It's been 10 years already....and I feel a little like Rose from Titanic when I say it. Where in the world did ten years go?? Backing up a little for those of you who can't read my mind, it's been ten years since we took a bold step, signed the closing documents and moved 500 miles away from everything we knew. Husbeast had finally found the ranch he had been searching many years for. We had visited it several times to get a feel for where it was and if it would be a good fit for us. In the Fall months, ten years ago, we made the final decision. Things haven't slowed down since.
The only thing I've found Facebook useful for these days is those memories that are popping up. When we moved away from our families all those years ago I signed on so I could easily share what we were up to.
Every day was an adventure. There was always something new to find, explore, see, fix, learn. It felt like a long stretch between the fall when we closed on the place, to the spring when we could begin the move. There were trips made by Husbeast solo, trips he made with his dad and then my dad and trips when I could tag along for the extended weekend or spring break.
Husbeast moved up in the spring with the cows, horses and his dogs. I had to finish my teaching contract so the Weebeast and I and the girls had to wait until June of that year to head north. So many moments flitter through my memories. So many details that had to happen then, that wouldn't make sense to share now. For some reason on this 10th anniversary of those new beginnings they are hitting me all over again.
We've done a lot in ten years and learned as much. It's easy to forget some of those accomplishments until a picture pops up and we can see all over again what we started with.
When we pregged our cows this year there were several of the older cows that came up bred. As I noted who they were it dawned on me that there are still some cows here who were on those trucks that unloaded for the first time. They are some of what remains of those meadow muffins that we had to push and prod and fight to teach them where the feed and water could be found on the desert. They've ended up being some of the best because they survived those first couple of hard learning years and made it to the "climb the mountain in the spring themselves" years.
Our grazing permit renewal came up this year too. I had forgotten that every ten years we would have to sign again to say that we intended to utilize it for ten more years. I remember taking my mom with me into the agency office because she'd had a lifetime of experience asking all the right questions. While I'd grown up with these permits, I'd never been on the business end of things and she was there for the support and guidance. I remember sitting in the conference room with our new range con going over the details of turn out dates, pasture rotations and gather dates. There was a pipeline to discuss and water gaps in pastures to locate. We could find these things with our eyes closed now.
Time flies. It does. The Weebeast who sang the donkey song from his car seat while we bumped our way up the new dirt road to our new home, will soon be a teenager. The girls who spent their summers and holidays here are now college graduates and chasing careers. The cows have adapted and show us new hiding places every time we gather them for home. Where once there were so many questions and discoveries to be made there are now comforts and familiarities with knowing how things will change and approximately when.
We lose track of time on occasion. Events we thought were only a couple of years ago have actually bookmarked a space 5 or 6 years back. I wrote once that ranch life was always different and yet, always the same. That still rings true. The routine has become less of an adventure worth sharing and more of a series of brief moments that capture our attention. There are always things that are a work in progress here and that's half the fun of it. The ranch itself is a living, breathing thing and each day we get the opportunity to change and grow with it is another small adventure.
So, happy ten year anniversary to us and our little slice of paradise and here's to many more!