Saturday, January 23, 2016


It’s quiet on the ranch. We go about caring for the herd every morning just as generations of ranchers have done before us. Each winter day is the same as the one before unless severe weather intervenes. 

This statement is true on a ranch only once a year, the cold season, when nothing grows and snow can cover the ground for weeks at a time. By March we’ll be calving and every day is a wild card. The feeding still needs to happen, but we never know who might need help and how long the days will be. And at the same time spring arrives and the farm goes under irrigation and the cows go to grass and it’s a “hold on to your hat” affair.

But I won’t think about that just now. I’ll just enjoy the quiet.

To make it even better, Seth and Anna are home for a few weeks. Seth is working from home as an analyst for an agricultural consulting firm. He’s on the computer all day and has to stay focused. I’ve learned to be quiet and let him work. Anna is student teaching and putting in long hours in the classroom and planning upcoming lessons in the evening. She debriefs every night and it’s such fun to be in on this phase of her education.   

I get to spoil the kids with homemade meals. They’ve been gone long enough to appreciate Mom’s cooking.  

Mark has arranged extra hired help to feed cows this winter so I have more time to pursue my writing projects. I’m thrilled with the extra time and so thankful to him. His support means the world to me. Sometimes I find him of an evening, buried in the office supposedly doing bookwork, but instead reading old blog posts.

Seth is great to want to explore big topics. He told me about the book, Leading on Empty, and how the author, pastor Wayne Cordeiro, says to think about the time you spend each day on activities that only YOU can do. He says it may be only 5%, but that it determines the validity of the other 95% of your day. Without reading the book, I can only conjecture the author’s meaning within my own life context.

What do I do each day that I can’t hire someone else to do? It’s a great question. I’m the only mother my kids have. I’m Mark’s only wife. And even though I’m not the only woman rancher who must write to scratch an itch, I’m the only one with my unique life experience, a perspective born of that experience, and the will to faceoff with a blank word document.

That's my challenge. What's yours?

sometimes they're frozen

a winter walk with friends

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