Recently I had to travel back home to see my family. My roots are all the way back in a small town of Oklahoma. I grew up country, not just your run of the mill one acre yard country. Nope, I lived in a small farm-house with horses, dogs, chickens, pig, goat and sheep. I have to say I didn’t love my living arrangements, but there is some charm to just being back on the farm.
The first day, my son and I helped my brother-in-law feed the horses.
Then we get to feed the jackass. No, not the jerk that cuts you off Highway 1 in Princeton, New Jersey or Lincoln Tunnel. I’m talking about the real jackass, the one you pinned the tail on at birthday parties, but this one of course is alive.
Next, I ran like Phoebe from Friends into the house with my legs and arms swinging because the cold air is burning my nose hairs. Time for breakfast before we haul cows to the stockyards, hmmm, there is bacon, coffee, cereal. I forgot to mention I have a horrible, rotten, absolutely, ugly stomach. I am on one of those strict diets of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts and 12 servings of water a day. I sit eating my nuts and drinking my water as I watch my sister and her husband sip on their coffee. I wait till they are not looking and grab a little bitty, tiny, cup of coffee with milk. Oh mother of yum yums, this coffee is hot, creamy and awesome. I hurry up drink my forbidden coffee and put the cup in the dishwasher before my sister catches me.
Now, I am in the truck with my son, my brother-in-law, a former professional bull rider, and another cowboy I went to school with. This is when a cowboy begins to do what he is famous for, he sings.
We drive down a steep hill. “Hoot-Hoot!” I holler.
“Did ya mean, ‘Hee-haw?’”
“Oops, I forgot. Hee-haw!”
After a long country drive, our first stop was to a man’s farm who wanted to sell only two cows. The two cowboys get the cattle in the trailer in one attempt.
Then we drive another twenty minutes to the next farm to pick up more cattle. I get adventurous. I get out of the truck and being to snap pictures of my son and I near the cows. Outside of the truck, I can smell the dropping of the cows, but that does not stop me from taking pictures.
I get chilled so I jump back inside of the truck. GRRRRRR! My stomach begins to roar. I try to ignore it. The cowboys are taking much longer this time, because they have to separate the herd of cows some are coming and others are staying. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Ruuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggggggggg!!! I hunch over holding my stomach.
“Mom was that you? Did you fart?”
“Noooo, it’s my stomach…Don’t talk. I think I need to go.”
“Seriously?” He looks at me like I’m an idiot.
GGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Roars my stomach again.
“I can’t hold it.” I jump out of the truck. The owner of the ranch is standing at the gate. Holding my irrational stomach, I stumble up to the old man. “Excuse me, Sir. Can I use your bathroom?”
He shakes his head and mumbles something. “Fine, follow me.” He leads me to a garage with guest quarters and small bathroom. He leaves.
I get comfortable in the bathroom but now my stomach just stops. I can’t do anything. I literally put myself together and go back to the truck. Everyone is staring at me. I get in the truck. “I couldn’t do it.”
“I couldn’t go. I had to go, but I guess I had performance anxiety. I don’t know.”
“I tell ya what. We’ll head up to the diner. You can use the bathroom there, eat a salad, drink water and then we’ll head out.”
“Sounds good” I reply. Sure enough at the diner, I did my duty. Talk about relief. Everyone was eyeballing me as I walked to the table. Talk about awkward…Then I ate my grilled chicken salad without dressing and drank my two glasses of water. Then we went to the stockyards. This is where the two cowboys unload the cattle.
Leaving the stockyards and after drinking my required bottle of water, plus two glasses of water at lunch I got to go pee.
“Excuse me, I think I need to go.”
“Yes, but the good news is this time it’s only number one.”
“Fine” my brother-in-law responds. We pull off at a small gas station. I use the lady’s room and purchase two bottles of water. I pop back into the truck. We begin heading down the highway. The problem is Interstate 40 in Oklahoma is bumpy, I mean real bumpy like you are driving with a flat tire, yet we didn’t the road is just bad. After about five minutes of bouncing in the truck, I have to go to the bathroom again.
“Can we stop again?”
“I think I need to go.”
“Talk about high maintenance. How about I call your sister to pick ya up at the next ranch? At the rate we’re going we’ll never get the next load of cattle delivered today.”
Sure enough, my short-lived experience as a cattle hauler ended. That’s ok. I enjoyed my time laughing and hauling cattle but there just ain’t no time for a cowgirl that always has to go.
(P.S. I know ain’t, ain’t a word but if you ever want to use it you are welcome to in Oklahoma. Hee-haw!)