Seth and Leah spent their spring break at the ranch. Yesterday as we were riding horses through the Wapello sandhills, we joked about their choice of destination during their week-long college vacation. “There was sand, maybe not beach sand . . . but still!”
They successfully pulled two calves, one backwards and one with a leg back, then delivered a pair of tangled twins that didn’t make it. They weighed yearlings; Leah learning how to run the scales. They moved pairs, which was a semi-wild affair with young babies and concerned mothers. And on their last day of break they moved drys, those cows still to calve, to new pastures. Oh, and they fed cows of course. Leah got the hang of the new used diesel truck and figured out it’s pretty easy to keep Seth on the bed and to steer around the calves.
We made a drive up to our summer range at 6500 ft elevation. It was pretty sobering when you know that on a normal year we would still be snowed out at 5500 ft. We were kicking up dust most of the way. We stopped at Brush Creek to look around and Seth snuck up on slumbering cutthroat trout on a quiet waterway that should be rushing with snow melt.
We had some good conversations throughout the week. You always will if you spend time with Seth. He is a homebody with an international focus, if that’s possible. I guess we all have divergent parts of our personality, but his are more pronounced than most. Leah is just good company, cheerful to tag along at whatever needs done.
They're grappling with those difficult career, educational, relationship decisions that all young people face. Seth graduates in May and then what? I wish we could reassure them that even though next steps seem life altering, massive, monumental, that in truth things will work out fine if, as Gary says, "you'll just let 'em." There's lots of time and room to make mistakes and make corrections and figure it out on the fly. Two more able kids we cannot imagine.
It was grand having them here. I don’t know how they felt about using their spring break to help us. But, after all, they’re at that stage where they delight in each other’s company no matter what they’re doing. Remember that?