank you for sharing your ‘Cowboys Ain’t Easy to Love..’ with us. One of my first loves was a cowboy and I learned so much loving him. They have so many wonderful qualities but you have to take them as they are. You, my dear, are a good woman. I am so glad I know you!

  4. Audrey - Mom Generations says

    OK… that was one of the best posts I have read on your site! You have to keep these kinds of posts up! You are truly an amazing woman… and I love that photo on top! You look beautiful! LOVE that hair!

  5. says

    Laurie, I have a new found respect for you. Living a life like that isn’t for everyone and oddly enough, being the wife of a police officer is more similar than most might think. Sometimes the job our husbands choose is far more than a job, it’s a lifestyle. You can fight the flow and become another divorce statistic…or ride the horse and adapt for the one you love. Like you, I’d rather ride the horse…so to speak.
    .-= Cat´s last blog ..The First Snow =-.

  6. says

    Oooh….now I . Want . MORE!!! I do hear that cowboys are very *studious* though – ya wanna tell us about that :)

    And, I saw your header the other day, I like the final version here too!

    Hurry up and write more of your love story! I love to hear how people fell in love, faced some challenges and stay in love!!

  7. chrystal says

    This is the type of post I love to see on your blog! Gosh I remember those early days, being married at 17 and just scraping by on about $1,000 a month. I don’t know how we did it, but we did! Awesome post!

  8. Gina says

    Yeah! Been there, done that! But not as the wife…as the kid. My dad was not only a cowboy, he was an actor! Imagine moving around all over Hollywood and the Greater Los Angeles area AND going up to his best friend’s ranch and learning to get thrown from horses. Ouch, butt hurts just thinking about it. But yes, no money, following his dreams, and living a hard life. Hugs to you for staying with your man all the way through it. He sounds like a keeper in spite of the hardship you two have been through.

    That’s my two pence…
    Gina ;)

  9. Sheena says

    I wanna know how your parents reacted! You were something else, I’m glad you found your prince! I’m a brown & photography fiend, so I love the new look :).

  10. Jean Parks says

    I live in Boston so the only cowboys I’m likely to stumble over would be of the barstool type. I love your blog, it’s just neat the way you share so much warmth and joy here. You and your family are lovely!

  11. Meredith Stevens says

    Your post is refreshingly honest. I look forward to reading more. Thanks for having the courage to share. My parents always say it’s the hard times that make us appreciate the good times.

    Here’s to learning and loving!

  12. says

    Oh my gee. I may only be 15, however my boyfriend and I have been together for 19 months and he too is a cowboy ;) They’re the best kind. But it is VERY hard to adjust to their ways… The Dipping, the drinking, the work comes first mentality, all of it! Its so worth it.! :) This is very inspiring! I said it before and I’ll say it again, I LOVE YOUR BLOG!

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