The sound of heavy bootsteps and the jingle of spurs woke me from dreams filled with high heels and travel plans.
My husband was up, dressed, and stirring around the house, waiting on the “guys” to get here. It was time for me to rise anyway. I threw the shoes I was trying on in my dream back into the closet, pushed the cobwebs from my mind and rubbed the sleep from my eyes.
My husband’s day of branding cows was soon to begin, and he was waiting on his friends/co-workers/fellow cowhands to arrive with their horses, pick-ups and trailers, so they could put the horses in one trailer, put the cowboys in one truck and head off as the sun was barely kissing the morning sky.
It wasn’t much longer until the roar of diesel pick-ups and the rattle of trailers stocked with horses begin to break the silence of the morning.
Cowboys have never had much appeal to me. I’ve never been a cowboy’s girl. In high school I always thought they were just a bunch of skinny boys with big belt buckles dressing up everyday. Now nearly 20 years later, I find myself married to one. Strange.
The cowboys greet each other, unload horses from trailers, and lead them to my husband’s trailer to load. They’ve got 3 different places to work cattle today.
These are good men. Actually, the best kind. A dying breed. Old-fashioned, hard-working, tough guys. They love what they do, but it doesn’t always pay enough to do it. These are men who take vacation days from their “real” jobs with health insurance in order to saddle a horse and swing a rope. They may even call in sick just to get a workday off. Sometimes they work the night shift at their other job, take an early morning nap, and then saddle their horse for the day. They have a passion for this lifestyle. It’s not about the money, that’s for sure.
As I sit at the kitchen table, my coffee cup steaming, there’s only one word that describes me. Proud. I’m filled with a sense of pride. Not because I’m doing anything. Heck, I’m drinking coffee. But because these fellows work hard, love their work, and do it for practically nothing. They walk tall, perhaps even strut; dark silhouettes wearing cowboy hats starting their day.
I watched out the window until the heat from the house married the cold from the outdoors and steamed up the windows.
Then I listened to the rattle and rumble of the pick-up as four cowboys head out to do what they love.
Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still~~Henry David Thoreau