While Pop truly is increasingly more romantic as time goes on, this was not a warm and fuzzy invitation. It was purposeful. He was making plans to hunt at one of his favorite places in the world and he takes his hunting very seriously. Did I say VERY seriously?
This trip involved preparatory work. Did I say WORK?
We had to begin planning for this trip several weeks in advance. We had to shop. We bought fabric. We bought PVC pipe. We bought weatherproof foam. Then we started to work preparing to prepare. That's right...preparing to prepare. We drew out plans, we measured, we cut, we created. We made a sand blind and we made pads for tree stand seats (out of camouflage fabric of course). We patched and painted an old deer target to be re-purposed as a decoy...then we repainted it...twice...to get it the right color.
|Pop Scouting for Deer|
When Pop has gone there, I've noticed he comes back calmer. I have known that this place touches him somehow in the deep recesses of his being. It's rejuvenating for him even though he works hard as he hunts. By the way, it is compound bow hunting for deer. It is for the iron-willed, tough-minded folks who appreciate the hunt as much as they do the venison. So anyway...
|The Cowboy and Mrs. Cowboy|
When we arrived, we stopped and talked to The Cowboy (not one of our grandson cowboys but an authentic, boot and hat wearing cowboy who rides horses and works with cattle) and let him know we were there. His wife, Mrs. Cowboy, was still working so I rode off in the truck with Pop to begin preparing for his hunt. We toted a camo blind and other essentials off to a tree row where The Cowboy had seen signs of deer activity.
I helped Pop set up the blind which involved a lot of thought on his part. He had to determine the right place for it most importantly. Setting it up was easy...it's sort of a pop up nylon tent thingy...then the hard work started. We had to camouflage the camouflaged blind with branches and brush and make it nearly disappear into the tree row. In the process, I walked into a tree limb and got a nice scratch on my forehead and tripped while walking and did a nice belly flop on the ground. But my best trick was when I felt something crawling up my leg. Turned out it was just a long piece of tumbleweed that had sneaked up in between my jeans leg and boot...the harder I tried to shake it out, the higher it "climbed" up my leg!! I nearly disrobed to get rid of it...it all happened SO fast! Pop just shook his head. I think he felt sorry for me in a "bless her heart, she's pitiful" sort of way. Oh well...I would do it again...all of it...because besides spending time with Pop, it allowed me two incredible things.
1. I got to see why he loves hunting there, and 2. I got to spend some time with The Cowboy and Mrs. Cowboy.
(We got bonus time with one of their three awesome offspring as well.)
This place where The Cowboy and Mrs. Cowboy live and work is incredible. It is beautiful and it is peaceful...It's like here...only it's there! There is a river. There are trees everywhere - the cottonwood tree branches were loaded with golden leaves that reflect the rays of the sun. There are miles of land to be explored. Hills to climb. Rocks to study. History to learn. It is an incredible place.
Like Four Sisters Farm, it is peaceful...it is much larger and offers a wider variety of beauty...but it is the peace that makes it feel like here. It is lovely... incredibly lovely. It's like here...only it's there.
Mrs. Cowboy and I tagged along for part of the time we were there keeping Pop and The Cowboy company while they did some of the prep work. We visited about all kinds of important heartfelt matters and mulled over some of the world's problems. We also perused catalogs and pins on Pinterest while we talked about their plans for renovating their kitchen (and then some).
We looked at rocks, found some old bones (probably cow bones) near the river bed, marveled over God's creation, and compared notes about grandchildren, among other things.
We visited with Pop and The Cowboy over meals and when it came time for us to leave, I can genuinely say that Pop and I had a hard time just going. The Cowboy and Mrs. Cowboy are people we love.
I am grateful we got to know them...grateful for the way God puts people in our lives who share our love for Him and others...grateful for the way they share what God has given then...grateful that they love us too...grateful that His peace abounds in ways that we can feel in different places...places that make me say, "It's like here...only it's there."