Thursday

The First & Last Roundup- Part III



Thanks for following down our country trail as we remember our western roots this week. If you’re new to the Rendezvous, you can read about what started this search here.  Part two is here.  And our little contest rules are there.  


We’re halfway thru our Rodeo Rendezvous and I’ve learned one thing:  Remembering works for me.  I’ll flip over an old photo or open an old crumpled note and *WHAM*-I’m back there as a young girl wondering how my life will turn out.   It’s surreal. 


Before my husband became my husband, he was my friend.  My best friend. I met him the second day of my college experience.  I was immediately drawn to his fun-loving personality. He was a social butterfly and a junior.  I was young, awkward and smitten.


Within a couple of months, I asked him out during TWIRP week (The Woman IRequired to Pay-what can I say?  God imparted me with a streak of boldness.  It now manifests itself in the form of bravery in posting old photos.)  


This was in the beginning stages of our friendship.  But even then, I sensed his deep country spirit, because I borrowed boots, Rocky Mountain jeans and took him two-stepping. Risky move, for a Bible college student.  Of course, I didn’t know how to dance. 


It was all part of my evil plan.  It took years to rope him in.


Digging thru old things, I found this note.




It’s a little hard to read, so let me just sum it up:  “Blah, blah, blah,you are hot, blah, blah, I will regret not snatching you up immediately, blah, la, la, did I mention you are hot, la, la, we will make beautiful babies one day, blah, blah.


I think there was something there between us, even then.  But our timing was off and my future husband went on a dating spree (this is not said in sarcasm.  When I say spree, I mean S-P-R-E-E.  Of course, this was a Christian institution, so by spree, I mean, good clean fun-above the neck.)


So.  We became friends.  We did everything together, including dating each other’s roommates.  We loved being around one another, but clearly we were too naïve to recognize sexual tension and undeniable attraction.  We were slow.  It took awhile.


During the denial period of our friendship we took a little college road trip.  We went to a rodeo, with another couple.  I set him up with an old friend of mine.  I just knew she would be a perfect match.


 


Thank God my future husband isn’t in to girls with hairy arms because that’s why there wasn’t a second date.  Providence, I tell you.  (I can’t imagine why her arms were hairy).


That’s me at the rodeo with my date.


 


Anyhoo, at said rodeo, one memory has stuck with me for more than fifteen years now (so much so that I still have the ticket stub from 1992!)  We were watching the calf roping and I just couldn’t get over how VIOLENT it was.  I gasped and covered my eyes and even squealed all while fluttering my lashes and dropping my hanky.


 


And then I leaned over to my future hubby and said this:


“Does that rope going around the little calves neck hurt them?”  I asked with wide eyes.


And his answer:


“Oh, no.  They like it.”


“Really?”  Boy, I defined gullible. 


“Oh yes, they love it.  They like being chased. That’s why they run.”


“Oh I get it,” I said.  “They run because they are having fun. Like a game.”


Oh.  It gets worse.  I returned to college and told everyone this amazing fact about calves.


It was years before I realized they were running because that’s what calves do when they are being chased.  Deep, I know.


I also developed quite the reputation for being stupid.  But give me a break, will ya?  I grew up in a very strict home where home permanents were given for fun.  And in some societies, innocence is desired. In other words, Bible College was actually liberating.


I’ll save our fast and furious courtship for another week-long post blitz, but long story short, we eventually got it: The love thing.


My future hubby traded in his boots for a Bible.  We moved a lot.  And started a family. 


FAST FORWARD to this:


 


Notice anything familiar?  There’s THAT belt buckle.  The first time I saw it was when my husband rediscovered it for our son’s picture.  I thought it was hideous.  It was so big and well, western.  But that baby makes the buckle look good, doesn’t he?


My husband’s parents retired to rural Oklahoma a few years ago and bought a working cow farm. Now, me, when I retire it will be to luxury.  Or at least within 5 minutes of  a Wal Mart.  This is when I really got it.  I saw my husband in his element when we’d visit. He was a natural.  Cowboy, that is.


 


I’ve watched in horror as he’s branded, de-horned and corralled cows with his dad.  I have covered my children’s eyes in horror and prayed they wouldn’t have nightmares or figure out where calf fries really came from. 


 


We even bear the mark of true hicks.  A family brand.


There’s even been talk about buying our own land some day, near a city, mind you.  Preferably, with a mall nearby. 


Visiting my in-laws farm, usually puts us in the mood for some country.  We went with that feeling and took our little cowpokes to the Texas Livestock Show, once.  It started out fun, even adventurous. 


 


But a day at the Rodeo, is a long day.  Due to limited parking you have to ride a bus in/out of the rodeo grounds.  On the way home, my then two-year-old son had a meltdown of ginormous proportions. 


I’m almost certain the people on that bus are still referring to it, almost four years later.  The stares, The finger-pointing.  I didn’t follow my best mommy rule:  Leave while the kids are still having fun.


 


This was seconds before the tantrum . . .notice no car seat or seat belts, that proved to be an issue considering he got up and ran around the moving vehicle, screaming,”No, Mommy,I dona wona sit down” all while throwing himself across the laps of strangers.


It’s a beautiful memory, really.


So moving, we made it our last Rodeo visit. For years.  Until now.


Tune in tomorrow to see how THAT family takes the bull by the horns!


Food for the Soul:

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer. 29:11

2 comments:

The Apron Queen said...

Oh, getting the family brand! How hilarious!

Confessions of an Apron Queen: http://anapronaday.blogspot.com

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