Grady's my tractor man. Sure, he likes being horseback, and his asthma can withstand a few hours on the baler, but his absolute favorite thing to do is ride along on our oldest, most beat up county-auction rig: The Scoopmobile. It's a big orange beast that's difficult to steer, the cab is full of contusion-causing edges, it's deafening, and it often dies in the middle of a job. Basically, it's awesome. He rides shotgun as we turn big piles of dirt into small piles. Sometimes we do that for no reason other than it's manly and fun.
|We can't breath, but the sunsets sure are pretty.|
Sure, there were quite a few things that our schedule, or nature, wouldn't allow for this summer. Our annual lake adventure got buried in smoke by the local wildfires. I missed a trip to Pismo Beach with the gang because we were cutting our first crop. And my goal of trying to stay fit was fulfilled by finishing the 7-minute workout exactly twice. But we did some great things too. We drove to lookouts, we made it to the Oregon coast, the kids had swimming and horseback riding lessons (although not at the same time), we rodeoed, and we started an evening tradition called "Grab a beer, load the kids and dogs, we're cruising the gulch in the Ranger." I know, the name needs work, but it's a fun outing.
Someone recently asked me how my summer was going. I surprised myself when I replied, "Fun!" It feels masochistic to stack a full load of kid activities on top of work, but the greatest thing about being a rancher (aside from the lavish lifestyle), is spending work time with Regina and the kids. A few hours cutting hay with Grady and Dylan (and Buster and Scout), or a cattle drive up Miner's Creek with the family makes the long hours and hectic schedule all worthwhile, and feels better than that one hand on Madonna's boob cone.