5 Things You Need to Know to Survive the Ranching Lifestyle

As I sit at work…working…or blogging…or both, I find myself thinking about life “back home.” Ok, so life “back home” is only an hour away but when you “grow up” and venture off to college and get a job you find yourself going home less and less and you also find yourself missing it terribly more and more.

For me, I miss my A#1 family first and foremost. They are the John Wayne to my beans, and the Feed to my Yard.

They are what I would wake up to in the morning. My Sweet mama always cooking breakfast, my Top-Hand daddy already slaving away at Sandhill (but don’t worry the Top-Hand can always make the 2 mile trek back to the house to grab some breakfast if he’s hurtin’ very bad) my Lovely sister still in bed, and the Brahman Breeder already outside feeding his chickens and playing with Max.

Why is it deemed proper that we leave home again? Somebody please remind me….

I also miss our Sunday lunches after church, our family get-together’s, that tree in the back yard, my paint room/Top-Hands saddle house, the cat whose name I can’t remember, the pot hole in our driveway, the bean bag in the living room, and countless other things.

So….after thinking about all this I started thinking about the essentials. The essentials every man, person, woman, family, and whatever else you are needs to know to survive the ranching lifestyle.

Number 1. PRAY.

I think we forsake the power of prayer. Prayer can move mountains, and if you pray hard enough I bet prayer could even move that herd of cows to the South pasture with a little more ease.  Now, I’m not saying that prayer is going to help you win the Ranch Rodeo but it is going to help you in your relationship with God and that my friends is all that matters.

Number 2. WORK.  

Duh. Working is good for the soul. And when you work with my Top-Hand daddy it’s good for your athletic skills because if you’re not fast or agile then you better get that way. I’m still working on becoming fast and agile by the way… I get sick of seeing kids/adults/whoever else not working. Working keeps you humble, keeps you well, and keeps you young. Amen.

(Is it ironic that I am blogging while working? We will call it multitasking.)  

Number 3. Eat Beef.

You all had to know that was coming.

I mean, what kind of ranching family are you if you don’t eat beef?! Just the other night, me and my roomies, being the poor college girls that we are, took some steaks that my Sweet Mama had generously sent home with me, and we grilled them. We feasted on them. And then we were happy. Happy because beef makes people happy. And that’s why cattle and the ranchers that care for them will forever hold a special place in my heart. They feed the world after all…

Number 4. Play. 

After you get done working you must play. Even my Top-Hand daddy use to come home from the Feedyard with whelps on his back the size of a small country from having dirt clod wars in his round pen. He really is a kid at heart. And I think we all should be. So stop what you’re doing, go grab your kids, your friends, or the bum on the corner and have a real quick dirt clod war…It’ll do a body good.

Number 5. Love.

The bible says it. The Beatles said. And now I’m saying it. I think we get caught up in life much to much and we forget the simple things. Like how fun it is to go play an impromptu game of kickball in your backyard, or how good Chicken Fried Steak tastes, or how much you love that old pickup you’ve had since forever and a day ago. Whatever you’re doing, I hope that you love doing it and, don’t forget to let people know that. Find joy in simple things. Find lots of joy in big things. And don’t forget that you have managed so far to survive the Ranching Lifestyle.

Congratulations partner.

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