Encouragement can be found anywhere.
This morning, it was found in the ladies restroom of the Livestock Pavilion at the Pendleton Round Up.
We'd just got done taking a few pictures and I'd been trying to track done the rodeo secretary to turn in a form and get back numbers.   For some reason, my body had decided that today was going to be an awesome day to have a sore throat and my nose decided to run like a faucet.  After sneezing twice, I headed to the restroom in search of some tissue and that's when I ran back into Pat.   We hadn't had a lot of time to catch up earlier in the morning so as ladies are prone to do, we visited a bit.  And as the conversation about life and ranching and jobs winded down, she reminded me:
"Ranching is a lifestyle."
And it is. 

It really truly is.  Ranching looks glamorous, but it's not your 9-5 gig, and it's not a job.  It's a life.  And it's one both Pat and I have chosen to support our husband's calling in. 

Pat, Laura, Denny - Laura's daughter Ruby is riding "Jackie"
Pat's been in the {trenches} for years.  She is a great ranch wife, and has raised two fabulous kids who've gone on to live a similar lifestyle.  Pat works right alongside her husband, and can do just about anything on a horse or on foot.  She knows what frustration looks like, she knows what perseverance looks like, and she knows what happiness looks like.  Ranching is emotional - in good and bad ways, but even as hard as this lifestyle can be sometimes, Pat will always be the first to greet you with a smile and a hug.


We spent the afternoon cheering on RJ and Clint as they competed in the Wild Cow Milking contest.  I sat with Terry, Anna, Hannah and Pete and when the cows had been milked, Terry handed me Clint's wallet and cell phone that he'd asked been asked to hold on to while Clint was in the arena. 

Trying to figure out where Clint was after the performance, I checked to see if his trailer was still parked.  (It's amazing how much we rely on cell phones....and what a pickle it can be when you don't have access to them.)  It was then that Ty called to say he'd found a calf and the cow needed to be brought in.  Not finding Clint's trailer, and figuring he had just headed home, I headed out of town to the ranch to help Ty.  Eventually RJ hooked up with Clint, who was still in town, called me and I let him know what was going on.

An evening that could have been spent visiting with friends, and enjoying the evening life of the Round Up, instead was spent getting a fall cow in, milking her out and taking care of her calf.  This is the second year this particular cow has decided to pull these kind of shenanigans, and I bet it will be the last.  Tuesday comes around for those kinds of cows.  And so what should be an easy enough process - calving mature fall cows - isn't sometimes, and of course those sometimes fall on days when you'd rather they didn't.

But it's a lifestyle.

And the welfare of the cattle here always takes precedence over a social life or fun-having.

So as I climbed the hill headed for the ranch tonight, I couldn't have been more thankful for those words of encouragement Pat gave me this morning.  Thank you Pat for being a friend, and an encourager.

I'm glad that I get to live this lifestyle with a mentor like you.


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