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Life After the Ranch
Bill Cooke Lisa Cooke Vienna Cooke Lacey Cooke Hannah Cooke Maura Finkelstein Rob Wright Shaun Terhune Anders Heintz Johnny Ferguson Jared Ficklin Robby Cabezuela
Q&A with Lacey Cooke
Lacey Cooke
Q: What have you done since you left the ranch?

A: It's my senior year this year, so I'm wrapping up high school. It was definitely a very surreal experience to come back to the 21st century. I thought that I would be so happy to get back into that lifestyle I was so used to, but actually I found it a little bit stressful. I did dishes twice a day on the ranch using baking soda and lye soap and corn husks as scrubbers. I did it twice a day with the flies all in my face and it was awful. So to come home and see a dishwasher was just like I could hear the "Hallelujah Chorus."

Q: Have you put your fire-starting skills to use?

A: I haven't started any fires since I've been home, but now I know that if I ever get lost or stranded in the wilderness I am fully equipped to start a fire using flint and steel. Maybe I should get steel heels for my shoes so I'll always have steel with me. We're used to cooking over an open fire. So to have a stove and ovens where you control the temperature, at first it was weird to try to get back into that system of not having to check it every three minutes or stand over it while it's cooking.

Q: What do you miss most about Texas?

A: I miss having a very simple routine each day, knowing that you're going to wake up and go milk the cow, make breakfast, and start the fire. Here everything is instant gratification. Everything is fast, fast, fast, fast, fast, and sometimes it's enough to make your head spin. You want everything to slow down for a minute and see if you can actually take in and appreciate some of the things that you are doing.

Q: What did you learn on the ranch?

A: Some lessons about life that I took away were staying grounded with who you are and what you believe in and not trying to conform or to be a little chameleon that can just be anybody that they need to be to blend in. I think it's important to be who you are and to not be afraid that not everyone's going to like you.

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