It is 5:08am on Monday. I forgot to turn my alarm off, so…..I am awake blogging now, Russ is watching Netflix. I am feeling a little stupid but it does give some moments to do this. I just asked Russ, “how would you describe yesterday?” He replied, “it was a good day….it was a great day.” There were challenges and mishaps, but overall we have much to be thankful for.
The Bar MW crew was on the trail in full force today. The work today actually started yesterday.
We have 110 cow calf pairs that spent the summer at the public pasture near Hirsch. The Bar MW cows shared various pastures with cows from the McNeil and Cowan ranches from May until now. Yesterday we worked together to get all these cows rounded up out of a 1600 acre area. We took them into a smaller holding pasture our friends Chad and Crystal Ross let us use overnight.
After yesterdays prep work at and from the public pasture, which took about 3.5 hours, it was quick to get the cows on the road this morning. A few factors in our favor meant a fast chase. Before 12 noon the cows were in McNeil’s pasture, the crew was in the McNeil’s yard and lunch was just about there.
Tomorrow morning starts with sorting cows, separating McNeil’s and Cowan’s cows from ours. It takes lots of help and co-operation, good horses and good management, and there are three ranch chiefs on hand! Then the Bar MW cows will walk another 11 miles or so to their autumn pasture. We are hopeful for sunnier skies and lighter winds. We will see what the day holds. Today held safety and good friend times. We are thankful for that.
As I write this postcard you have been gone from my life for a long time. It makes me happy to think that heaven is a realm of wholeness and dementia no longer has a grip on you. I don’t know how anything works in the realm beyond earthly life but I believe that love shapes everything. Is it possible for you to know whats up here in my world? I have no way of knowing. I write this for myself. When you were well if someone had shown you and I this picture and said, “here is a glimpse of the story in the future” I would have been stunned and disbelieving. I had preconceptions about cowboy life, about what it means to ranch and about what I needed. I wonder what you would have thought. I think your exposure to the humans and the action in this scene would stir pride in you. Dad, that is your grandson and he is a gem. That is the man with the courage necessary to take on, love and nurture your quite complicated daughter. That is a dog who owns a huge chunk of my heart. This picture is all about teamwork. Do I value teamwork so much because of how we did things at home? I am not sure. Thank you for everything you did to prepare me to love these men, the land, the creatures and God.
This picture could be very old, it has a timeless quality to it. It is not. It gets me thinking about what is timeless in life, what are the pieces that endure despite the rapid changes around us? A man, his horse and his dog are timeless, so is the power of kindness, humor, loyalty and compassion. You and Russell have in common the intention to practice these things. It sure has made a difference in my life and in the lives of our children. It seems to me to be the ingredients of excellent fatherhood.
Dad, Liz got this action shot of Morgan last month. He reminds me of you. Not that I EVER saw you on a horse but there is a lilt to his walk that puts me in mind of you…………how odd…..I have not seen you on your feet in 20 years. There is no doubt that genetics that stem from your being are unfolding in his life and it is exciting. You would enjoy him so much. He never knew the thrill of feeling your pride in him but I do my best to pass on and use what you taught me about how to treat people. He is catching it. You would be proud.
These pictures were taken by Liz Griffin about a month ago. We wanted to capture some of the work of calving season. Liz got some cute and pretty epic pictures that day. It is a joy to be able to share these great images and use them to process some of the thoughts I work through as life unfolds.