Never Burn Your Moving Boxes: A True Tale of a Real-Life Cowboy Wife (Paperback)

Never Burn Your Moving Boxes: A True Tale of a Real-Life Cowboy Wife By Jolyn Young Cover Image

Never Burn Your Moving Boxes: A True Tale of a Real-Life Cowboy Wife (Paperback)

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A young woman's struggle with marriage and motherhood on some of the most remote ranches in the American West.


Jolyn Young grew up in the "real" northern California--the forgotten area at the tip-top of the state with small towns, extreme poverty, and about 40 miles to the Oregonian mountains. In a childhood defined by a subdivision, she decided she wanted to be a cowboy, and two years out of college, she saw that dream through, taking a job at a Nevada ranch in the search for a lifestyle subsisting of horses, cattle, and the wide open range.


Falling in love was never part of the plan.


Jim Young was tall, strong, and could ride a bronc and rope a steer like no one's business. And before she knew it Jolyn found her cowboyin' dreams overtaken by a new and intoxicating cowboy reality. With long days side by side in the saddle, nights sharing a bedroll, and the deep satisfaction that came with hard physical work in a place filled with natural beauty, it seemed life was all a strong-willed young woman might want it to be.


But when a baby-to-be suddenly spun her wild romance into a very practical marriage, and one decrepit ranch trailer home led to the next, Jolyn found her young family desperately seeking stability in what is by definition a transient lifestyle that moves with the seasons. Often hours from the nearest grocery store and half-a-day from the closest hospital, pregnancy, childbirth, and illness required a do-it-yourself mentality. With days, sometimes weeks on her own as Jim worked the farthest reaches of whatever ranchlands they currently called home--and first with one child to care for...and eventually with three--Jolyn fought profound loneliness, finding comfort in writing and company in her camera.


As the cowboy lifestyle pulled them further toward the brink of civilization and Jim's drinking became a liability, losing him jobs and sending them packing, again, to yet another, different, distant cow camp, Jolyn struggled with the knowledge that she was choosing a life of scrubbing filthy mobile home floors and bunkhouse bathrooms in order to keep her family together. It would take leaving it, and Jim, for her to determine whether a world built on risk could coexist with the responsible mother she had needed to become.


With a memoir that is brave, honest, and heartbreakingly funny, Jolyn Young has written the story of every young adventure-seeker, every new mother, and every partner who has loved an alcoholic in a whole new light--that of a campfire, on the edge of the desert night, miles away from cell phone reception.

Jolyn Young writes about the comical side of livingon a rural cattle ranch in the great American West on her blog and for WesternHorseman magazine. Her story, and that of her family, was featured in thedocumentary film Cowboys: A Documentary Portrait. Never Burn YourMoving Boxes is her first book.
Product Details ISBN: 9781646011766
ISBN-10: 1646011767
Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books
Publication Date: September 26th, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English