I have lived in Texas all my life, and I have never been to the rodeo. Well, that is not 100 percent true. I went when I was incredibly small but it does not count because I was too young to remember it.
Today we went to the livestock show to visit a client who’s child was showing their pig in the show. It was interesting to see that students from all over the state come to this show to share the animals they have been raising for judging and then sell them.
It has been a long time since I have been on a farm, so walking around the smells and sounds reminded me of my Grandfathers farm out in Castroville, Texas. I really do miss that farm sometimes. My grandfather would visit it three times a week and I would ride shotgun. We would ride around in his old blue pickup (Ford of course, this is Texas after all) and check the fences.
He would feed the chickens and the pigs, I would help him load a few bails of hay onto the back of the truck, exhausting work for a kindergartner and I would get to ride over to where the cattle live and we would unload it there. The cows knew the sound of his truck and would trot over to the side ready to chow down.
Afterwards we would ride around in his truck or an old beat up jeep and do some hiking, check the hunting blinds and just spend time together before loading up and heading back into town. On the way back we would always stop at Haby’s, a little bakery in town and pick up a few cowboy cookies.
When I became old enough, I was given a BBGun and would bring that along on our trips. With it I would pelt a few cactuses or empty coke cans. I always fancied that one day I would use it to bag a rabbit while we were out on one of our hikes. I don’t think I had the nerves to ever get a bunny, and I never actually saw one. But I would follow the trail of a rabbit through the underbrush for a few hours and really got to explore the old farm.
I miss that place, but unfortunately the land was more valuable than what could be raised on it so when the time was right the property was sold to an investor.
Times change, but I still remember the valuable lessons I learned there about respecting nature. And I truly believe that my love of the outdoors was spawned from those trips. The smell of the fresh air, the sound of the wind in the trees. The stillness of the world around me.