Julie Carter

Welcome to the West as I see it

Within these pages, you will find the end result of a lot of living and laughing, finally put between book covers to share with the world. A laugh is never a better laugh than when it can be shared and shared again.

I hope you choose to own a copy of my book, Cowgirl Sass and Savvy. It is a selection of some of the first stories individually published in a syndicated column by the same name that I have written weekly since 2002. They offer you a peek into ranch and cowboy life that isn't what you see as you drive by or what you read in the glossy slick magazines selling cowboy clothes, furniture and adventures.

And most of all, I hope the stories bring you, at the very least, a smile and a good laugh. No better gift could I offer you.

I also offer you a glimpse of this rural area as I see it through my camera lens. Shop the Mercantile page for posters that I have combined my photography with words I have written. Also there are calendars showcasing some of my favorite photos from this year. A link to my landscape photography website will let you browse through what I see when I travel down the dirt roads of the West.

Julie's Weblog

January 23, 2009

Cowboy wedding — from the Hope Chest to the gravy

Filed under: General — Julie Carter @ 11:42 am

By Julie Carter

Having secured a sort of left-handed proposal of marriage from her cowboy last Sadie Hawkins’ Day, the soon-to-be-bride began to work on her Hope Chest.

You don’t hear much about that tradition in this day and time, but pragmatic future brides of cowboys still know the wisdom of having a few essentials before the check book becomes his sole territory.

While shopping for linens at Big Lots, this prospective blushing bride found a fantastic world-beater bargain in paper towels. She had already decided that the reception menu would include barbeque ribs, beans and potato salad so paper towels would be a priority.

The ones on sale just happened to be decorated with orange and turquoise designs which inspired her to select those colors for here wedding theme.

As planning progressed, she found the perfect dress. It fit, was in her price range and was bright orange. Nobody was going to miss her at this fiesta.

The bridesmaids’ dresses arrived in a stunning shade of turquoise. There was a slight hitch as one of the bridesmaids ordered hers in a size smaller than actually required.

The bridesmaid’s Plan A involved a diet before the wedding. The bride’s Plan B was to line up a cousin who was the right size.

Her cowboy was not as totally committed to this project as she would have liked, and in an effort to get him involved, she decided they should each write their own vows.

Her vows were very lovely prose, mentioning hearts, flowers, lifelong commitment, a steady partner and love eternal. When his were finally, reluctantly, presented for inspection, she was somewhat taken aback.

The only thing he had planned on saying was “I do. Let’s party.”

Of course, they were going to be married outside on the hill overlooking the ranch. The setting would be beautiful. Concerned about her dress, the bride borrowed the long carpet used for the sidewalk at the Post Office to walk down the aisle.

The boom box was tested and required only an occasional slap on the side to keep it playing. Waylon and Willie would do fine.

Helpful neighbors had designated who was to carry the shotgun, who was to usher the guests away from the keg and to seating, who was to keep the dogs quiet during the ceremony and who was to dig the pit for the barbeque.

For quite some time the bride had been waiting for a ring to appear. On their next trip to a real town she borrowed her cowboy’s credit card and headed to the nearest wholesale jewelers. There she bought a ring that fit perfectly and looked almost authentic.

Only detail left was to line up a few married cowboy friends to watch her groom. That faraway look in his eyes was beginning to be worrisome. She knew that married males would be more dependable. Something about “if I can cowboy-up, so can he.”

After all, the bride-to-be was a good cook and these guys liked good food. They also knew they’d be eating regularly at the new couple’s outfit when they neighbored at cattle workings. Certainly, it was smart plan to make sure he married somebody that could cook.

Her good cooking won the heart of her cowboy and the loyalty of the neighbors. Never underestimate the power of a perfect chicken fried steak and good gravy.

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