In the Beginning…

Oh shit. We are moving to the ranch. This is what runs through my mind about 8,303,302 times a day. Here’s how it all began.

About a year ago, my amazing husband said he was a little burnt out at work. This is normal for our day and age when information moves faster than the speed of lightning. But, he loves his job, loves his company, the paycheck, the lifestyle we have. Even he admits he has no reason to not love his job. But still – it’s a job. There are issues and it’s getting old.

I’m the kind of person that embraces change instead of shies away from it. “So change,” I say. “Go do something you want to do. We’ll figure it out.” Except he can’t decide what else he would do and I’m in the beginning of my (2nd) career as a fitness instructor. I was an opera singer before that. Never did do the breastplate and horns, though. So we just keep going on our amazing suburban life.

Six months later, my husband is falling more out of love with his job but still makes a great living for his family. I’m starting to rack up fitness certifications and classes like a rockstar. His mom and dad visit to celebrate his birthday. This is where things change.

My husband’s dad, my father-in-law, had a ruptured spleen. What was supposed to be a weekend trip becomes almost a month. My in-laws are retired ranchers from Northeast New Mexico. They started ranching in 1982 and only stopped to retire and become snowbirds in the Florida Keys, near (ok, about 1/2 mile away) the Everglades. After the spleen incident, they return to the ranch. Not even a month later, he’s back in the hospital. They take out his gall bladder, white blood cell counts are low, infections, nothing good. Oncology reports show a cancer so aggressive that there is no treatment. He passes October 11, 2015. Two day later his grandchild turns 4. Only one month after turning 68. Too young. Way too young.

At the funeral, well-meaning friends and family ask repeatedly: “Will you come back to the ranch?” We don’t know. My husband grew up on the ranch. I always say that being at the ranch resets my soul. But could we really be ranchers? Is that in the cards for us? And my mother-in-law just lost her best friend of 47 years. Would she be ok mentally, physically, spiritually, out there? We just don’t know.

Well, as people often do in times of sorrow and crisis, we came together. As we live 8 hours away, we found a nice place for my mother-in-law to stay closer to our home. It took time and patience but she has integrated pretty well into “modern” culture. But it’s only a 6 month rental. Then What?

Months of talking it through, plotting out pros and cons, and sleepless nights led to this conversation.

“I think we should do it. You’ve said you want a change. I’m OK as long as I have internet and a gym.”

“But how do we make money?”

“We’ll figure it out.”

(long pause) “OK. Let’s do it.”