Growing up, we were the kids that had to do CHORES. We were also in the corral, riding and working cows as soon as we could talk.
There wasn’t time for going to movies, or being in EVERY extra-curricular activity, or “hanging out” after school. there was work to be done. IT WAS SO UNFAIR.
“All my friends get to have a job in town – why can’t I?”
“All my friends get to have their own car – why can’t I?”
“All my friends get to sleep till noon on Saturday – why do I have to get up and WORK?”
ITS NOT FAIR.
We missed out on EVERYTHING. It was so UNFAIR.
What DID I learn while I was stuck at home working?
I learned to listen. To my dad, my mom, God. They knew was was best for me.
I learned to treat tje land and the animals with respect – they are our livelihood.
I learned how to work. HARD. Did it hurt me at all to get up at 6 a.m. to milk the cow EVERY DAY? Nope. And i had one hell of a grip.
I learned you get out of life what you put into it.
I learned how to read a cow. How to know when to zig when she zags. How to tell when she’s bluffing, and how to get out of the way when she’s not.
I learned the more kids you have, the more free labor you have. then again, my parents did feed me and clothe me and house me, so I guess that’s a pretty good paycheck.
I learned there’s more than one way to skin a cat, but if you’re not going to do it daddy’s way, you’d better be damn sure your way is going to work!
I learned to speak up. Turns out, the old man might be open to trying something new if you can just muster the courage to suggest it.
I learned your horse really can be your best friend. AND he makes a great fall guy when the cow gets away that you’ve spent 20 minutes sorting out.
I learned to think like MacGyver. Who needs to buy new parts when you have twine and duct tape?
I learned that no matter how bad it is, it can always be worse.
I learned that growing up working alongside your siblings and your parents really isn’t that bad.
I learned that money isn’t everything. My parents taught us to do what we could with what we had. We always had food on the table, and we never missed a holiday. I appreciated my parents as a kid, but I appreciate how hard they worked for us so much more now that I’m in their shoes.
I learned that growing up in the country, getting dirty, working your heart out is SO much better than growing up in the city with all the finest things, not even knowing where your food comes from.
Most importantly, I learned that doing what you love with who you love is the most important thing in the whorld, and I thank God every day that He has provided this life for my family.
They say the American cowboy is a dying breed, but I disagree. We’re still alive and well, all over the country. But, in the words of Chris LeDoux, you just can’t see us from the road.
Until next time,