You can imagine my surprise when I was at my parent's house (they lived 1 1/2 miles from me and I would hang out there, in the afternoons to unwind from work), and he called. I was running through the house, headed out to catch my colt when the phone rang. So I answered it. A male voice said "Do you know who this is?" Luckily I guessed the right name. Took me a minute to place his voice, but he doesn't know that. As far as he knows I had been sitting there next to the phone, willing him to call me!
He talked me into meeting him for a drink at the Steakhouse in Mountain City. I learned he had been living 8 miles from me for about 2 years, and he had been trying to call me all week but I would never answer the phone. Kind of hard to do when he was calling the wrong house, and never would leave a message! We would have met sooner, but instead of hanging a left at the highway, he always turned right and headed to the Steakhouse. I didn't stay out long, I had to teach the next morning. Before I left, he talked me into helping him move cows that Sunday. (How romantic, right)?
That Saturday we shipped out some more calves at my parents, and that evening I loaded up my bedroll and saddle and drove to Simplot Headquarters to help trail pairs into Idaho early the next morning. He cooked me dinner that night, breakfast the next morning, and did all the dishes while I watched. I was in love! We saddled in the dark and it was dang cold. I couldn't figure out how to put my cinch on my off billet (I still get confused when changing cinches to this day, and I tie cinches!). I had forgot my spurs at home and had to borrow his. They had a funky shank and I put them on upside down. Talk about embarrassing. I got stuck riding on the drag and never even saw him until we got the pairs to where they were supposed to be. On top of that, his boss and crew thought I was only 16 years old. His boss actually asked him "Aren't you ashamed of yourself bringing that little girl out here?" The Cowboss didn't even correct him and tell him I was 24! Before I left that afternoon we made plans for him to come to my house for dinner on Tuesday.
Of course the one evening I make plans to do anything would be the one my dad would need my help moving cows, so I left a note for the Cowboss saying I would be home just as soon as I got home and to make himself at home until I got there. He sat in his pickup in my drive way for 45 minutes waiting for me. Then, I was so frazzled by having him there and being so late I burned the pork chops. It took a large glass of wine to sooth my nerves and relax.
But, my dog adored him and the Cowboss didn't quit me there. Our weekends turned into taking turns driving 100 miles to see each other. My dog Buck would go to school with me Fridays so we could spend the weekend in Bruneau with the Cowboss. I would take my saddle and help him with calving, doctoring, and processing, when he came to my house we slept in and watched tv. By May we were talking about getting married and I knew I couldn't teach another year. The past year had been too hard on me, so he talked me into moving to camp with him when I got done with school and got me a job cowboying.
We were engaged in June and married in August. My sister and maid of honor in her toast said "I hope as you look back on your lives together you remember today as the day you loved each other the least, and your love for each other will grow more each day." We will have been together for 9 years in October, married for 8 in August, and I love him a lot more today and I did when we got married. Shoot, I love him a lot more today than I did yesterday. Yesterday he really pissed me off! ;)
(Photo Courtesy of "Awesome" Heidi Stevens)!