What happened to June? Where did it go? I feel like it was a blur of cows, calving, brandings, fence fixing and praying for rain.
Well it took all month but we've been blessed with a few much needed and very timely rains. The cows are enjoying the greened up pastures, the calves are growing like the second cutting of alfalfa and we find ourselves already knocking on the door of what to do for Independence Day.
Some make comment that this holiday marks summer as already being half over. When I owned my flower shop I couldn't wait for the 4th of July. June is wedding month so business was booming and we were also busy hauling bucking bulls to events and producing rodeos. So I couldn't wait to get the first busy month of summer under my belt! It was a time in my life where I welcomed summer to be half over. I no longer have that thought, especially after the winter we just survived!
From 2001 to 2020 we spent all but two Independence Days inside a rodeo arena. One of those 'off' years we still attended a rodeo as spectators then followed it up with a weekend at my sister in law's lake cabin. In 2020, we camped with our ranching family at their pasture cabin. The agenda was good food, bonfires, BS, dummy roping, tubing the creek and fishing. Like my dad would say, "It was a tough job but someone had to do it".
Dummy Roping Contest July 4th, 2020
Our last Arrow K 4th of July rodeo. Fort Ransom, ND 2021
Last year, the same group and a few more gathered in my dad's mule pasture appropriately named Death Valley. Do you remember how hot it was last 4th of July? I do! We could see a breeze waving the grass on the hillsides around us, but we felt nothing at the bottom of Death Valley. Nothing but heat. It makes me giggle thinking we leave our air conditioned homes, pack up everything but the kitchen sink (although that would come in handy) to go sweat our tails off, cook over a fire and somehow convince ourselves that it's all fun!
Fun was had and memories were made with riding horse, running on the slip & slide, picking flowers, dutch oven cobbler, corn hole and of course BS'n. It was the first time my family was together on the 4th of July since before spouses and grandkids entered the family tree.
July 3rd Sunrise over Death Valley 2022
4th of July Campout at Death Valley 2022
One year later, we must all be feeling the burn yet from Death Valley as not one person has suggested going back this year. Insert laughing face emoji! So here we sit, what should we do? The rain has allowed us a welcomed break in haying so our time and options are now endless. This is where the Kleins run into trouble. We have had such scheduled lives that when the decision is ours to make we find it almost impossible to make one. We struggle with down time. Making plans for a vacation or time off is not our forte. Work is.
Will we run to the mountains to explore everything grand and breathtaking? Will we drive 7 miles to camp in our pasture and kayak down the Cottonwood Creek to Lake LaMoure? Will we set up the round pen to work our young horses? Will we gut my workshop to finally set up shelving? Will we move the clay piles in our yard and build a retaining wall to finish our landscaping project? Will we drive to Death Valley to pick tiger lilies and crack a cold one to the memories of 2022?
No matter our plans I will enjoy the holiday weekend. I won't wish it away, I won't worry that summer is half over as I love the 4th of July! I love the hype of this holiday and all it's glory. I love the patriotic pride. I love the stars and striped outfits. I love the new recipes and the 'I make this every 4th of July' tradition dishes. I love the added Americana décor. I love that we pause for one day to celebrate our freedoms that we don't take for granted. I truly LOVE the Red, White and Blues!!
Happy Independence Day weekend! Celebrate Safely!
American Cowboy Creations by Wildflowers
Old Glory done Wildflowers' style