I have a sentimental side. I do- really! I kind of switch back and forth between sentimental and ridiculous. And Sara, bless her soul, just brought it out in me. I just finished reading her post "Blessed" and I really understood what she was saying. I almost always do- I'm really close to her, she is such an incredible person, I feel blessed to know her. I am blessed for so many things, so here I believe I will talk about it. Sara, I'll try not to copy-cat your own beautiful post, since I felt it so much.
I am not only blessed. I am purely amazed by my blessings and how much I have been blessed. Alot of people always say, "I am so blessed, I have 3 great kids, a fantastic husband, I love our community, etc etc etc". But I am not blessed in the same way. I am blessed by this lifestyle that is so different from any other.
How many people do you know... Who are incredibly eager to get up at 4:20 in the morning. To walk outside and feel the chill of the fall air kiss your cheeks, and hear almost nothing. Almost. All you can hear are the horses nickering and snorting so softly, it's almost like they are whispering among themselves. To hear only the crunch of boots on gravel and the merry jingle of spurs that is so quiet and yet, so loud in the early morning. This is the time of day that sends chills up and down my spine, and I don't believe I can explain why. The sound of the horses crunching grain or hay stems between strong molars, the hands' voices low accompanied by a few chuckles and maybe a cuss word or two to a horse who's not so eager to be caught this morning.
How many people do you know... Who have just gathered a 9 section (640 acres to a section) pasture, spent an hour sorting on the herd, moved part of the herd two pastures over, worked 74 cows through the shoot, and are dead-beat tired but still having the time of their life?
When I crawl in bed at night, I get to review the day in my head. Everything from the feel of cold leather reins in my hands, to the bronc ride you witnessed (and the fellow who rode him is just plain cool because he could ride that bronc), to the numerous antics of the dayhands during teh day that made you double over in laughter. And when you crawl into bed, you are lulled to sleep by the song of the cows and calves calling to each-other. This "noise" may annoy many people and prevent them from sleeping. But to me, it is just another melody, just another song of this life. The song of laughter. The song of the early-birds. The song of the rain pattering against your saddle, your hat, your jacket. The song of the wind. The song of the cattle.
The song of the cowboy. (That sounded really cheesey but whatever.) There are alot of people who work hard, I know that. Who work really hard and hardly ever see their family. But really, I think my Daddy works harder than almost anybody. 9-5 are 'normal' hours. That brings us back to my previous post. We are not normal- in fact, let's completely rearrange those numbers backwards. 5-9 are Daddy's hours. It amazes me, his work ethic. This ranching, being a cowboy, it isn't something you do for the money. You can't do it for the money, because the money isn't enough to drive you to work unless the work is what you love. And I know, as I mentioned yesteday, that if Daddy's paycheck was less than what it is, he wouldn't work a bit less. He works hard because he knows it's right.
There aren't alot of people in this world who do what is right anymore. I don't think my Daddy has ever, ever told a lie. I mean, maybe he blamed leaving the steer pen gate open on his sibling when he was younger, but I mean.... Like a grown-up lie. He always tells the truth, he always does what is right, he is respected by almost all who know him, and he is my Daddy. That is one of my largest blessings.
I am just fascinated by all of my life. There is nothing like it. And I feel like this very love of my life comes into full bloom in Fall. The feel of Fall. There is nothing to explain it, to be honest. There is just a feel to it, especially on the ranch. You can smell it. Spring kind of blends into Summer. Winter kind of blends into Spring. But Fall- Summer just stops. Because you wake up one morning, walk outside... And you smell it. You really do smell it. It has a smell. There is that common aroma to Fall. But there is also my Fall smell. And that is the beautiful aroma of branding smoke.
You can pretty much divide the year into seasons by happenings on the ranch. Winter turns to Spring when the cattle are moved off of Shinry (a plant very thick on parts of this ranch, that is poisonous when it first buds out). Spring turns to Summer whenever... Well I guess mostly it just gets hot and the guys start breaking colts and doing stuff in the shop, trying not to spend too much time in the scalding heat. Summer turns to Fall whenever it's time for Fall Works and whenever the branding smoke lingers on the air. And Fall turns to Winter whenever the guys load the feeders onto the trucks and drive around delivering cow cake to all the cattle.
But of all seasons, Fall is my favorite. Branding smoke.... ahhh. It should be bottled and sold as perfume, I tell you. I love the smell of it. I love whenever the crew comes together and everybody's stomach hurts from laughing so much at the rest of the crew. When you gain 10 pounds from my Momma's good cooking. There is just a feel to Fall that makes my heart soar and I just know what love is, right then. I am in love with my life.
Lots of people ride. Live in the country. Get up early. But it's not the same as my life, as living on a ranch. There are also no people like cowboys. Probably the absolute best people I know outside of my family (and "my family" includes your family Sara) are cowboys, they own a ranch. Don and his two sons, Ky and Kohl. Just fantastic people. They are respectable people and the kind of people you should model yourself after.
Being out there at 5:30 in the morning, shivering within my layers of clothing, and I hear only the pat, pat, pat, pat of my horse's hooves tapping the ground. I look around me- see no cattle, only the guys dropped off to the left and right of me. So I begin to watch the sun ride above the horizon. The horizon that has been painted a brilliant neon pink, bright peach-orange, the clouds themselves also tinted these magnificent colors that are not to be found in a Crayon box, only in the sky.
Some people don't understand why I love this life. And I can't really even scratch the surface of why, because words cannot express feelings. I think that's what love really is... An emotion. Emotions cannot be expressed with words. And when two people feel the same emotion, the exact same one, that is love. That is why I love my best friend, Sara. We feel the same love for this life. It's why I so dearly love my Momma and Daddy. It is why I love the guys who help us on the ranch. Because we all feel that same love.
Alot of people are like, "Ugh! How can you live out there?! I would die of boredom!" There is nothing boring about my life, nothing at all, and people just don't understand how much I am blessed and how passionate I am about who I am and where I live. But that's okay, because there is no way I could ever understand why somebody would want to live in the city. Almost everybody who comes out here, as soon as they step out of their vehicle, they say, "Wow. It's so... quiet out here!" And when I go to town I just want to scream "SHUTUP!" There's people yelling, talking, phones ringing, horns honking, machines humming, I HATE it. Out here it is not exactly quiet, though. The sounds are just subtle. It's like adding spices to a casserole or something. You put too much and it ruins everything! Just enough spice, and it enhances it. The sounds out here enhance it. At night, there are the crickets, the coyotes singing (one of my favorite sounds EVER), the bulls groaning. During the day, there are cattle calling, the rustle of antelope darting across the pasture, birds chirping. And the noises I described on a Fall Works' morning. Oh, there are sounds. And they are perfect.
And I not only love my life. I am proud of it. So proud sometimes I think I'll just explode. I am proud of my Daddy and I am proud of what he does. And I am proud of my life.
I am not only blessed. I am truly amazed by my blessings. God has given me so much and made me feel like I am truly special to Him. He has given me so much that I don't deserve, never have and never will. I am so disobedient to Him and yet he loves me continually. He made me feel like I am important, because he has taken me aside and given me something not alot of people have. My life.