So, why was this past week like a vacation? Well, simply everyone else on the ranch was gone.
Our boss also has a partner ranch in Nebraska. If you followed a week ago we shipped the steer calves there.
The next day the boss and other ranch hand and his wife all left for Nebraska. Not only were our calves going there, but it was the Nebraska Ranches annual branding so they went to help.
Now, don't get me wrong, Kyle worked very hard all week tending to the ranch. Spiffing it up, cleaning and tending to the never ending weed battle. Of course he checked calves and cows daily. All in all he put in his required 10 1/2 hour days +. But, the vacation part...well maybe that applied to me and the boys more than to Kyle. Because we just got to see him a whole lot more. He was home every night for dinner, and despite his long days gave me a huge break by helping with the boys each evening. We also got to visit with him pretty much daily as the boys and I went on our daily walks and our paths crossed.
Then this weekend when Kyle needed to move calves and cows to new pastures we were able to tag along and "help". I use the term help loosely because the fact of the matter is that Kyle really didn't need us. But, I suppose we were there just in case.
How did we help? well, me and the boys bounced around in the Mule while Kyle was horse back. Mostly we were just positioned at gates to help prevent the cows from dumping to the wrong side of a pasture. Though really Kyle did all the work setting everything up so things would go as smoothly as possible. And they did.
I have to tell you I just love these rare opportunities that we get to be close to Kyle when he works. It just never ceases to amaze me at how well he does this job. How effortless he makes it look. My passion grows for this life more each day and appreciation for him abounds.
Also, inside the Mule something else extraordinary was happening as well. These boys of mine, these two little cowboys are soaking up this life and learning. I had so much fun listening to Alex's giddy laughter as we bounced and followed calves, and answering Colton's questions (as best as I could) about what dad was looking for and doing. My heart swelled with pride when I told them they needed to sit very still and quiet as calves or cows came through a gate past us, and they were still as little stones. They seemed to know just how important their job was, even in the waiting. They glowed when Kyle praised them for their obedience and patience and I did too.
I did realize something in this process. Though I am very glad that most days Kyle is not working alone, that he has quality help. I really enjoy feeling useful beyond dishes, diapers, and dinner. I suppose in a another month I might feel differently, but for this past week/end it was just what I and our family needed.