Life on a ranch can be hard sometimes but oh, so worth it. This is the case with rancher’s wife, Letty East. WesternWomen.com was eager to see what life is like on a ranch, so we sat down with Letty to learn about hers.
Letty grew up on a small ranch with her dad, brothers and sisters and later became a nurse. After marrying her husband, she moved to his ranch, Santa Fe Ranch. Now, her days include taking care of the household and making sure everyone on the ranch is taken care of and fed.
Were there any adjustments along with moving to the ranch?
Letty: “It wasn’t too much of a change. The ranch is about 30 miles from town, McAllen. I would say though, I had to adapt to the noises of the ranch. Right outside of our window the roosters start crowing at 4:00 in the morning! I have to have a noise machine on my side of the bed.”
What was it like when you first moved to the ranch?
Letty: Well when I first moved, I developed an allergy to the horses. It was 3 to 4 years before they got under control. But when I was younger, I grew up on a small ranch with my dad, brothers and sisters, I was ok [around horses]. Also, when I’m in town I know I need to head back to the ranch around 3:00 PM because after that is when there’s a lot of people starting to be around town and traffic.”
What is it like being married to a rancher and living on a ranch?
Letty: “I like go out on the ranch with my husband, but for a ‘little drive’ it ends up taking forever, about 2 to 3 hours! It is fun and at the same time there’s heartache and worry. Like when there are fires–I always want to make sure he’s ok, or if any cattle are to get out, that he is ok on the highway. There is a lot of things people don’t think of on a ranch, and people don’t know the struggles of ranch life. Everything is modern now, part of rounding up the cattle has to be done by helicopter because there aren’t enough cowboys to do the work.”
What does a Western Woman mean to you?
Letty: When I think of western women I think of the old pictures of my husband’s grandmother, Alice East, and aunt, Lica East. They lived the ranch life day in and day out, rode horseback, breathed cattle and horses, and their skin was hard from the sun. They wore chaps and hats, and they weren’t Hollywood. There aren’t many like that anymore.”