Valentine's Day as a rancher's wife is most often not what it is supposed to be. This morning instead of breakfast in bed, chores had to be done early so we could get the kids to Sunday School on time. The animals have to be watered, fed and checked each morning, no exceptions, no holidays.
After church we hurried and had a quick lunch at McDonalds. I needed to help my Dad tag some calves and feed hay. Jennifer and the kids went home to check the sheep. Sure enough a ewe had lambed and she spent the whole afternoon making sure the lambs kept warm in the bitter cold. Not exactly the pampered afternoon she so much deserved.
Tonight we had to take the kids to a 4-H meeting and rush home to check the ewes. So no romantic dinner here. As always the ranch had to come first. This is not only Valentine's Day but a snapshot of most days during lambing and calving season. The sacrifices farm and ranch wives make are staggering.
My wife is my partner and that means she often goes without just so the ranch can survive. She works long hours, forgoes vacations and doesn't complain. Sometimes I wonder why, but really I am sure it is because she has the same dedication to agriculture and the same pride in producing the food that fuels our world.
So as Valentine's Day winds down roses and chocolates do not do justice for the love and pride I have for my wife. Like all rancher's wives she deserves so much more, but like all rancher's wives she makes these sacrifices for the life and the family she loves. That is why I am eternally grateful for my wife on this Valentine's Day.