A Little Bit Western


More Than Meets the Eye

Apr 13, 2016

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what if one beholder has 20/20 vision and the other beholder is somewhat blind?

My Other Half and I agree or at least compromise on pretty much everything in our daily lives, however I realized pretty early on that when it came to eyesight, there was a deep chasm between us. In fact, we couldn’t be more different. He could see things far away and in great detail, and I couldn’t. He could enter a building after being outdoors and not think twice, but I had to stop and wait for my glasses to defrost. He could hop out of bed and see instantly and, you guessed it, I could not. Working in the various “offices” that one has on a ranch, I would notice our differences often.

“You see that coyote over there on that hill?” my Other Half would ask as we moved through a pasture.

“Er….where? I think so…maybe?” I would squint in the direction I thought I should and look as hard and earnestly as I could, and often still saw nothing. Unless the coyote, or any subject that he was pointing out, was extremely large, slow-moving, or better yet, dead and immobile, it would have long scampered over the hill by the time I could ever spot it.

Gathering cows, my husband would regularly explain how I should bring pairs up through a draw towards a distant gate that he would make reference to which was apparently on the horizon somewhere. Initially, I would ask questions until I was certain I knew the specific gate on a particular knoll that he was talking about. After a few years I’d save us all the hassle and say “yeah, sure, that gate over there,” and start gathering cattle, hoping I would figure out what Eagle Eyes really meant when the time came. Not exactly a solid plan for either herding livestock or preserving a marriage.

Having to wear glasses is a First World Problem, really. There are far worse things in life than having imperfect eyesight, and I got by for decades by wearing contact lenses, and when that failed, I had glasses to rely on. But….it was a First World Problem that I knew could potentially be solved by laser eye surgery. After looking into it, visiting with friends and family who had undergone the procedure, and going through the appropriate optometry channels, I went ahead and booked my appointment last May on the day we happened to be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. Who doesn’t deserve a night away in the city with the love of your life on a special occasion? (Even if you have gauze and plastic shields taped to your eyes and are solely dependent on said husband for the following 24 hours).

When we planned our wedding in May so many years ago, we discovered that on a ranch, there are bad times to get married and there are really bad times to get married. The same holds true for scheduling a voluntary eye procedure, but I made it through the brief and relatively simple convalescence fairly well, even if I did have to tape goggles to my head for a day or two when we were sorting pairs for breeding pastures. The lasting results (for me) were worth the discomfort, dust-preventing contraptions, and yep, even the money. This summer, when I was baling into to the sun, I no longer had to squint through my old glasses, I could throw on a pair of sunglasses and see just fine. This winter, when we walked through a barn, I didn’t have to wander around in a fog. And when Old Eagle Eyes can spot things that seem to be several miles away, through the magic of technology, now I can too.

There is always more to life than what meets the eye, but it sure helps when you have better than 20/20 vision.

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