“When I am an old cowgirl, I will wear too much jewelry. Turquoise and silver and pearls will hang from me by the bundles. I will say, “This bracelet came from New Mexico,” and, “These earrings came from Montana,” and each piece will tell a story.
When I am an old cowgirl, I will be humble and grounded. Some women are just never quite pretty enough to be pretentious. People will find me approachable and trustworthy. I will be more understanding than I am now.
When I am an old cowgirl, my bones will ache. My knees will be bad from all the horses I rode. I won’t be able to sit cross legged. Young kids will laugh at me when I say, “I can feel the weather changing.” But I won’t ever regret a moment of it.
I will have a granddaughter who is feisty and free. She will remind me of me. People will think she’s taking too long to get married. People will wonder if she’ll ever settle down. They’ll say she doesn’t act like a lady. I’ll just smile and listen and let her be.
I will own one good horse. He will be gentle and sure footed. He will look after me and I will look after him. I’ll love him but he won’t ever be like the horses I used to own. The quick and catty horses of my youth will have faded into a distant memory.
When I am an old cowgirl, I will still enjoy a cold beer. I will sip on it as I sit on my porch on a hot day. And then I will have another.
I will look back and remember my little black truck and single axle trailer. I will say, “Now that was a rodeo rig.” I won’t remember how the truck didn’t pull very well and how it was awfully cold when I had to sleep in the trailer. Details like that really don’t matter much to an old cowgirl.
When I am an old cowgirl, I won’t be so hard-headed. Old age will soften me. I’ll laugh when I remember how stubborn I used to be. I’ll become kind and soft hearted.
I will tend the garden. I’ll bake pies and casseroles and cookies and do all the things I never thought I was cut out for. I will keep my house clean. I will be happy doing it.
I will have more time. More time for reading, for writing, for the people I love. Life won’t move so fast and there will be fewer worries. An old cowgirl doesn’t get caught up in the little things. An old cowgirl doesn’t bother with feeling frazzled.
I will keep my head held high when I have to start attending the funerals of all the other old cowgirls. I will cry for them, of course. But I will remember our younger days and the good lives we’ve lived. Some of us will die rich and some of us will die poor but we will all feel lucky that we died as old cowgirls.
When I am an old cowgirl and it has finally come for my time to be up, I want someone to get on the fastest horse they own. I want them to spread my ashes at a dead run on a windy day. Let me float across the land. Don’t put me in a box.
Because old cowgirls aren’t meant to be fenced in.”