Don't Bother Wiping Your Shoes

Saturday, December 18, 2010

a ranch will be mine, this i know

The ranch is calling me. I can feel it. Besides, I got a really cool new vest I need to break in with a little red dirt...perhaps some cow slobber. I've decided on my lifes dream and I'm not going to let anything get in my way. At almost 31, I have plenty of time to make it work and for 31 years I have lived my life to please everyone else. My goals, my day to day activities, my schedule, my decisions, have all been made for as long as I can ever remember to please someone else. And never again will I be dependent on another human being. I only have 1 year left for my Pre-vet to be finished. I will either go on to vet school or major in animal science. I just wish I would have realized this, oh, about 10 years ago, but God had a plan for me, for some reason or another. I've learned NOT to ask God "why," but to wait patiently on the Lord so that I may mount up with as eagles. And for that promise of His, I'm so giddy with excitement I can't hardly contain myself.

My dream is to own a ranch. A working ranch. There's lots of things that play in to why I want a ranch. Is it the way I feel when I come back from western Oklahoma? Is it that I discovered the best show in the whole world on Animal Planet called "Last American Cowboy," or is the fact that my heart was stuck in western Oklahoma but my body was moving around in a military family and I never got the chance to bloom in the place my heart was planted? Or is it the fact that it's always been my calling from God but my own agenda and sin have stood in the way of me seeing it?

I have a need to work cows. I have a need to pull a calf. I have a need to drop feed and count head. I have a need to ride a fence line and check for breaks. I have a need for these things to be mine and not just go to my cousins, or grandma's, or a friend. (The secret bonus? I could hunt and fish on my OWN place and never feel like I'm imposing by asking permission or have to travel hundreds of miles to get to grandma's.) What's it going to take for me live this out? I don't know, and I really don't care. I think my 6 year old daughter has developed such a love of horses (and she's getting quite handy with them) that she's probably willing to sacrifice just as much as I am to get to the point where we can get up out of bed, go to the barn, hop on horseback and herd some cattle. One thing I lack is long time experience. Oh I havea little experience...with family. But having someone give you the time of day to let you do some labor for them just doesn't happen...especially when they see a single mom with 2 small girls and you weigh a buck ten. I won't lie, people judge a book by it's cover and for me, that's unfortunate. I love horses, any woman would probably let me come work with horses, but cows are my passion. Cattle and land is what I want in life. And I'm not willing to let anything stand in my way to get to that point, God willing. Umm, looks like I have alot of savin' up to do now. I guess I will head to western Oklahoma for a couple days sometime soon, get my fix and then buckle down because I have chemistry this semester...ugh.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wow. Today is day I don't want to repeat, but as long as there is life on earth, it will someday happen again. Sasha died today. Riv was 2 years old when we got her. Sasha was 8 weeks old. I potty trained them at the same time. Sasha had a curious streak. She was the most loyal dog. Her only goal was to love you, no matter who you were; and she would knock you over to lick your face to prove it. But if she caught scent of a rabbit, cat, skunk or a pretty little flower her nose took over. Today she was hit by a car, and the hardest part was telling Riv. She had her break down. She wanted to see her one last time. She was upset the most that she didn't get to say goodbye. She wanted me to promise to never get her another dog again. (I just told her she would make that decision when she was a little older.) I told her time would heal our hurts and Loki needed our love right now. She decorated a piece of wood, Jason nailed it onto another piece of wood to form a cross to put under her favorite tree. And tonight, she lays sleeping with an 8x10 picture of her and Sasha, smiling and happy. And now, that everyone is asleep and the day is done, I will have my breakdown. Goodbye Sasha. I love you so much and we will never forget you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Update coming soon...I promise

Wondering where I've been? I've been around, just not here...obviously. I will have an updated blog very soon. It needs a facelift. It's a little outdated. I'm sad to say, life has thrown a few curveballs lately and I will do my best to explain, maybe. Stay tuned...either for a detailed update or just a simple facelift. Not sure God will give me the words yet to explain my "life situation."

love you all...I'm without internet and can only get online when I come out to the house or take my laptop to the McDonald's parking lot to get Wifi. Yeah...I actually have to do that.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Beloved Red Dirt

Last month we went down to my grandmother's ranch in western Oklahoma. I think, and I hope, it is everything my papa had dreamed it would be. This place is where my heart always was and always will be. I was born near there, when it was only the 55 acres. A few purchases by my grandparents here and there and now it sums up to be several hundred acres. Before my papa died, he bought one last track, sight unseen. He had dreams for it. Then he passed. But God knew what He was doing. Roughly a year after my papa died my cousin Joshua was born. I believe God sent us Joshua to carry out my papas vision for the place I call "NeeNaw's Place." I always spelled it that way. Joshua and his brother spell it Nena. I don't know that any of us care how it's spelled, so I'll just say NeeNaw. I was the first of 4 grandchildren. While learning to say grandma it just came out Neenaw. Now, most kids of Elk City (who are now becoming adults) call her NeeNaw. My own father calls his mom NeeNaw. My aunt calls her NeeNaw. My papa even called her Neenaw. Here's My Neenaw holding Tekoah when she was a few weeks old.

I wanted to live there my whole life, for that was where my heart belonged and my soul longed to dwell there. It still does, and it always will and I will continue to get to that place as often as I can for the rest of my life. The memories abound of me and my cousin Jeremy (Josh's older brother) of running out the door of NeeNaw's yelling "goodbye" and not returning for hours. Playing explorers, hunters, running through ravines and pastures seeing what we could find. Our adventures usually found us seeing how far we could get into holes and trees that stretched out over the ponds, shooting pop cans on a log across the pond, fishing, pretending, and looking for turkey feathers and skeletons of cattle long deceased. We were 2 very small children, turned out, trusted, and left to explore at our own ravenous pace. There weren't cell phones and nobody worried about where 2 young adventures were or what they were doing out in the middle of a 300-400 acre ranch, and we journeyed back to the house only when our stomachs told us it was time to eat. We'd scarf down NeeNaw's macaroni and cheese and then head out again until the sun was going down. Occasionally, we'd take a family hike or toss fishin' poles over our shoulders and the lay of the land became ground into our memory. We knew it like the back of our hand by the age of 10...every ravine, farm implement, vine, dead tree, fox hole, trail, and many other discoveries we chose not to tell anyone we found...like the old homestead across a fence line that had been destroyed by a tornado possibly in the 40's or 50's. Woops! Sorry Jeremy! Now they all know we jumped that barbed wire fence! One time we took a piece of wood and nailed it to a couple pieces of styrofoam and attempted to float across the pond, knowing that if the adults caught us, we would be toast. But they let us go, spread our wings and realize things that one could only learn by experience in God's green wilderness. As we got older, these memories became like a drug...always searching for the first time high of what it felt like to discover something new and exciting. Deer, open gates that were forgotten to be closed, newborn calves, killing snapping turtles, and night fishing. It was everything that made me who I am and for that I will be forever grateful. When my sister was born, then there were 3. She tried so hard to keep up with us, running through the woods, trying to teach her how to unhook a fish, showing her the rope and tire swing that had been there for tens of years...and then when Joshua was born, we were all older. Jeremy joined the Navy, I got married, my sister Kacy got married and the memories became more precious than ever. Jeremy, my forever partner in crime is located on a Naval base so now when I go to Neenaw's my escapades are now with Joshua, 15 years younger than I, although sometimes I presume he may be wiser than I. My memories with Joshua include fishing with my daughter and Jeremy's daughter Kendyl. The two 5 year olds like playing with all the fish caught, screaming and giggling at the top of their lungs. They like to touch the fish eyes. They were so caught up with themselves they didn't notice us untie ourselves from their raft and leave them in the middle of the pond to discover that first realm
of bittersweet independence.
Joshua. He is everything any boy should long to be. He's going to be a sophomore, varsity football player (I heard his nickname was "the tank.") He has a perfected curveball and pitches varsity. He was ranked 47th (or something like that) in the state of Oklahoma his freshman year of high school. He invests his money in cattle because he sees more dollar signs and common sense than alot of adults in America. He's a redblooded american kid that every boy should model their lives on. He's humble, respectful, hardworking, responsible, can cook a killer steak on the grill and wears boots to protect his feet from getting crushed under several hundred pounds of cow hooves.

Joshua now runs cattle with Justin, a family member on the ranch, and NeeNaw, I think, is living out her beloved's dream. Joshua is the vehicle and the blood of the wonder of life is the fuel that keeps it going. Joshua will perhaps go to college, more than likely on sports scholarships. I sit back and wonder what the master plan for his life is and wonder if he will continue running cattle. Joshua and I have alot in common. We both have an artistic side, we both love to hunt and fish (he's way better at it than I am) and we both love cows. We love to eat them. We love to take care of them and we both have alot of compassion for hurt animals. When we went down to NeeNaw's place last, I'm sure I drove him crazy wanting to get in on the action counting the heads of the livestock and I really wanted to get in on the action of tagging a calf that had yet to be caught. To me, it was amazing the way he caught the calf by the hind leg, laid him over and while trying to keep the cow under control, pinned to the ground, he attempted to talk me through piercing the little guys ear. Later on that trip, we came across a calf stuck in a ravine, evidence of afterbirth and a scared mama cow told us he was a newborn and had fallen into the deep hole under a downed cedar tree. I pulled the front legs, Joshua picked up his back end and we got him out. We then realized this little guy was blind. I nursed him with a bottle and Joshua called his cousin while they decided the little guys fate. He wouldn't last in the pasture. Nobody wanted to keep him. I couldn't take him, for he wasn't mine to take.

Then reality set in that "Stevie" would go to the slaughter house with his momma cow who didn't prove to make good calves. In the end, I probably made Joshua's job a whole lot harder but he would never let on. He has more patience, respect, and self-control and he is the wisest almost 16 year old I've ever known. He's a cowboy through and through. He is my papa's grandson whom he never met. They share a spirit I long to be around.

One day, I suspect, Jeremy and Joshua, Kacy and I will all be together...someday. Who knows when that will ever be. But when I step foot on that land, everything I was, everything I am, and everything I long to be comes to surface and I am where I belong. The cattle, the hunts, the trot lines, hooking myself with fish hooks, the boots and the cow patties, the grasshoppers and the turkeys, the red dirt....these are all the reasons I can't stand a man who is afraid to get his hands dirty. These are the reasons it drives me crazy when a healthy, young person complains because they are sweating or it's "too hot." These are the reasons vegens have an ignorant and worthless lifestyle. These are the reasons I can never again surround myself with the pavement of the city and the tall buildings that fence you in away from the horizon like a prison. These are the reasons I have a passion for growing my own food just for the taste of it and the wonderment of being self-sufficient. These are the reasons that I could survive in a terrible time. These are the reasons I am every ounce of who I am. And now, I share it with my children, hoping it will make them compassionate and tough. Hoping they will understand the importance of getting out into the yonder so they can find themselves. Hoping they will look at my memories and share some with me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

So, today is St. Patty's Day '10. That's just a reference, I could care less. Green is my favorite color; I wear it all the time. I'm about as far from Irish as it gets, though. I'll still wear my super cool green hat, today, maybe.

It's been awhile since I've posted here. Facebook is interesting. It sucks you in, you get curious about what everybody is doing and not a soul cares about what you are doing. You continually check like it's going to make a difference or something...or like someone might actually acknowledge something you post; like someone other than family or the usual people. You get on wanting to feel accepted. It's like high school all over again. It's stupid, really.

So there's a lot going on my life right now. Sometimes, in our spiritual life, we are on a roll, we're on top of a mountain with the Lord. His presence is obvious, doors are opening, messages are clear, prayer time is easy, your patience and your other fruits are easily demonstrated.

Sometimes we are in low-lying valleys. Life seems to be dry, the Holy Spirit seems to be lurking somewhere not to be accessed. God is testing our rational faith in Him. The emotional "high" of the Holy Spirit is not there. Can you still fully walk in the Lord's path and patiently listen and wait for the return of the Spirit?

My life right now, is in a desert, the low lying valley. But it's not dry, it's flooded with things I don't want to deal with. It's an erupting volcano pouring raging lava of distress into the soul and my eyes and ears are screaming for the Holy Spirit, yet the only thing I can find in my search for Him is his small still voice in my heart saying "wait."

Why God? You are so present in my life all the time, accept in this one issue. No matter what I do, I'm still confused on how to deal with it. I'm trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do here. I'm trying to find my way out of this valley, or you. One of the two has to happen or I will lose my mind. That simply can not happen. I have 2 children, and they need me. God. Please. Open this next door. NOW. Please. I need to move on. I know there is a fork in the road coming, but I can't even get to that fork because the "path" I'm on isn't forking yet...How long God? Seriously? I have been faithful to you, I have given everything of myself for your glory. I have felt your presence in my life, I have praised and worshipped you, and have promised to keep you center of my life, and Lord you KNOW I've been faithful even when I've been slapped in the face over and over and over again. In every other area of my life, you answer my prayers, I feel your presence, you work things out, your love overwhelmes me, you speak to my heart, I hear you, I follow you, I rest in you, you give me peace about things....except this one thing. You told me you're not going to give me more than I can handle...that sure is scary Lord seeing that what I've been dealing with is about all I can take. If it's going to get worse and You are not going to provide a way out for me, then I need to know now. It has to end one way or another, it's causing confusion and it's causing distress. This is not what you want, Lord? Right? You surely don't want this for my children. I started asking you 6 years ago. I can be patient and I have been. But day after day, of begging you Lord, please hear me now. What I'm asking is for your glory! What I'm asking is going to take the pain away! What I'm asking is do-able...
If you don't answer this one prayer, then the ONLY consequence is death, destruction, sadness and lonliness. So I know you will answer me. I know you can hear me. I know you are there, but why wait any longer? Heal the situation, or end it. I have a life to live. I need to move on to the left or to the right but I can't waver in this torture any longer.

Ya know what Lord? Forget about me! At least have mercy on girls! Please?