Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Picture That Changed Everything

Sometime back in September (2009) Kyle came home and told me he thought we needed to post an add online for our family, looking for ranch work. He had been looking for that perfect ranch job off and on for the past 5 years, and wasn't coming even close to landing an interview. The conversations with ranchers where always promising until one question. "So, where are you from." answer of course was Michigan. For some reason many outfits just couldn't get past the fact that Kyle was a born and bred Michigander. Even if he had all the other qualifications they where looking for. Our second road block had to do with relocating a family. I hemmed and hawed the idea of putting up an add for about a month. Kyle kept after me, so one day in October I put the ad online. The website was . The ad was simple: Ranch work wanted - Young family seeking full time position.

I put an abbreviated version of his resume and included that we where a family from Michigan looking for a position in the Northwest and Northern Plains states. I included a picture of our family. As I pressed the "submit" button I began praying for Gods will over our family.

At first we didn't hear anything and we began to assume that it was still not time for our family to make such a drastic change. After all, the housing market was not great and the prospect that we would sell our home was small. We had also recently found out that I was pregnant with our second child. I trusted Gods timing, but my heart also yearned to see Kyle fulfill his dream of working on a beef cattle operation. I began praying not only for Gods will for us as a family but also that Kyle's dreams would be fulfilled or that he would receive new desires and fulfilment in his current jobs.

Then sometime in November the calls started coming in. The first was from a guy in Idaho who had a grow yard with a bunch of Herford bulls or something like that - all the details escape me at the moment. The funny part was that the first thing the guy said was, "Well your wife and kid are pretty decent looking but you are a homely looking guy." (He was referring to the picture of our family from the ad. I personally do not agree, Kyle is a fine specimen of a man in my opinion.) As they talked Colton and I prayed. The phone interview was promising. We where ecstatic, someone thought we where worth talking to! That was something we had never really encountered in past phone interviews.

The next call came a few days later. It was from a ranch in Nebraska, the first comment again was something about us looking like a nice family. This place couldn't have been more than a couple marks off of Kyle's checklist of the perfect job. #1 it was in Nebraska. Kyle had always wanted to work at the Hawthorn Ranch - this was not, but they may as well have been next door. The place was huge something like 40,000 acres. They where planning a 7,000 acre expansion and looking for calving help with about 450 pairs. This was an even more serious phone interview. Then a couple weeks went by and we heard from friends that the family from this ranch where calling around checking Kyle's references. Kyle, Colton and I prayed together.

I had to take a huge breath and seriously swallow the idea of moving to Nebraska.

However, it was not to be. In the midst of all this we got one more phone call.

This call came in one evening when Kyle was out trimming horses. It was from a kindly gentlemen. Who had a small ranch in Montana (my heart skipped a beat. The state of Montana had always left its imprint on my heart, especially the western part.) They thought we looked like a nice family (again the picture made the impression) and wanted to know more about us. I pounced on the opportunity to talk my husband up. Kyle had so many attributes but he is above all things way to humble about his capabilities. As I talked to this gentleman the conversation turned to schools, housing, gardening and the like. We ended that Kyle would call him when he got home.

When Kyle called Mr. H back the conversation went very well. (I prayed) Then Kyle talked to them a couple days later and it went even better. the H's needed help with calving about 150 cows and then in summer there was haying and tending irrigation pipe. Along with other feeding and ranch maintenance jobs. Kyle of course was honest to a fault about his lack of experience with irrigation pipe systems and running hay equipment, but was forthright to insure them he would learn whatever they wanted.

It looked like we could have a choice on our hands; the big ranch in Nebraska was talking about us coming for an interview and this place was also looking promising.

A few days passed, we prayed for Gods leading, Gods best, Comfort for our families if we where to leave. I prayed for wisdom for Kyle in choosing the best job for our family, and I prayed for strength to move to the no mans land of Nebraska.

Then I had the dream:

I dreamt that we where standing in a valley, with mountains all around us. There was a cabin by a creek, I was standing on the front porch waving Kyle off to work.

When I woke I knew we had been in Montana. I told Kyle about my dream when he came home from the dairy farm that morning. The call came the next day, the job in Montana was ours if we wanted it. We had a decision to make. It wasn't difficult, Montana would be our next home. When the ranch from Nebraska called to set up an interview. Kyle told them he had accepted the job in Montana. We prayed a blessing over them for considering us and began planning our exit from Michigan.

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