My Love has always spent August at her parents’ ranch. She helps with the August work: cutting, raking and putting up hay; riding fence; chasing strays; doctoring cattle; working on trucks and tractors and implements.
She rides her horse back into the wilderness. She honky-tonks with her high school friends.
Her whole family – parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins – gets together for a big cookout. Steak for the adults, burgers and dogs for the kids, potato salad, green beans, corn, tomatoes, cucumber slices, berry pies with home-made ice cream, home-baked bread.
In years past, the main sport at the cookout was teasing my Love about her lack of a love life. At last year’s cookout, she came out to her siblings. The next day, her sister outed her to the minister of her church – the minister who had been counseling me. The minister set us up a few days later.
My Love left for home on Friday.
I’ll join her out there this coming Friday – the first anniversary of the night we met. We’re having dinner at the same restaurant.
Her family cookout will be Saturday.
Everybody will be there this year: brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandparents, uncles, aunts, great uncles, great aunts, cousins, second cousins, even some third cousins. They are coming from three states.
Everybody wants to meet the girlfriend. (That would be me.) My family is coming, too.
My Love’s family is unusually close-knit, even out to second and third cousins. They are also hilariously boisterous. Should be a lot of fun.
After the cookout (and Sunday services at my old church), we’ll spend a few days at a “luxury guest ranch” in the mountains and the weekend with my parents. I don’t know what the sleeping arrangements will be. I’m not going to push it.
I’m less than 6 months into my new job; I can’t take off more than a week. My Love will come back with me and play Suzie Homemaker for the rest of the month.