It's 11:00pm on a warm July night...the time of year when the clock doesn't tell us it's the end of another day; the day ends when work is done. Way out in a pasture, the headlights of the swather bob up and down as it moves along, over the bumpy ground...its shape in the moonlight like a giant grasshopper. I hear the chugging of the motor, faint as it goes over the hillside, cutting the grass that will soon become hay. The smell is strong and sweet, even from the back porch. I wonder to myself when Ranch Boss will be done, and when he'll wake up in the morning and start over once again.
The barn lights are still on, waiting for the truck full of boys and trailer load of hay to return home from a field where we baled earlier today. Just a few hours ago, I learned that my help wasn't needed...there were enough boys to stack bales, and Carson could handle the driving. Oh that's right...I almost forgot...he's 7, so my driving services are no longer necessary. I headed to the kitchen to bake some brownies and get food for tomorrow started.
It's funny how things creep up on you.
When we were married, Keith dreamed of moving to Montana and becoming a rancher. I half dreamed, and half wondered if it would ever happen. Mixed in with my wondering was a little bit of "hope not", because I love this part of the world that we call home.
But here we are, almost 17 years as husband and wife, and that ranching dream turned real while I wasn't paying attention. This past weekend, we were talking to a woman in the Denver airport. She grew up on a ranch in Texas, and out of nowhere, the words,
"we're first generation farmers" slipped out of my mouth.
Wait. We are?
That's right. We are.
I feel like I have to talk myself into that statement, since I don't really believe it. Keith has been working toward it all these years, and while I've been cooking meals, paying bills, watching boys grow...and wondering how so much hay and dirt could end up inside one house... it happened. Last week, Keith asked if I thought we needed a new car or new tractor first. I nearly can't believe I suggested that a new tractor makes more sense.
Things have certainly changed.
Now it's 11:30pm, and I can hear the truck and trailer
coming down the road.
Soon the washing machine will be working hard
to wash off the dirt from today.
Soon the bedrooms will be full of sleeping boys.
And soon the sun will rise and the work will begin again.
Yes, this is real.
This really is my life.
And while I continue to rub my eyes in disbelief,
I'll be thankful that it's mine.