Sunday, January 1, 2017

Did We Miss the Exit for 2016??

The calendar on my computer screen early this morn read January 1, 2017; I blinked a bunch of times, refocused, and still it was there. It's for real, folks - the year 2016 has come and gone. I can't possibly be the only one thinking this ride called life just keeps moving faster.
Was there an exit for 2016? Did we miss it?

We saw more red babies born in our pastures than ever before.
We watched Scout, that little tri-colored pup, grow up.
Sophie, the sweet old farm dog, moved a little slower & patiently tolerated the now very big pup.
The frozen, sparkly ground of winter thawed into a green & muddy spring.
Up high the snow remained for us to sneak away and play.
Our bulls sold at the sale in Big Sky Country.
Rain gear and barn boots were piled high at the back porch as the rainy months went on.
We praised God for uneventful visits to the doctor. much fishing.
The family who sets up a tent in a campground at 4am in order to wake up at 5am & fish
on opening day -
well, I guess you could say they are a little crazy.
Basketball. Soccer. Baseball. Football. (breathe...)

This fun night in May we called the 
Rocking Bar H Spaghetti Western Dinner to benefit the Vasculitis Foundation - 
both a celebration of the life of Ranch Boss 5 years post-diagnosis
and a chance to raise awareness so others can also have a story like his.
(big smile)

Branding calves - that's a smell you'll never forget.
Coyotes howling - that's a sound you'll never forget.
The arrival of a new John Deere tractor is like Christmas day on a farm.
The last day of school means that now the work really begins.
Hay bales for days. And weeks. And months.
Big ones. Small ones. Square ones. Round ones. They are everywhere...
The boys (and a few girls) that filled our house, yard, barn, pastures - friends and hay crews -
I love them all.

Year 13 of Vacation Bible School in our small town - 
one awesome week where hundreds of kids and adults grow closer to God.
Who would have ever guessed when it all began in 2004? Not I.
My heart is filled with joy when I think of that week.

My grandma went to heaven.
Our families are a blessing...this we should remember.
Volunteer sunflowers filled the garden I never planted. A gift from above.
Ranch Boss said goodbye to a good horse.
The catching of giant bullfrogs in the hot summer sun. 
The Red Angus ranch tour - right here. Yes, this dream has indeed become reality.
Up high the wildflowers called, and again I snuck away... this time to hike.
Camping, swimming, & sunshine with the (great big, crazy) family. 
Wyoming road trippin'.
Ranch Racers still came back for more...a fun and brave bunch, indeed.

Back to school, and the leaves would soon change.
The red calves not so small anymore.
A house remodeled and sold.
A crazy mountain race for this girl.
Deer hunting for us all, because as your kids grow you learn to just get out there... what they love with them.
Duck much duck hunting...
but this time just the boys because Ranch Boss and I would rather sleep in now & then.
Then this whirlwind of trips - 
The Happiest (and busiest...) Place on Earth,
a cattle show & sale in "The Biggest Little City in the World",
Rocky Mountains of Colorado for me and
high mountain hunting in Montana for Ranch Boss and the older boys.
Ranch Boss brought back a broken heel as a souvenir. Keeping it interesting.
Then we blinked and the lights of Christmas were shining everywhere,
and soon, we were celebrating the birth of Jesus.
And then sleeping through the changing of years.

No, it turns out we didn't miss the 2016 exit after all. In fact, I think it was the most scenic one we've taken yet. The small side roads so full of stories now tucked into our minds. Pretty sure we weren't doing the speed limit while we were there, but for now, that's the chapter of our life and it's all okay. 

So here we are, back on the road and looking out for the 2017 exit. I know it's coming up real quick, and can't wait to see what God has up ahead this time around. 

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