Clueless in Central Texas

Someday I will write a job description covering every single item Jerry and I have had to develop some level of competence in while building Down Home Ranch, starting with trenching a sewer line (thank you yet again, St. David’s!) right on up through achieving licensure as an ICF-MR facility.

(All in all, just between you and me, I’d rather trench a sewer line.)

But never mind, today’s post is really about one skill set in particular, that of…detective.

Example: A few weeks ago Sterling’s mom Cecilia called me and said that Sterling had told her he didn’t want to live at the Ranch anymore and neither did Kelly so he was planning to go live with Cecilia, and Kelly was planning to come back and live with Jerry and me. Did I have any idea what he was talking about?

First I’d heard of it. I promised to do some sleuthing.

So I caught Sterling just as he came on duty in the barn and asked if I could talk with him. I asked him about what his mom had said.

“No,” he replied, “I not say that.”

Well, not in so many words, but was it true, I asked, that he didn’t want to live at the Ranch anymore?

“I love the Ranch. I do something bad?”

“No, no, no,” I said. “It’s just your mom said you called and she thought you said you wanted to go back and live with her.”

Sterling looked down at the manure fork he was holding and stubbed the tines into the dirt, a look of infinite sadness spreading over his face.

“I want to marry your daughter,” he said glumly.

A clue!

“So this has to do with getting married?” I asked. “What does that have to do with living with your mom?”

“Don say we not get married and be at Ranch.”


I went in search of Don. He was busily sending his Operations staff off on daily assignments, and really needed me hanging around like a back-stage groupie. Nonetheless, I waited until he had a chance to catch his breath and said I was sure this was a misunderstanding, but… Sterling and Kelly thought he’d said that they couldn’t get married and live at the Ranch.

Nope, never said that. Didn’t know what they were talking about, couldn’t imagine what…oh, wait a minute.

He was in the truck a few days before with Kyle and Sterling, and they both wanted to talk about their girlfriends and when they would get married. Don had his mind on business at hand and said something like, “Guys, right now we’ve got Ranch work to do here and I’m not talking about getting married.”

Somehow this translated into: “You can’t get married and still live at the Ranch.”

So. This business about going back to live with parents was the solution Kelly and Sterling had come up with to a serious problem.

Bless their hearts!  How awful that they’d thought they had to choose between the Ranch and everything they love about it—friendships, jobs, activities—and each other.

But it was a bargain they were willing to make.

I got them together at break time and explained what I was pretty sure had happened. Soon they were all smiles again.

Still, a mystery persists. We see each other every day. Why didn’t they ask me, or Don, for clarification? Why did they feel they had to face this and come up with a solution all by themselves?

I’ll probably never know, but it sure doesn’t lessen my admiration for their ingenuity in coming up with it in the first place.