By Brandee Gillham
The Cowboys Wife 

I'd Be Safer in the Tractor


March 24, 2021

I have recently discovered why a majority of ranch women work offsite. I used to think it was about finances, retirement, career goals, etc. I don’t think any of these are the MAIN reason. Simply, it is safer. Safer to not know the craziness that happens when we are not around on the ranch.

As my cowboy and I were discussing preparation for the coming March blizzard we brought up the idea of putting the dozer attachment on the tractor. It was put on the to-do list and that seemed to be the end of it.

Since I was in a new role as my cowboy’s right hand woman I decided I should ask what was entailed in that process. I should have stopped right there…

“Well, babe, we will get things lined up, then you’ll lay under the tractor, I will drive it forward….”

“Wait, what did you just mention? Did you say that you will drive over me while I am laying on the ground?”

Cowboy: “Yes, but that isn’t the important part…you’ll need to put the pin in the hole at exactly the right time, but you’ll be tempted to stick your finger in that hole to see if things are lining up. Don’t do that, because I could easily sheer off your finger.”

At this moment in our conversation my eyes are about to bug out of my head. What in the cotton-pickin’ world goes on while I am not around him? How often does he dance with danger and demise and walks inside, sits down for a meal, and makes no mention of all of these near death experiences?

My mind kept going back to our first year of marriage when we were living in an incredibly remote part of Colorado and our water pipes froze for 12 days. My cowboy climbed under the stone foundation and spent hours upon hours in an 8” crawl space trying to work on this little problem. I crawled under there for about 3.75 seconds and nearly passed out from claustrophobia.

I am willing to skydive off a cliff, ride a nausea-inducing roller coaster, but put me in a small space and I am a goner, particularly if I feel like there might be a crushing weight above me.

As my breathing came more quickly just thinking about it, I asked my cowboy, “What if I drove the tractor instead, and you crawled under the rolling death trap and finger remover?”

My cowboy calmly replied, “I think it would be safer for me if I am driving the tractor.”

I quickly retorted, “I think it would be safe for ME, if I was driving the tractor. Are you insinuating that I am not a safe tractor driver and you are fearing for your life OR you would rather be responsible for running me over? Neither of these are the correct answer, by the way! Babe, if I’m going to be really honest, I would rather practice roping a bull.”

“Oh good! Those were my plans for next week.”

Ladies and gents, I may need to find myself a job in town… it will just be safer!


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