Last weekend, Rick and I ventured on down to Strathmore for the Tribute put together by Billy Melville, celebrating the life of Chuckwagon Driver/Outrider Roy David who passed away. Roy was part of a family that was very involved (and continues to be) in Chuckwagon Racing for many years. While there, we also took in two days of racing. It was our first time back on the grounds, but this time as spectators, not competitors. It was for sure a very different feeling, with many mixed emotions.
We arrived back home on the holiday Monday evening, with guests that were more than welcome on our Ranch. As the trek on the next stop of the World Professional Chuckwagon Association is so long for a one day venture, we invited Lisa Bensmiller and Vern Nolin and crew, to stop in overnight to shorten the trip. I admire this couple, as they show what teamwork is all about in the world of Chuckwagon Racing.
When they arrived, the ponies were led into the pens, boy did they like to run, stretch, buck and kick! After a few hours of traveling, some energy needs to be expended.
I must admit, it sure was good to see and feel the energy of Vern and Lisa’s fit thoroughbreds on the Ranch. Even though it has only been three weeks since our sale in Calgary, having the horses gone, sure leaves a void in the soul.
It really hits you how much these horses became a part of you. You lived and breathed every moment with them. They were our babies.
Well travel days are always tiring for all on board, the big and little kids alike. So when they were let free, it was time to monkey around and use up some of that pent up energy.
They all made me smile, just hanging around like nobodies business.
When the horses were settled, fed and watered, it was time to sit down and enjoy a home cooked meal. Meat and potatoes, salad and home-made pie! Those fresh saskatoons and garden rhubarb make the best pie going. Not to mention strawberry and rhubarb too. We had such a good visit just sitting outside and enjoying the quiet country evening.
Morning came early, and after a hot cup of coffee, bacon and eggs, the crew headed out to start to load. It was time for our guests to hit the road on the 7 hour trek up to the northern city of Dawson Creek BC.
The horses always like to get in one more run in before they are put into the liner. And some of them just like “not” to be caught until they have to. I’m sure it is a little game they play, just like little kids.
It didn’t take long, and the crew gathered them up, one by one.
I can’t say enough about the kids of Lisa and Vern. They are the best little helpers, and the politest kids around.
One by one the ponies were caught. Rick and Cody gave them a hand as well.
While the last ones were loading, the kids continued to play. And who best to play with, but the cute puppy named Bling.
Well, it was finally time to say goodbye. The horses were loaded, the trailer was hitched. The Kids needed to be counted, and made sure each one went pee. The littlest one continued to hang from the fence, until the last-minute she could.
We truly enjoyed our guests on the Ranch. It was sad to see them move on, while we stayed behind. A part of us would have loved to have went right a long. So many great memories were made as the years have gone by. But it is now time for Rick and I to move on. We look forward to new journeys, and stories in new adventures that we make at home or abroad.
From Home on the Ranch
P.S. Every house where love abides and friendship is a guest, is surely home, and home sweet home, for there the heart can rest.