This fall and winter we have been in the process of buying calves and shipping them to the ranch. My husband and I have a system worked out. He goes to the place we are purchasing the calves, helps load them on trucks and sees them on their way down the road. I stay home and am on the receiving end. I set the gates in the corral, make sure there is feed and fresh water available, help unload trucks and collect paperwork from the drivers. The next morning I turn the cattle out into a pasture scoping out the new arrivals as I do so.

Last night I was prepared for the arrival of new calves; the only thing I had left to do was unlock the main gate that leads into the ranch. No problem. Before I left, I assigned the kids the task of cleaning up dishes and wrestling the four year old into a bathtub. I was still grinning, rather smugly, to myself that the kids were doing the dishes, when I approached the gate. My smugness faded when I found the road blocked by a fallen tree. The same road I was expecting cattle trucks to drive down in less than an hour.

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Have you seen those ranch vehicles with the nice toolboxes covered in diamond plate in the back of their pickup? Yes, well, I don’t have that. All of my gear fits quite nicely under the back seat of my pickup. This frees up the truck bed for my bi-monthly warehouse shopping spree.

 

IMG_5189But, it comes time to change a flat tire or chain up, or in this instance, drag a tree out of the way, it is a giant hassle. Why? Because first and foremost, I’m a Mom and that means I don’t travel anywhere without car seats. Unlatching three car seats, and scraping off the underlying layer of cheerios, french fries and escaped Halloween candy is a frightening task. But, last night I had no other choice and was rewarded when I finally lifted up the back seat and there was a tow strap staring back at me! I said a quick thanks for a husband who looks out for me and stocks my truck with all of the gear I need…even if he does stow it under three car seats and half-eaten lollipops.

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Compared to the horrors of ground in cookie crumbs and semi-moldy PB&Js, dragging a tree off the road was an easy feat.

I opened the gate and returned home to discover that my kids had surprised me. Not only had they washed the dishes (and wiped off the table-wow!), there was also one freshly washed little boy in his pj’s sitting on the couch reading stories with his sister. Sometimes I need these little moments to remind me of what great kids I have.

I got everyone tucked into bed and kissed good night just moments before the trucks pulled up to the loading chute. As I was walking down the hall, on my way outside, I passed the bathroom door. Glancing in I saw a disaster that only a four-year old could create: no less than ten wet towels piled in the corner, toys scattered across the floor, a bottle of shampoo dripping down the side of the bathtub and toothpaste smeared across the counter top.

Ah yes, first and foremost, I’m a Mom.

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