Have you ever noticed that as a society, we are all so busy? We ALL have the same 24 hours in a day, every day, but yet we have little time to do the things that count the most. Such as taking time to visit the neighbor. Or go outside for a leisurely walk. Or even sit down to read a book that interests us. Our busy lives seem to get in the way for all that really matters.
Yesterday, my day was full of paperwork in the office, working on getting our year-end completed to send to the accountant. At noon, I took time for my self, and headed outside and went for a run down our country road and back. Along the way, my neighbor, whom I never see, stopped to have a chat. We decided it was time to connect and make time to go for a horse ride together, go for coffee or even a walk. This is now something I’m going to do.
Last month, Rick and I spent some time together and ventured to Maskwachees and Enoch, 2 nearby Indian Reserves where they had Pony Chuckwagon Races and Indian Relay Races. Boy, was there some entertainment for the crowds. If you have never seen an Indian Relay Race, you don’t know what you’re missing. I really enjoyed their colorful display of costumes that each team portrayed. A true look into the heritage that they come from. I managed to capture some photos of some of the teams and their beautiful thoroughbred horses.Just outside of Wetaskiwin in September, Ricks relatives, the Shantz family gathered together for a family reunion. As you get older, your family heritage seems to get a bit more interesting, wanting to know where your ancestors came from and who they were. Uncles Garry and Denny Dorchester reminisced and told story’s that day. It was their mom Joy (also Rick’s Grandma) who came from the Shantz Family.
Photos are always interesting to look at. I think they needed to smile a bit more back then. Maybe it was a rule of some sort when photos were taken that no one was to smile. Many photos of that time, there are no smiles. I’m sure glad things have changed.
My grandson has no problem smiling. And he makes me smile all the time. He just celebrated his 9th birthday yesterday. It is so hard to believe he is at this age already. He is my sunshine. We have spent so much time together since he was born. He is the most creative kid I know. His mind is always going. Lately, he has made colorful puppets out of socks and second-hand clothing. It will be interesting to see what working life path he will take when he becomes an adult.As time fly’s by, Coy is so excited to have a new baby brother, Kich Weston Connell. And I’m just as excited. He’s just one week old now and I was fortunate enough to spend a few days with our daughter Amy, husband Chris, Coy and baby Kich when he was born. They live 3 hours away from us, so I have to get more visits in when I can. With Kich, that makes three grandsons for Rick and I. Ryker, our daughter Kaylee’s boy is 2 1/2. He is one very busy little boy who loves Thomas the Train and Paw Patrol. We went for a walk outside the other day and Ryker had decided to play in the mound of dirt the moles had piled up. He’s a boy through and through that loves to where a ball cap. I have a hard time resisting anything those big blue eyes want. But then, Nana’s are allowed to spoil their grandbabys…………….right? As we come close to three months since we retired from our last days of the Chuckwagon Trail, I find myself emotional at times. I never gave this much thought when we made our decision to leave the sport we have been doing together all these years. Just little things will trigger me. Times such as looking at photos, seeing the weeds grown in the pens where the herd would normally have trampled them down, and missing the thunderous sound of so many hooves running from far out in the field to the barn up by the house for a drink of water. It is like mourning a death for us. We need to go through so many different emotions as the time passes. We know it was the right decision for us, but it doesn’t make it any easier. It is what we did together as a team for many years. Having said that, we hold and cherish many, many great and awesome memories. That life we lived has molded Rick and I into who we are today. And we are grateful.
I shot this photo this spring during one of our training days. I will be forever grateful that I began this blog and started my journey of photography. A picture tells many wonderful stories. And this photo, tells me there is a powerful connection between Rick and four of our amazing thoroughbreds. It is a way of talking to the horses, as the horses feel his touch and command through the soft leather lines.
As we are folks who don’t sit idle, we are moving on to different paths. Currently we are taking some computer courses. This is a big stretch for Rick, but we are doing it together and are enjoying each week learning. It doesn’t matter what age you are in life, there is something new out there just waiting to be discovered. You just have to take new steps and be open. We are looking forward to what our next phase in life is bringing us.
We enjoyed a final farewell get together at our Ranch with family and friends last month. This was an enjoyable evening for everyone. I was totally surprised when my lifelong friend Louise Good from high-school days showed up unexpected. We may not see each other very often, but when we do, we pick up where we left off. These are the best friendships ever.
As this weekend is Thanksgiving, Rick and I are full of gratitude in what life has given us in our life together. We have so much to be thankful for. Life has been a roller coaster, but through all the ups and downs, victories and losses, people who have come in and out of our lives, it has molded us, and we are thankful. We are thankful for our three adult children we have raised, Amy, Kaylee and Cody. We are very proud of them. We love our grandkids and hope to have many more to spoil. We wish you all a Happy and Family Oriented Thanksgiving Weekend.
Every day, a new life begins.
Hold on tight to your family and let them know you love them.
From Home on the Ranch
P.S. Start each day with gratitude, patience, kindness and end it with a peaceful heart and watch your days become a little bit sweeter.