Day 14 – Postcards from the Heart

Oct 15, 4:00am

Mom, for some reason when I was dating and wanting to date, I didn’t imagine that I would be wanted by a typically handsome guy. Its a sad and unnecessary part of my inner drama. I married Russell not for his looks, but the beautiful soul I sensed lived within, I have always loved his ruddy, rounded presentation though. Anyways, time has moved on, Russ is now an athlete and Morgan has grown. This picture was taken almost exactly a year ago. Morg has had quite a growth streak since then. He hugs me and we are shoulder to shoulder + heart to heart. I think he is the crush of a few girls in his class. He has this huge heart, tender soul, creative wit and a growing ruggedness. He is tall and handsome. Lately I have been marvelling how God has given me beautiful men to live with. The boy on this horse, giving leadership with humor + kindness is a piece of you!

This is a special photo. In November 2019 we decided on a whim to ask Liz Griffin to come take pictures of our final cow chase of the year, when a combined herd of 370 cow calf pairs and 10 bulls would be coming down the road. (The largest group Russell had ever trailed all at once.) Exactly 10 years prior a newspaper photographer had been out to document a chase and those epic pictures were still on our wall. It was time for an update. This chase day unfolded for me like most others, a mix of work and worry, the details of feeding a large crew a couple of nourishing meals shaping my thoughts. That was the case again that day until about 6:00 pm when in the heat of last minute work, quite frazzled, I heard my phone ding. It was a message from Liz, it contained this picture as a sneak peek from her session that day. Everything came to a standstill for a minute as I processed what I was seeing. I started to cry. Jill was with me in the kitchen, she became alarmed until I assured her everything was fine. I said to Jill, “even if there are no other pictures worth noting from this day, that one alone makes the photo shoot worthwhile.” However, there were literally dozens of epic pictures. Liz submitted this picture to a photography contest in its horizontal version which includes more cows. In a pool of more than 25,000 images she didn’t win the contest but placed very strongly with it.

This postcard is the 13th of 22 in a series, using photos taken by Liz Griffin Photography over the course of a year of ranch and family life. I shared these particular images and words with my Mom in the fall of 2020 while she was fighting cancer.