Just five short years ago I was lamenting the fact that Partner had spent a fortune turning an ugly remnant of a 1960 Ford Bronco into a fire-engine red, super-duper quail hunting machine. Unfortunately, this was only the tip of the iceberg. He then purchased a ranch. If you're thinking second home in the fashion of John McCain, scale down that image to a mesquite and rattlesnake infested piece of property with no habitable structures.
I kept referring to the acreage as "his ranch." He managed to turn the tables on me and started calling me "Partner." I don't know where he got this idea. Manipulations such as this are more my area of expertise. Anyway, it was so darn cute I just had to acquiesce. So, not only in deed, but also in spirit, I am co-owner of a small portion of Garden City, Texas.
Of course, any woman who wrote an etiquette book could hardly be expected to "squat" in the wilderness. Our first order of business was to purchase a house replete with facilities. (When one lives in the country, unbeknownst to me, one builds a septic system. I find it very unsettling that our waste is a mere hundred feet from our house, resting in some tank and then eventually seeping into the ground!)
It was only four years ago in May that they plunked our "modular house" (it sounds so much classier than double-wide) down on concrete blocks. In only a few days we were ready to move in, but they forgot to mention that we had to build our own entry steps. Normally, a revelation such as this would have severely irritated me, but I was just grateful that the house was clean, air-conditioned, and I had indoor plumbing.