For something a little different, I thought it would be fun to hijack my husband’s phone and share a few of his photos from 2014 with you. A year in review through his eyes.
In no particular order, here are a few photos that I feel capture his perspective about our ranch and our life.
Our oldest son working hard at barn duty during the county fair. These 4H steers represent a lot of hard work for our entire family, especially our two older boys. Finishing these steers takes several months and that means a lot of feeding chores every morning and night. The whole family gets involved in the steers’ exercise program. My daughter (who feels completely discriminated against by the silly 4H rule that a child must be nine years old before they start 4H) is always happy to step in to walk steers or wash steers and, yes, her brothers take full advantage of her willingness to help.
Animals. His phone is full of photos of the kids with different animals. At first I skimmed over these photos because I thought they captured my kids, but not really anything about the ranch. Then I realized that although the photos may be blurry or grainy, they show exactly what our life is all about. Animals. Caring for animals. This is what we do and who we are. And looking at these photos reminds me once again that I love my life.
All kinds of critters around here! A friend of ours had a swarm of bees escape from the hive boxes last summer. It was amazing to see the side of the pick-up completely covered with bees. It was equally interesting watching him with his smoker as he collected the bees to return to the hive box.
Watching the equipment that fights fires is a source of never-ending excitement for my kids. Planes, helicopters, fire trucks and heavy equipment are all on exhibit during a fire and my kids love it. However, when we drove past this scene, they quickly took in how serious this situation must have been for the dozer driver.
Which brings me to the driving abilities of my husband.
You know when your family sits around the dinner table with guests and you start swapping stories? My kids start requesting certain stories that they think we should share with our guests. Most of those requests being with this: “Mom, you should tell the story of when you rescued Dad because he was stuck on the mountain…..or……on the desert……..or…….in the creek…..”
In other words, photos like this are easy to find on my husband’s phone.
And the final photos that were taken over Christmas Break. The two middle children setting aside their nonstop bickering to haul salt to a couple of fields. They love the responsibility of being given such a grown-up chore and I love the sense of ownership it gives them in the cattle and the land. I went with them on this trip and tried to be as quiet as possible. They talked to each other about the best place to position the salt tubs, how to navigate through ditches, which gates they could (or couldn’t) open and if the cattle were in good condition.
My favorite part of the trip was watching my son refer to the list he had written. He took notes while his Dad told him how much salt to put in each field. It is oh-so-heartening to see that at least one of my children inherited my list-making abilities!